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Mortgage Rate Pass-Through in Switzerland

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  • Iva Cecchin

Abstract

This paper investigates the speed and completeness of the pass-through from market rates to mortgage rates in Switzerland. The pass-through dynamics are studied under a marginal funding cost perspective. By choosing the appropriate benchmark rates, this study takes into account banks' forecasts of the evolution of their funding costs. It is found that the passthrough of rates of adjustable-rate mortgages is incomplete and sluggish compared to the rates of mortgages with a fixed maturity. For the latter, changes in market rates appear to be transmitted quickly and completely, particularly when benchmark rates are falling. This finding suggests that a low-interest-rate environment stimulates competition among financial institutions. Evidence for a structural change is found for all interest rates. The structural change occurred around the beginning of 2007 for fixed-rate mortgages and in mid-2005 for floating-rate mortgages. For all mortgage rates, asymmetries are detected in the pre-break period. More specifically, the adjustment of fixed-rate-mortgage rates is characterized by downward rigidity, which supports the existence of some form of imperfect competition. By contrast, the rates of adjustable-rate mortgages exhibit upward price stickiness. This result suggests that competition was stronger in this specific mortgage-lending market. In the post-break period, no clear evidence is found in favor of asymmetries with respect to the adjustment coefficient.

Suggested Citation

  • Iva Cecchin, 2011. "Mortgage Rate Pass-Through in Switzerland," Working Papers 2011-08, Swiss National Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:snb:snbwpa:2011-08
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Christophe Andre & Rangan Gupta & John W. Muteba Mwamba, 2016. "Are Housing Price Cycles Asymmetric? Evidence from the US States and Metropolitan Areas," Working Papers 201635, University of Pretoria, Department of Economics.
    2. Enzo Cassino, 2012. "Modelling New Zealand mortgage interest rates?," Reserve Bank of New Zealand Analytical Notes series AN2012/10, Reserve Bank of New Zealand.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Interest Rate Pass-Through; Monetary Policy; Mortgages; Cointegration analysis; Panel Data;

    JEL classification:

    • 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
    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models

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