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A Forward Looking Approach to Calibrate Macroprudential Tools in Switzerland

From the IMF’s latest report on Switzerland:

“Housing matters for economic activity and financial stability in Switzerland. The mortgage market is large relative to the size of the economy and banks are heavily exposed. House prices have significantly outpaced income growth, and this trend has accentuated during the pandemic. The Swiss authorities have taken decisive action to address unsustainable developments, but vulnerabilities have increased. This paper shows that a fuller set of macroprudential tools can be more effective to reduce systemic risk. Adequate calibration and a forward-looking approach are key given lags between policy announcements and policy effects. The paper quantifies a suite of LTV/DSTI caps, amortization requirements, and ‘speed limits’ calibrated at the vintage level to guard against the build-up of vulnerabilities and strengthen resilience.”

From the IMF’s latest report on Switzerland:

“Housing matters for economic activity and financial stability in Switzerland. The mortgage market is large relative to the size of the economy and banks are heavily exposed. House prices have significantly outpaced income growth, and this trend has accentuated during the pandemic. The Swiss authorities have taken decisive action to address unsustainable developments, but vulnerabilities have increased. This paper shows that a fuller set of macroprudential tools can be more effective to reduce systemic risk.

Read the full article…

Posted by at 9:24 AM

Labels: Global Housing Watch

Work From Home and the Office Real Estate Apocalypse

From a new working paper by Arpit Gupta, Vrinda Mittal and Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh:

“We study the impact of remote work on the commercial office sector. We document large shifts in lease revenues, office occupancy, lease renewal rates, lease durations, and market rents as firms shifted to remote work in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. We show that the pandemic has had large effects on both current and expected future cash flows for office buildings. Remote work also changes the risk premium on office real estate. We revalue the stock of New York City commercial office buildings taking into account pandemic-induced cash flow and discount rate effects. We find a 32% decline in office values in 2020 and 28% in the longer-run, the latter representing a $500 billion value destruction. Higher quality office buildings were somewhat buffered against these trends due to a flight to quality, while lower quality office buildings see much more dramatic swings. These valuation changes have repercussions for local public finances and financial sector stability.”

From a new working paper by Arpit Gupta, Vrinda Mittal and Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh:

“We study the impact of remote work on the commercial office sector. We document large shifts in lease revenues, office occupancy, lease renewal rates, lease durations, and market rents as firms shifted to remote work in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. We show that the pandemic has had large effects on both current and expected future cash flows for office buildings.

Read the full article…

Posted by at 9:29 AM

Labels: Global Housing Watch

The Economics of Cities: From Theory to Data

From a new paper by Stephen J. Redding:

“Economic activity is highly unevenly distributed within cities, as reflected in the concentration of economic functions in specific locations, such as finance in the Square Mile in London. The extent to which this concentration reflects natural advantages versus agglomeration forces is central to a range of public policy issues, including the impact of local taxation and transport infrastructure improvements. This paper reviews recent quantitative urban models, which incorporate both differences in natural advantages and agglomeration forces, and can be taken directly to observed data on cities. We show that these models can be used to estimate the strength of agglomeration forces and evaluate the impact of transportation infrastructure improvements on welfare and the spatial distribution of economic activity.”

From a new paper by Stephen J. Redding:

“Economic activity is highly unevenly distributed within cities, as reflected in the concentration of economic functions in specific locations, such as finance in the Square Mile in London. The extent to which this concentration reflects natural advantages versus agglomeration forces is central to a range of public policy issues, including the impact of local taxation and transport infrastructure improvements. This paper reviews recent quantitative urban models,

Read the full article…

Posted by at 6:52 AM

Labels: Global Housing Watch

Housing View – June 17, 2022

On cross-country:

  • Why is it so difficult to tackle the lack of affordable housing? – LSE
  • There’s a desperate need for housing, so why isn’t more being built? – World Economic Forum
  • What has caused the global housing crisis – and how can we fix it? – World Economic Forum
  • The global house price boom may be weakening – Global Property Guide


