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Dis-entangling the mortgage arrears crisis: The rolw of the labour market, income volatility and housing equity

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  • McCarthy, Yvonne

    (Central Bank of Ireland)

Abstract

Despite various efforts to address the mortgage arrears crisis, arrears remain at an elevated level. Designing policies to deal with such high levels of distress requires a deep understanding of the precise sources of the problem. Efforts to date, however, have been hampered by a lack of appropriate data. This paper relies on two new and unique datasets which overcome such issues. Specifically, using a combination of administrative loan-level data and a detailed survey of mortgage holders, we assess the role of the labour market, income volatility and housing equity in the mortgage arrears crisis. The results provide new insights on mortgage distress in Ireland; unemployment and housing equity are key drivers, as shown by previous research. However, the results also show that many borrowers experiencing arrears are currently employed. Many of these borrowers have suffered a significant drop in their income, a change in employment conditions or are in fragile employment, i.e. they are on a temporary contract, have been with their employer for a short time or have a history of unemployment. This shows that the current mortgage crisis, and efforts to prevent a further deterioration, requires more than simply targeting unemployment. Rather, such efforts should also aim to strengthen overall labour market conditions and job security.

Suggested Citation

  • McCarthy, Yvonne, 2014. "Dis-entangling the mortgage arrears crisis: The rolw of the labour market, income volatility and housing equity," Research Technical Papers 02/RT/14, Central Bank of Ireland.
  • Handle: RePEc:cbi:wpaper:02/rt/14
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Kelly, Robert & McCarthy, Yvonne & McQuinn, Kieran, 2012. "Impairment and negative equity in the Irish mortgage market," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 256-268.
    2. Patrick Bajari & Chenghuan Sean Chu & Minjung Park, 2008. "An Empirical Model of Subprime Mortgage Default From 2000 to 2007," NBER Working Papers 14625, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. McCarthy, Yvonne & McQuinn, Kieran, 2013. "Credit conditions in a boom and bust property market," Research Technical Papers 08/RT/13, Central Bank of Ireland.
    4. Kristopher Gerardi & Kyle F. Herkenhoff & Lee E. Ohanian & Paul S. Willen, 2018. "Can’t Pay or Won’t Pay? Unemployment, Negative Equity, and Strategic Default," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 31(3), pages 1098-1131.
    5. Foote, Christopher L. & Gerardi, Kristopher & Willen, Paul S., 2008. "Negative equity and foreclosure: Theory and evidence," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 234-245, September.
    6. Andra C. Ghent & Marianna Kudlyak, 2011. "Recourse and Residential Mortgage Default: Evidence from US States 1," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 24(9), pages 3139-3186.
    7. Yongheng Deng & John M. Quigley & Robert Van Order, 2000. "Mortgage Terminations, Heterogeneity and the Exercise of Mortgage Options," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(2), pages 275-308, March.
    8. McGuinness, Seamus & O'Connell, Philip J. & Kelly, Elish & Walsh, John R., 2011. "Activation in Ireland: An Evaluation of the National Employment Action Plan," Research Series, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number RS20, December.
    9. Burcu Duygan-Bump & Charles Grant, 2009. "Household debt repayment behaviour: what role do institutions play?," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 24, pages 107-140, January.
    10. Georgarakos, Dimitris & Lojschova, Adriana & Ward-Warmedinger, Melanie E., 2009. "Mortgage Indebtedness and Household Financial Distress," IZA Discussion Papers 4631, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    11. Kyle F. Herkenhoff & Lee E. Ohanian, 2012. "Why the U.S. Economy Has Failed to Recover and What Policies Will Promote Growth," Book Chapters, in: Lee E. Ohanian & John B. Taylor & Ian J. Wright (ed.),Government Policies and the Delayed Economic Recovery, chapter 7, Hoover Institution, Stanford University.
    12. Yvonne McCarthy & Kieran McQuinn, 2011. "How Are Irish Households Coping with their Mortgage Repayments? Information from the Survey on Income and Living Conditions," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 42(1), pages 71-94.
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    Cited by:

    1. Kelly, Robert & O’Malley, Terence, 2016. "The good, the bad and the impaired: A credit risk model of the Irish mortgage market," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 22(C), pages 1-9.
    2. Clancy, Daragh & Merola, Rossana, 2017. "Countercyclical capital rules for small open economies," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 54(PB), pages 332-351.
    3. Lydon, Reamonn & McIndoe-Calder, Tara, 2017. "The great Irish (de)leveraging 2005-14," Working Paper Series 2062, European Central Bank.
    4. Tsiropoulos, Vasilis, 2018. "A Vulnerability Analysis for Mortgaged Irish Households," Financial Stability Notes 2/FS/18, Central Bank of Ireland.
    5. Kelly, Robert & McCann, Fergal, 2016. "Some defaults are deeper than others: Understanding long-term mortgage arrears," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 15-27.
    6. Richard Waldron & Declan Redmond, 2016. "Stress in Suburbia: Counting the Costs of Ireland's Property Crash and Mortgage Arrears Crisis," Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie, Royal Dutch Geographical Society KNAG, vol. 107(4), pages 484-501, September.
    7. McCann, Fergal & Ryan, Ellen, 2016. "Originating Loan to Value ratios and the resilience of mortgage portfolios," Economic Letters 10/EL/16, Central Bank of Ireland.
    8. Honohan, Patrick, 2016. "Debt and austerity: Post-crisis lessons from Ireland," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 149-157.
    9. O'Toole, Conor & Slaymaker, Rachel, 2020. "Repayment capacity, debt service ratios and mortgage default: An exploration in crisis and non-crisis periods," Papers WP652, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Mortgage Arrears; Default; Debt; Negative Equity.;

    JEL classification:

    • D14 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Saving; Personal Finance
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages

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