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Determinants of Mortgage Debt Growth in EU Countries

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  • Guido Wolswijk

Abstract

This paper presents an analysis of mortgage debt growth in the EU-15 countries. Mortgage debt has risen quickly in many countries in recent years, reaching historically very high levels that increasingly attract the attention from both researchers and policymakers. While there are some papers on factors behind national mortgage debt developments, studies taking a broader approach, both regarding the number of countries included and the potential determinants of mortgage debt growth, are still lacking. This study aims at filling this gap and presents estimates for real mortgage debt growth for the EU-15 countries, using pooled regressions for the period 1982--2003. Special attention is paid to properly defining mortgage costs, for which an after-tax measure is constructed. The regressions indicate that real mortgage debt is affected by after-tax mortgage interest costs, by house prices, financial deregulation, and stock markets, while the effects of household disposable income and inflation are less evident. These results are shown to be relatively robust using alternative time periods, estimation techniques, and groups of countries, only Greece being somewhat of an exception. Finally, we pay attention to tax instruments for influencing housing market developments, notably the deductibility of mortgage interest payments from personal income tax. The paper concludes that tax instruments have the potential to contribute to more stable mortgage debt developments.

Suggested Citation

  • Guido Wolswijk, 2006. "Determinants of Mortgage Debt Growth in EU Countries," European Journal of Housing Policy, Taylor and Francis Journals, vol. 6(2), pages 131-149, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:eurjhp:v:6:y:2006:i:2:p:131-149
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Martins, Nuno C. & Villanueva, Ernesto, 2006. "The impact of mortgage interest-rate subsidies on household borrowing," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(8-9), pages 1601-1623, September.
    2. Karl E. Case & Robert J. Shiller, 1988. "The behavior of home buyers in boom and post-boom markets," New England Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, issue Nov, pages 29-46.
    3. Trevor Fitzpatrick & Kieran Mcquinn, 2007. "House Prices And Mortgage Credit: Empirical Evidence For Ireland," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 75(1), pages 82-103, January.
    4. Irene de Greef & Ralph de Haas, 2002. "Housing Prices, Bank Lending, and Monetary Policy," Macroeconomics 0209010, EconWPA.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Albert Jaeger & Ludger Schuknecht, 2007. "Boom-Bust Phases in Asset Prices and Fiscal Policy Behavior," Emerging Markets Finance and Trade, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(6), pages 45-66, November.
    2. Matsaganis Manos & Flevotomou Maria, 2008. "A Basic Income for Housing? Simulating a Universal Housing Transfer in the Netherlands and Sweden," Basic Income Studies, De Gruyter, vol. 2(2), pages 1-25, January.
    3. Albert Jaeger & Ludger Schuknecht, 2007. "Boom-Bust Phases in Asset Prices and Fiscal Policy Behavior," Emerging Markets Finance and Trade, M.E. Sharpe, Inc., vol. 43(6), pages 45-66, November.
    4. Badev, Anton & Beck, Thorsten & Vado, Ligia & Walley, Simon, 2014. "Housing finance across countries : new data and analysis," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6756, The World Bank.
    5. Ming Qi, 2017. "The Determinants of Chinese Property Prices," International Journal of Economics and Finance, Canadian Center of Science and Education, vol. 9(1), pages 194-201, January.

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    Keywords

    Mortgage; European Union; tax policy;

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