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Mortgage interest rate dispersion in the euro area

  • Kok, Christoffer
  • Lichtenberger, Jung-Duk

Despite the remarkable economic and financial convergence over the last ten years in the euro area, mortgage interest rates still differ across countries. This note presents some stylised facts on the heterogeneity of mortgage interest rates across euro area countries on the basis of the Eurosystem’s harmonised MFI interest rate statistics. We also attempt to provide some insights into the reasons behind these cross-country differences using the methodology recently proposed by Affinito and Farabullini (2006). We differ from Affinito and Farabullini (2006) in that we focus on one particular banking market: the market for mortgage loans. This allows us to identify more clearly the role of specific structural features characterising that market in explaining mortgage rate dispersion. More specifically, we investigate the extent to which various mortgage loan demand and supply determinants help explaining the observed dispersion. It turns out that some of the heterogeneity can be explained by these factors, in particular those that relate to the supply side. However, a substantial part of the dispersion remains unexplained suggesting that much of the heterogeneity also reflects country-specific institutional differences that are likely to be caused by differences in the regulatory and fiscal framework of the mortgage markets. In order to test this, we extend our analysis to also include institutional factors and indeed find that crosscountry differences in enforcement procedures, tax subsidies and loan-to-value ratios influence the level of mortgage rates. JEL Classification: C23, E4, F36, G21, N24

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Paper provided by European Central Bank in its series Working Paper Series with number 0733.

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Date of creation: Feb 2007
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Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20070733
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  1. Corvoisier, Sandrine & Gropp, Reint, 2002. "Bank concentration and retail interest rates," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 26(11), pages 2155-2189, November.
  2. Saunders, Anthony & Schumacher, Liliana, 2000. "The determinants of bank interest rate margins: an international study," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 19(6), pages 813-832, December.
  3. Reint Gropp & Christoffer Kok & Jung-Duk Lichtenberger, 2014. "The Dynamics of Bank Spreads and Financial Structure," Quarterly Journal of Finance (QJF), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 4(04), pages 1450014-1-1.
  4. Maclennan, Duncan & Muellbauer, John & Stephens, Mark, 1999. "Asymmetries in Housing and Financial Market Institutions and EMU," CEPR Discussion Papers 2062, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Paul van den Noord, 2003. "Tax Incentives and House Price Volatility in the Euro Area: Theory and Evidence," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 356, OECD Publishing.
  6. Leo Haan & Elmer Sterken, 2011. "Bank-Specific Daily Interest Rate Adjustment in the Dutch Mortgage Market," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer, vol. 39(3), pages 145-159, June.
  7. Wolswijk, Guido, 2005. "On some fiscal effects on mortgage debt growth in the EU," Working Paper Series 0526, European Central Bank.
  8. Alfredo Martín-Oliver & Vicente Salas-Fumás & Jesus Saurina, 2007. "A Test of the Law of One Price in Retail Banking," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 39(8), pages 2021-2040, December.
  9. Lieven Baele & Annalisa Ferrando & Peter Hördahl & Elizaveta Krylova & Cyril Monnet, 2004. "Measuring financial integration in the euro area," Occasional Paper Series 14, European Central Bank.
  10. S. Claeys & R. Vander Vennet, 2003. "Determinants of bank interest margins in Central and Eastern Europe. Convergence to the West?," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 03/203, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
  11. Mark J. Flannery & Kasturi P. Rangan, 2008. "What Caused the Bank Capital Build-up of the 1990s?," Review of Finance, European Finance Association, vol. 12(2), pages 391-429.
  12. Massimiliano Affinito & Fabio Farabullini, 2006. "An empirical analysis of national differences in the retail bank interest rates of the euro area," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 589, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  13. Alfredo Martín-Oliver & Vicente Salas-Fumás & Jesús Saurina, 2005. "Interest rate dispersion in deposit and loan markets," Banco de Espa�a Working Papers 0506, Banco de Espa�a.
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