On the US:    

  • The Economic Effects of Real Estate Investors – IE Business School
  • Adapting to Flood Risk: Evidence from a Panel of Global Cities – NBER
  • What economic policies prevented dire housing outcomes during COVID-19? – Brookings
  • Waiting for Mortgage Rates to Fall? Don’t Hold Your Breath. The days of freakishly cheap loans are probably gone for good, and rates might even go up some more before they fall again. – Bloomberg
  • Landlords Ready War Chests to Buy in Cooling US Housing Market. Rental companies see potential discounts ahead from homebuilders as higher mortgage rates sideline regular buyers. – Bloomberg
  • Investors Bought Record Share of Homes as Mortgage Costs Climbed. Rising rates began to cool the housing market in the first quarter, but investors proved more resistant. – Bloomberg
  • Rapidly Rising Building Materials and Freight Prices Push Construction Costs Higher – NAHB
  • Real-Estate Firms Redfin and Compass Shed Jobs as Housing Market Slows. Companies say demand is slowing as mortgage rates rise – Wall Street Journal and New York Times
  • Housing Market Cooldown Will Only Lead to More Dysfunction. The Fed had to hit the brakes on overheated home sales to control inflation, but it will be even harder now to meet future demand. – Bloomberg
  • The U.S. needs more homes, but builders may be slowing construction – NPR
  • U.S. Home Equity Hits Highest Level on Record—$27.8 Trillion. Soaring home prices have driven up home equity, but rising interest rates are making it more expensive to use – Wall Street Journal
  • Twilight of the NIMBY. Suburban homeowners like Susan Kirsch are often blamed for worsening the nation’s housing crisis. That doesn’t mean she’s giving up her two-decade fight against 20 condos. – New York Times
  • What Drove Home Price Growth and Can it Continue? – Freddie Mac
  • EGC Affiliate Spotlight: Sun Kyong Lee. During a postdoctoral fellowship at EGC, the economist applied machine learning to digitize real estate transaction records and other archival data to shed light on the links between urban infrastructure investments, land use policy, and inequality. – Yale
  • The Great Recession misled millennials: It made them think high home prices will eventually come down – Business Insider
  • Rents climbed, a pain for tenants and policymakers alike. – New York Times
  • Housing Perspectives: Short-Term Benefits of Emergency Rental Assistance Extend Beyond Housing – Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies
  • Warehousing Giants Are Consolidating in a Shifting Real-Estate Market. Industry observers say red-hot industrial property demand is cooling and some developers are reining in their rapid expansion plans – Wall Street Journal
  • Does Affordable Housing Make the Surrounding Neighborhood Less Affordable? A Urban Institute research brief found that affordable housing developments in Alexandria, Virginia, were associated with a small increase in surrounding property values. – Reason 
  • Americans Are Building Vacation-Home Empires With Easy-Money Loans. Selling risky mortgages based on volatile per-night Airbnb income could end badly for communities, borrowers, and investors. – Bloomberg


On other countries:  

  • [Canada] Bank of Canada says inflation to dictate rate moves, not housing prices – Reuters
  • [Canada] Home Prices in Canada Fall Again as Mortgage Pain Intensifies. Benchmark price dips to C$882,900; Ontario markets hit. Ratio of sales to new listings falls to three-year low – Bloomberg
  • [Israel] Israel to boost building starts in bid to rein in soaring housing costs – Reuters
  • [Korea] Young South Korean home buyers test Yoon’s vow to resolve affordability crisis – Reuters
  • [New Zealand] New Zealand’s housing price boom cools as rate rises bite. Country is a test case for how property markets around the world will respond to higher interest rates – FT
  • [New Zealand] New Zealand house prices fall as credit conditions hurt -REINZ – Reuters
  • [Spain] Beset by uncertainties, Spanish borrowers lock in home loan rates – Reuters
  • [United Kingdom] The Church of England wants to help solve the housing crisis. But building things in Britain is never straightforward – The Economist
  • [United Kingdom] The ugly truth behind our rigged housing system – politicians live in fear of owners. The latest help-to-buy scheme will do little but fuel the rising prices that ministers bank on – The Guardian
  • [United Kingdom] Daryl Fairweather On the Tax That Could Solve the Housing Crisis. Time to try a land value tax? – Bloomberg

