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Unlocking housing equity in Japan

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  • Mitchell, Olivia S.
  • Piggott, John

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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Suggested Citation

  • Mitchell, Olivia S. & Piggott, John, 2004. "Unlocking housing equity in Japan," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 466-505, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jjieco:v:18:y:2004:i:4:p:466-505
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    Cited by:

    1. Declan French & Donal McKillop & Tripti Sharma, 2017. "Analysis of Housing Equity Withdrawal by its Forms," CHaRMS Working Papers 17-04, Centre for HeAlth Research at the Management School (CHaRMS).
    2. Maria Chiuri & Tullio Jappelli, 2010. "Do the elderly reduce housing equity? An international comparison," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, pages 643-663.
    3. Yong Yik Wei & Aekapol Chongvilaivan & Chew Jing Yang, 2008. "Alternative Approaches to the Development of Early Childhood Education in Singapore," Development Economics Working Papers 22581, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
    4. 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.
    5. Tsay, Jing-Tang & Lin, Che-Chun & Prather, Larry J. & Buttimer, Richard J., 2014. "An approximation approach for valuing reverse mortgages," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(C), pages 39-52.
    6. Ming Pu & Gang-Zhi Fan & Yongheng Deng, 2014. "Breakeven Determination of Loan Limits for Reverse Mortgages under Information Asymmetry," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 48(3), pages 492-521, April.
    7. Maier, Andreas, 2010. "Immobilienverzehrprodukte: Potenzielle Profiteure und Nachfragehemmnisse," Thuenen-Series of Applied Economic Theory 115, University of Rostock, Institute of Economics.
    8. 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.
    9. Ngee-Choon Chia & Albert K C Tsui, 2009. "Monetizing Housing Equity to Generate Retirement Incomes," SCAPE Policy Research Working Paper Series 0901, National University of Singapore, Department of Economics, SCAPE.
    10. Mitchell Olivia S. & PIGGOTT John & SHIMIZUTANI Satoshi, 2004. "Aged-Care Support in Japan: Perspectives and Challenges," ESRI Discussion paper series 118, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
    11. Chiang, Shu Ling & Tsai, Ming Shann, 2016. "Analyzing an elder’s desire for a reverse mortgage using an economic model that considers house bequest motivation, random death time and stochastic house price," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 202-219.
    12. 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.
    13. Olivia S Mitchell & John Piggott & Michael Sherris & Shaun Yow, 2006. "Financial Innovation for an Ageing World," RBA Annual Conference Volume,in: Christopher Kent & Anna Park & Daniel Rees (ed.), Demography and Financial Markets Reserve Bank of Australia.
    14. Swarn Chatterjee, 2016. "Reverse Mortgage Participation in the United States: Evidence from a National Study," International Journal of Financial Studies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 4(1), pages 1-10, March.
    15. repec:kap:reveho:v:15:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s11150-016-9355-8 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. repec:gam:jijfss:v:4:y:2016:i:1:p:5:d:65957 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Marcelo Abi-Ramia Caetano & Daniel da Mata, 2009. "Hipoteca Reversa," Discussion Papers 1380, Instituto de Pesquisa Econômica Aplicada - IPEA.
    18. Joan Costa i Font & Joan Gil & Oscar Mascarilla MirÛ, "undated". "Preferencias de la poblaciÛn ante la financiaciÛn de la dependÈncia: La hipoteca inversa en Espana," Studies on the Spanish Economy 230, FEDEA.

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    JEL classification:

    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions
    • G23 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Non-bank Financial Institutions; Financial Instruments; Institutional Investors

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