Impairment and negative equity in the Irish mortgage market
Amongst the many housing markets across the OECD presently experiencing difficulties, the Irish case stands out. Between 2004 and 2007, a significant house price bubble emerged in Ireland, while the real economy was enjoying persistently strong growth rates. The sharp decline in house prices post 2007 coupled with the significant increase in unemployment has generated a combination of difficulties for the Irish residential market. To date, much of the analysis and discussion of the Irish market has tended to focus on either the concept of mortgage repayment distress or potential negative equity. By examining the issue of credit default in the Irish mortgage market, we focus on the interaction between delinquency (repayment distress) and solvency (negative equity). Building on earlier work, which used the Survey on Income and Living Conditions (SILC), we marry existing estimates of repayment distress with estimates of negative equity for a representative sample of Irish households. Using copula modelling we then examine the dependence structure across the distributions of mortgage delinquency and solvency for these households. As a result, we are in a position to estimate the probability that a household experiencing repayment distress might also be in negative equity.
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