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House price booms, current account deficits, and low interest rates

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  • Andrea Ferrero

Abstract

One of the most striking features of the period before the Great Recession is the strong positive correlation between house price appreciation and current account deficits, not only in the United States but also in other countries that have subsequently experienced the highest degree of financial turmoil. A progressive relaxation of credit standards can rationalize this empirical observation. Lower collateral requirements facilitate access to external funding and drive up house prices. The current account turns negative because households borrow from the rest of the world. At the same time, however, the world real interest rate counterfactually increases. The two key ingredients that reconcile a demand-based explanation of house price booms and current account deficits with the evidence on real interest rates are nominal interest rates lower than the predictions of a standard monetary policy rule in leveraged economies and foreign exchange rate pegs in saving countries.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of New York in its series Staff Reports with number 541.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fednsr:541

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Keywords: Housing - Prices ; Credit ; Interest rates ; Monetary policy ; Balance of payments;

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  1. John V. Duca & John Muellbauer & Anthony Murphy, 2010. "Housing markets and the financial crisis of 2007-2009: lessons for the future," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 33613, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
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  6. Enrique Mendoza & Emine Boz, 2010. "Financial Innovation, the Discovery of Risk, and the U.S. Credit Crisis," 2010 Meeting Papers 316, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  7. Ferrero, Andrea, 2010. "A structural decomposition of the U.S. trade balance: Productivity, demographics and fiscal policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(4), pages 478-490, May.
  8. Gete, Pedro, 2009. "Housing Markets and Current Account Dynamics," MPRA Paper 20957, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 24 Feb 2010.
  9. Fratzscher, Marcel & Juvenal, Luciana & Sarno, Lucio, 2007. "Asset prices, exchange rates and the current account," Working Paper Series 0790, European Central Bank.
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Cited by:
  1. Boz, Emine & Mendoza, Enrique G, 2010. "Financial Innovation, the Discovery of Risk, and the U.S. Credit Crisis," CEPR Discussion Papers 7967, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. François Geerolf & Thomas Grjebine, 2013. "House Prices Drive Current Accounts: Evidence From Property Tax Variations," Working Papers 2013-18, CEPII research center.
  3. Yilmaz Akyüz, 2012. "The Staggering Rise of the South?," Working Papers 2012/3, Turkish Economic Association.

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