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Low Interest Rates and Housing Bubbles: Still No Smoking Gun

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Abstract

This paper revisits the relationship between interest rates and house prices. Surveying a number of recent studies and bringing to bear some new evidence on the question, this paper argues that in the data, the impact of interest rates on house prices appears to be quite modest. Specifically, the estimated effects are uniformly smaller than those implied by the conventional user cost theory of house prices, and they are too small to explain the previous decade's real estate boom in the U.S. and elsewhere. However in some countries, there does appear to have been a link between the rapid expansion of the monetary base and growth in house prices and housing credit.

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  • Kenneth Kuttner, 2012. "Low Interest Rates and Housing Bubbles: Still No Smoking Gun," Department of Economics Working Papers 2012-01, Department of Economics, Williams College.
  • Handle: RePEc:wil:wileco:2012-01
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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Punzi, Maria Teresa, 2016. "Financial cycles and co-movements between the real economy, finance and asset price dynamics in large-scale crises," FinMaP-Working Papers 61, Collaborative EU Project FinMaP - Financial Distortions and Macroeconomic Performance: Expectations, Constraints and Interaction of Agents.
    3. repec:iae:iaewps:wp2016n2 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Gregory Bauer, 2014. "International House Price Cycles, Monetary Policy and Risk Premiums," Staff Working Papers 14-54, Bank of Canada.
    5. Jordà, Òscar & Schularick, Moritz & Taylor, Alan M., 2015. "Betting the house," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(S1), pages 2-18.
    6. Svensson, Lars E O, 2013. "Some Lessons from Six Years of Practical Inflation Targeting," CEPR Discussion Papers 9756, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    7. Pascal Towbin & Mr. Sebastian Weber, 2015. "Price Expectations and the U.S. Housing Boom," IMF Working Papers 2015/182, International Monetary Fund.
    8. Christophe Blot & Paul Hubert & Fabien Labondance, 2017. "Does monetary policy generate asset price bubbles ?," Documents de Travail de l'OFCE 2017-05, Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE).
    9. Cesa-Bianchi, Ambrogio, 2013. "Housing cycles and macroeconomic fluctuations: A global perspective," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 215-238.
    10. Christophe Blot & Paul Hubert & Fabien Labondance, 2018. "Monetray policy and asset price bubbles," Sciences Po publications 37, Sciences Po.
    11. repec:ecb:ecbops:2010161 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Hideaki Hirata & M. Ayhan Kose & Christopher Otrok & Marco E Terrones, 2013. "Global House Price Fluctuations: Synchronization and Determinants," NBER International Seminar on Macroeconomics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 9(1), pages 119-166.
    13. John C Williams, 2016. "Measuring the effects of monetary policy on house prices and the economy," BIS Papers chapters, in: Bank for International Settlements (ed.), Expanding the boundaries of monetary policy in Asia and the Pacific, volume 88, pages 7-16, Bank for International Settlements.
    14. Dana Orfaig, 2017. "A Structural VAR Model for Estimating the Link between Monetary Policy and Home Prices in Israel," Bank of Israel Working Papers 2017.09, Bank of Israel.
    15. Pascal Paul, 2020. "The Time-Varying Effect of Monetary Policy on Asset Prices," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 102(4), pages 690-704, October.
    16. Paul Corrigan, 2017. "Terms-of-Trade and House Price Fluctuations: A Cross-Country Study," Staff Working Papers 17-1, Bank of Canada.
    17. Łukasz Goczek & Karol Partyka, 2017. "Polityka pieniężna i ceny nieruchomości w krajach OECD w modelu losowych współczynników," Collegium of Economic Analysis Annals, Warsaw School of Economics, Collegium of Economic Analysis, issue 47, pages 101-112.
    18. Bindseil, Ulrich & Domnick, Clemens & Zeuner, Jörg, 2015. "Critique of accommodating central bank policies and the 'expropriation of the saver' - A review," Occasional Paper Series 161, European Central Bank.
    19. G.C. Lim & Sarantis Tsiaplias, 2018. "Interest Rates, Local Housing Markets and House Price Over†reactions," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 94(S1), pages 33-48, June.
    20. Albert, Juan-Francisco & Peñalver, Antonio & Perez-Bernabeu, Alberto, 2020. "The effects of monetary policy on income and wealth inequality in the U.S. Exploring different channels," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 88-106.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • E65 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Studies of Particular Policy Episodes

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