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Housing Equity Withdrawal, Property Bubbles and Consumption


  • Lydon, Reamonn

    (Central Bank of Ireland)

  • O'Hanlon, Niall

    (Central Statistics Office)


At the peak of the Irish property boom in the first decade of the 2000s, housing equity withdrawal, or \top-up" loans, accounted for one-third of residential mortgage loans issued. This collateral-based lending was typically issued at a significant discount to other forms of personal lending, often at tracker rates. Following the collapse of the Irish housing market, the value of top-up loans issued in 2011 was down 97 percent from 2006 - the peak year for this form of lending. This paper draws out some of the trends in housing equity withdrawal over the last decade, both in terms of the extent of lending that occurred and the reasons for borrowers taking out such loans. From a domestic demand perspective, the concern would be the extent to which this form of borrowing fed into domestic consumption and the longer-terms implications for Irish economic growth. In this context we show that equity withdrawal trends are strongly positively correlated with a number of demand measures, mainly related to spending on durables.

Suggested Citation

  • Lydon, Reamonn & O'Hanlon, Niall, 2012. "Housing Equity Withdrawal, Property Bubbles and Consumption," Research Technical Papers 05/RT/12, Central Bank of Ireland.
  • Handle: RePEc:cbi:wpaper:05/rt/12

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Aoki, Kosuke & Proudman, James & Vlieghe, Gertjan, 2004. "House prices, consumption, and monetary policy: a financial accelerator approach," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 414-435, October.
    2. Vladimir Klyuev & Paul Mills, 2007. "Is Housing Wealth an “ATM”? The Relationship Between Household Wealth, Home Equity Withdrawal, and Saving Rates," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 54(3), pages 539-561, July.
    3. Aron, Janine & Muellbauer, John & Murphy, Anthony, 2006. "Housing wealth, credit conditions and consumption," MPRA Paper 24485, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Case Karl E. & Quigley John M. & Shiller Robert J., 2005. "Comparing Wealth Effects: The Stock Market versus the Housing Market," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 5(1), pages 1-34, May.
    5. Martin Browning & Thomas F. Crossley, 2001. "The Life-Cycle Model of Consumption and Saving," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(3), pages 3-22, Summer.
    6. 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.
    7. Kennedy, Gerard & McQuinn, Kieran, 2012. "Why are Irish house prices still falling?," Economic Letters 05/EL/12, Central Bank of Ireland.
    8. Hogan, Vincent & O'Sullivan, Pat, 2007. "Consumption and House Prices in Ireland," Quarterly Economic Commentary: Special Articles, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), vol. 2007(3-Autumn), pages 46-61.
    9. Andrew Benito, 2009. "Who Withdraws Housing Equity and Why?," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 76(301), pages 51-70, February.
    10. Addison-Smyth, Diarmaid & McQuinn, Kieran & O' Reilly, Gerard, 2008. "Estimating the Structural Demand for Irish Housing," Research Technical Papers 1/RT/08, Central Bank of Ireland.
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    Cited by:

    1. Duffy, David & Mc Inerney, Niall & McQuinn, Kieran, 2015. "Macroprudential Policy in a Recovering Market: Too Much too Soon?," Papers WP500, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
    2. Yvonne McCarthy & Kieran McQuinn, 2017. "Price Expectations, Distressed Mortgage Markets and the Housing Wealth Effect," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 45(2), pages 478-513, April.
    3. Gerlach, Petra, 2013. "The Effect of Unemployment, Arrears and Negative Equity on Consumption: Ireland in 2009/10," Papers WP457, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
    4. Petra Gerlach-Kristen, 2014. "Testing the Permanent Income Hypothesis for Irish Households, 1994 to 2005," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 45(4), pages 511-535.
    5. Honohan, Patrick, 2016. "Debt and austerity: Post-crisis lessons from Ireland," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 149-157.
    6. Gerlach, Petra & Merola, Rossana, 2013. "Consumption and Credit Constraints: A Model and Evidence for Ireland," Papers WP471, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
    7. Duffy, David, 2014. "Updated Estimates for the Extent of Negative Equity in the Irish Housing Market," Research Notes RN2014/2/1, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
    8. Coates, Dermot & Lydon, Reamonn & McCarthy, Yvonne, 2015. "House price volatility: The role of different buyer types," Economic Letters 02/EL/15, Central Bank of Ireland.

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