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Mortgage Product Innovation in Advanced Economies: More Choice, More Risk

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  • Kathleen Scanlon
  • Jens Lunde
  • Christine Whitehead

Abstract

In many developed countries, house prices have been rising rapidly, mortgage debt has been increasing and affordability has worsened. It is in this context that the standard annuity mortgage is increasingly being supplanted by mortgages with non-standard features, such as longer terms or interest-only payments. Many of these new features aim to reduce the borrower's monthly debt service in the initial period of the loan. While these new mortgage types help households to enter owner-occupation and to vary their expenditure patterns, the long-term cost to the borrower cannot normally be less than for a standard product. Moreover, such mortgages can also be more risky: the interest-only borrower does not accumulate equity as an annuity borrower does, and loans with longer terms expose the borrower to greater risk of interest-rate or other economic shocks. As a result both borrowers pay more and the housing finance system may be more fragile. This paper brings together evidence from 13 developed countries about house prices, debt and affordability, and particularly the availability and market share of mortgages with these new features. It analyses trends over the last ten years and discusses the risks of these mortgages compared to standard annuity products.

Suggested Citation

  • Kathleen Scanlon & Jens Lunde & Christine Whitehead, 2008. "Mortgage Product Innovation in Advanced Economies: More Choice, More Risk," European Journal of Housing Policy, Taylor and Francis Journals, vol. 8(2), pages 109-131.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:eurjhp:v:8:y:2008:i:2:p:109-131 DOI: 10.1080/14616710802037359
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Maclennan, Duncan & Muellbauer, John & Stephens, Mark, 1998. "Asymmetries in Housing and Financial Market Institutions and EMU," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 14(3), pages 54-80, Autumn.
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    Cited by:

    1. Andreas Merikas & Anna Merika & Nikiforos Laopodis & Anna Triantafyllou, 2012. "House Price Comovements in the Eurozone Economies," European Research Studies Journal, European Research Studies Journal, vol. 0(1), pages 71-98.
    2. Karin Haldrup, 2017. "On security of collateral in Danish mortgage finance: a formula of property rights, incentives and market mechanisms," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 43(1), pages 1-29, February.
    3. Ebner, André, 2013. "A micro view on home equity withdrawal and its determinants: Evidence from Dutch households," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 321-337.
    4. N. Kundan Kishor & Hardik A. Marfatia, 2017. "The Dynamic Relationship Between Housing Prices and the Macroeconomy: Evidence from OECD Countries," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 54(2), pages 237-268, February.
    5. Shi, Xinyan & Riley, Sarah F., 2014. "Mortgage choice, house price externalities, and the default rate," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(C), pages 139-150.
    6. John Y. Campbell, 2013. "Mortgage Market Design," Review of Finance, European Finance Association, vol. 17(1), pages 1-33.
    7. Damen, Sven & Vastmans, Frank & Buyst, Erik, 2016. "The effect of mortgage interest deduction and mortgage characteristics on house prices," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 15-29.

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    Keywords

    Housing finance; mortgages; interest-only;

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