Loan-to-Value Ratio as a Macro-Prudential Tool - Hong Kong's Experience and Cross-Country Evidence
This study assesses the effectiveness and drawbacks of maximum loan-to-value (LTV) ratios as a macroprudential tool based on Hong Kong¡¦s experience and econometric analyses of panel data from 13 economies. The tool is found to be effective in reducing systemic risk stemming from the boom-and-bust cycle of property markets. Although the tool could impose higher liquidity constraints on homebuyers, empirical evidence shows that mortgage insurance programmes (MIPs) that protect lenders from credit losses on the portion of loans over maximum LTV thresholds can mitigate this drawback without undermining the effectiveness of the tool. This finding indicates the important role of MIPs in enhancing the net benefits of LTV policy. Our estimations also show that the dampening effect of LTV policy on household leverage is more apparent than its effect on property market activities, suggesting that the policy effect may mainly manifest in impacts on household sector leverage.
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