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Non-Linearities in the Relationship between House Prices and Interest Rates: Implications for Monetary Policy

Author

Listed:
  • Guay Lim

    (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne)

  • Sarantis Tsiaplias

    (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne)

Abstract

Understanding the impact of changes in interest rates on house prices is important for managing house price bubbles and ensuring housing affordability. This paper investigates the effect of interest rates on regional house price to income measures based on a non-linear smooth transition VAR model of inter-regional house price dynamics. To minimize the impact of housing mix changes on estimated effects, we apply the model to an Australian dataset of regional hedonic house price indices that account for both changes in housing mix and quality over time. The empirical analysis provides evidence that house price to income ratios depend non-linearly on interest rates, and moreover that there is an interest rate ‘transition point’ below which a house price bubble is probable. We investigate the implications for monetary policy of stable and unstable house price regimes and propose a housing lending rate lower bound that achieves long-run house price stability in the presence of regime uncertainty. To check the generality of the result, we also apply the model to aggregate Australian and US data.

Suggested Citation

  • Guay Lim & Sarantis Tsiaplias, 2016. "Non-Linearities in the Relationship between House Prices and Interest Rates: Implications for Monetary Policy," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2016n02, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
  • Handle: RePEc:iae:iaewps:wp2016n02
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    File URL: http://melbourneinstitute.unimelb.edu.au/downloads/working_paper_series/wp2016n02.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

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    3. Christopher G. Gibbs & Jonathan Hambur & Gabriela Nodari, 2021. "Housing and Commodity Investment Booms in a Small Open Economy," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 97(317), pages 212-242, June.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    House prices; interest rates; monetary policy; nonlinear VAR; housing affordability; bubbles;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C30 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - General
    • E43 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Interest Rates: Determination, Term Structure, and Effects
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • R10 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - General
    • R31 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location - - - Housing Supply and Markets

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