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Housing Bubbles and Interest Rates

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  • Christian Hott
  • Terhi Jokipii

Abstract

In this paper we assess whether persistently too low interest rates can cause housing bubbles. For a sample of 14 OECD countries, we calculate the deviations of house prices from their (theoretically implied) fundamental value and define them as bubbles. We then estimate the impact that a deviation of short term interest rates from the Taylor-implied interest rates have on house price bubbles. We additionally assess whether interest rates that have remained low for a longer period of time have a greater impact on house price overvaluation. Our results indicate that there is a strong link between low interest rates and housing bubbles. This impact is especially strong when interest rates are "too low for too long". We argue that, by ensuring that rates do not deviate too far from Taylorimplied rates, central banks could lean against house price fluctuations without considering house price developments directly. If this is not possible, e.g. because a single monetary policy is confronted with a very heterogenous economic development within the currency area, alternative counter cyclical measures have to be considered.

Suggested Citation

  • Christian Hott & Terhi Jokipii, 2012. "Housing Bubbles and Interest Rates," Working Papers 2012-07, Swiss National Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:snb:snbwpa:2012-07
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    5. Christian Hott & Pierre Monnin, 2008. "Fundamental Real Estate Prices: An Empirical Estimation with International Data," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 36(4), pages 427-450, May.
    6. Jonathan McCarthy & Richard Peach, 2004. "Are home prices the next "bubble"?," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Dec, pages 1-17.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:finlet:v:22:y:2017:i:c:p:153-157 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Fernando Borraz & Gerardo Licandro & Jorge Ponce, 2012. "Precios de viviendas. una metodología para evaluar desvíos respecto a sus fundamentos," Documentos de trabajo 2012016, Banco Central del Uruguay.
    3. Michael D. Bordo & John Landon-Lane, 2014. "Does Expansionary Monetary Policy Cause Asset Price Booms? Some Historical and Empirical Evidence," Central Banking, Analysis, and Economic Policies Book Series,in: Sofía Bauducco & Lawrence Christiano & Claudio Raddatz (ed.), Macroeconomic and Financial Stability: challenges for Monetary Policy, edition 1, volume 19, chapter 3, pages 61-116 Central Bank of Chile.
    4. Jorge Ponce, 2012. "Precio de fundamentos para las viviendas en Uruguay," Documentos de trabajo 2012017, Banco Central del Uruguay.
    5. Graeme O'Meara, 2015. "Housing Bubbles and Monetary Policy: A Reassessment," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 46(4), pages 521-565.
    6. repec:kap:atlecj:v:45:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s11293-017-9531-0 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Colin Caines, 2016. "Can Learning Explain Boom-Bust Cycles In Asset Prices? An Application to the US Housing Boom," International Finance Discussion Papers 1181, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    8. in 't Veld, Jan & Kollmann, Robert & Pataracchia, Beatrice & Ratto, Marco & Roeger, Werner, 2014. "International capital flows and the boom-bust cycle in Spain," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 48(PB), pages 314-335.
    9. Michael D. Bordo & John Landon-Lane, 2013. "What Explains House Price Booms?: History and Empirical Evidence," NBER Working Papers 19584, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Kristine Gevorgyan, 2015. "Analysis of Price Bubbles on the Czech Real Estate Market," Acta Oeconomica Pragensia, University of Economics, Prague, vol. 2015(5), pages 45-63.
    11. International Monetary Fund, 2013. "France; Financial Sector Assessment Program—Technical Note on Housing Prices and Financial Stability," IMF Staff Country Reports 13/184, International Monetary Fund.
    12. Boysen-Hogrefe, Jens & Gern, Klaus-Jürgen & Groll, Dominik & Jannsen, Nils & Kooths, Stefan & Plödt, Martin & Schwarzmüller, Tim & van Roye, Björn & Scheide, Joachim, 2014. "Finanz- und Wirtschaftspolitik bei einer anhaltenden monetären Expansion," Kieler Beiträge zur Wirtschaftspolitik 5, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    13. International Monetary Fund, 2012. "Côte d’Ivoire; Joint Staff Advisory Note on the Progress Report of the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper," IMF Staff Country Reports 12/184, International Monetary Fund.
    14. LAI, Ping-fu (Brian) & CHAN, Ho Sum, 2014. "The Imminent Housing Collapse - Will History Repeat Itself?," Studii Financiare (Financial Studies), Centre of Financial and Monetary Research "Victor Slavescu", vol. 18(4), pages 63-104.
    15. repec:spr:jbuscr:v:12:y:2016:i:2:d:10.1007_s41549-016-0011-4 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. repec:eee:jhouse:v:37:y:2017:i:c:p:1-21 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Martin Komrska, 2015. "Rakouská teorie hospodářského cyklu: VAR analýza pro USA v letech 1978-2013
      [The Austrian Business Cycle Theory: VAR Analysis for USA between 1978-2013]
      ," Politická ekonomie, University of Economics, Prague, vol. 2015(1), pages 57-73.
    18. Jorge Ponce, 2015. "Fundamentals for the Price of Housing in Uruguay," Monetaria, Centro de Estudios Monetarios Latinoamericanos, vol. 0(2), pages 175-201, July-Dece.
    19. Martin Schneider, 2013. "Are Recent Increases of Residential Property Prices in Vienna and Austria Justified by Fundamentals?," Monetary Policy & the Economy, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank), issue 4, pages 29-46.
    20. Michel Bordo & John Lando-Lane, 2013. "Does Expansionary Monetary Policy Cause Asset Price Booms? Some Historical and Empirical Evidence," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 710, Central Bank of Chile.
    21. Peter Stalder, 2015. "Starker Franken und tiefe Zinsen: Wohin steuert der schweizerische Immobilienmarkt?," KOF Analysen, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich, vol. 9(4), pages 45-66, December.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    House Prices; Bubbles; Interest Rates; Taylor Rule;

    JEL classification:

    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
    • R21 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Housing Demand

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