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Unlocking Housing Equity in Japan

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  • Olivia S. Mitchell
  • John Piggott

Abstract

Prior literature on asset patterns among the elderly often overlooks housing wealth as a determinant of retiree wealth, particularly in the Japanese context. Yet releasing equity in housing may be a natural mechanism to boost consumption, reduce public pension liability, and mitigate the demand for long-term care facilities in Japan. Our study evaluates what might be needed to implement reverse mortgages (RMs) in this country. Policies could include exempting RMs from capital gains tax and transactions tax, along with mechanisms to make annuity income flows nontaxable, along with interest rate accruals for RMs. In addition, housing market reforms to enhance information flows would be needed, particularly regarding new and existing housing trades, which could permit the securitization of housing loans and lines of credit. Other improvements in capital markets could also help, including the establishment of reinsurance mechanisms to help lenders offer these reverse mortgages while having some protection against crossover risk. In the Japanese case, demand for RMs will be dampened by declining residential housing values as well as low interest rates and long life expectancies. Nevertheless, we conclude that RMs might be a good way to finance elderly consumption in Japan, particularly against the backdrop of governmental financial stringencies.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 10340.

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Date of creation: Mar 2004
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10340

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References

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  1. Robert J. Shiller & Allan N. Weiss, 1994. "Home Equity Insurance," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1074, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  2. David McCarthy & Olivia S. Mitchell, 2003. "International Adverse Selection in Life Insurance and Annuities," NBER Working Papers 9975, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  7. Charles Yuji Horioka, 2001. "Are the Japanese Selfish, Altruistic, or Dynastic?," ISER Discussion Paper 0556, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
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  23. Christopher J. Mayer & Katerina V. Simons, 1994. "Reverse Mortgages and the Liquidity of Housing Wealth," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 22(2), pages 235-255.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Ngee-Choon Chia & Albert K C Tsui, 2005. "Reverse Mortgages as Retirement Financing Instrument: An Option for “Asset-rich and Cash-poor” Singaporeans," SCAPE Policy Research Working Paper Series 0503, National University of Singapore, Department of Economics, SCAPE.
  2. Maria Concetta Chiuri & Tullio Jappelli, 2006. "Do the elderly reduce housing equity? An international comparison," CSEF Working Papers 158, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
  3. Maier, Andreas, 2010. "Immobilienverzehrprodukte: Potenzielle Profiteure und Nachfragehemmnisse," Thuenen-Series of Applied Economic Theory 115, University of Rostock, Institute of Economics.
  4. Ngee-Choon Chia & Albert K C Tsui, 2009. "Monetizing Housing Equity to Generate Retirement Incomes," Microeconomics Working Papers 22759, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
  5. Olivia S. Mitchell & John Piggott & Michael Sherris & Shaun Yow, 2006. "Financial Innovation for an Aging World," NBER Working Papers 12444, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Ngee-Choon Chia & Albert K C Tsui, 2005. "Reverse Mortgages as Retirement Financing Instrument : An Option for “Asset-rich and Cash-poor†Singaporeans," Finance Working Papers 22566, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
  7. Elsa Fornero & Maria Cristina Rossi & Maria Cesira Urzì Brancati, 2011. "Explaining why, right or wrong, (Italian) households do not like reverse mortgages," CeRP Working Papers 123, Center for Research on Pensions and Welfare Policies, Turin (Italy).
  8. Joan Costa i Font & Joan Gil & Oscar Mascarilla Miró, . "Preferencias de la población ante la financiación de la dependéncia: La hipoteca inversa en España," Studies on the Spanish Economy 230, FEDEA.
  9. Marcelo Abi-Ramia Caetano & Daniel da Mata, 2009. "Hipoteca Reversa," Discussion Papers 1380, Instituto de Pesquisa Econômica Aplicada - IPEA.
  10. Olivia S. Mitchell & John Piggott & Satoshi Shimizutani, 2004. "Aged-Care Support in Japan: Perspectives and Challenges," NBER Working Papers 10882, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Lee, Yung-Tsung & Wang, Chou-Wen & Huang, Hong-Chih, 2012. "On the valuation of reverse mortgages with regular tenure payments," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 430-441.

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