House prices, arrears and possessions: A three equation model for the UK
The current slump in the UK housing market has coincided with record increases in mortgage arrears and possessions. Falling nominal house prices reduce the amount of unwithdrawn equity in housing and, under certain conditions, provide incentives for borrowers to accumulate arrears and for lenders to possess. However, possessions may themselves depress house prices. This paper attempts to analyse and quantify these interactions by estimating a three equation econometric model of UK mortgage arrears, possessions and house prices, in which expectations of future house prices are formed according to the rational expectations hypothesis. The model is simulated to examine the implications of interest rate changes and policies to reduce possessions.
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