On cross-country:

  • Why is it so difficult to tackle the lack of affordable housing? – LSE
  • There’s a desperate need for housing, so why isn’t more being built? – World Economic Forum
  • What has caused the global housing crisis – and how can we fix it? – World Economic Forum
  • The global house price boom may be weakening – Global Property Guide

On the US:    

  • The Economic Effects of Real Estate Investors – IE Business School
  • Adapting to Flood Risk: Evidence from a Panel of Global Cities – NBER
  • What economic policies prevented dire housing outcomes during COVID-19?

Read the full article…

Posted by at 5:00 AM

Labels: Global Housing Watch

Housing Market in Denmark

From the IMF’s latest report on Denmark:

“Macrofinancial vulnerabilities remain elevated. Household leverage remains high by international standards and housing prices rose faster than incomes through the pandemic. Furthermore, a sizable share of newly-originated loans were interest-only loans, some with amortizing options that could be exercised by lenders if housing values fall. In addition, homeowners are increasingly taking out variable-rate mortgage loans and repaying fixed-rate loans which naturally increases the interest-rate sensitivity of homeowners. Thus, a domestic or regional house price correction, triggered possibly by a reassessment of fundamentals or a tightening of global financial conditions could reverberate in Denmark, weighing on the real estate market, private consumption, and investment. The impact could be amplified by the high interconnectedness of mortgage credit institutions (MCIs), pension funds, and insurance companies given their dependence on the housing sector. While the net impact is uncertain, high, and persistent inflation could weigh on bank profitability including through lower aggregate demand, or if highly-leveraged households cannot service their debt due to variable-rate mortgages resetting at higher rates.

(…)

They recognize that macrofinancial risks mainly stem from the housing market in combination with high household leverage and an increasing share of risky mortgages.

(…)

Macrofinancial vulnerabilities persist due to high leverage and an increasing share of risky mortgages. Following a prolonged period of low interest rates, high debt, combined with illiquid assets (concentrated in real estate via housing and pension assets), exposes households to price and interest rate shocks that can spill over to aggregate demand. Furthermore, many households have recently opted for interest-only mortgages with options for lenders to request amortization if housing prices fall, which could amplify adverse shocks. Many of these households would face markedly higher debt-servicing costs were they required to amortize their mortgages (DN 2021). A sharp revaluation could harm highly-leveraged households, particularly those who purchased in overvalued urban areas and low-income households. These vulnerabilities are compounded by the large and growing proportion of variable-rate mortgages, which are increasingly used to repay fixed-rate loans, exposing homeowners to higher interest rate risk. Moreover, MCIs and pension and insurance companies are highly interconnected and dependent on the health of the housing sector.

(…)

These developments warrant tightening prudential tools. Macroprudential tools aim to increase macrofinancial resilience and contain excessive risk taking. Staff recommend that new mortgages extended to highly-leveraged households be subject to minimum down-payment requirements or mandatory amortization until a minimum equity share is reached, regardless of maturity and type of interest rate fixation. As valuation-based measures can be less binding when housing prices appreciate rapidly (Chen et. al, 2020), the limits applying to ”highly-leveraged” borrowers should become binding if either DTI or loan-to-value (LTV) limit is breached, instead of the current joint requirement. Based on borrowers’ riskiness, differentiated limits on income-based measures and LTVs for interest-only and floating-rate mortgages should also be considered. In an environment of increasing mortgage rates, the “growth area guidelines” should be extended beyond Copenhagen and Aarhus and debt-service-to-income (DSTI) caps should be considered to protect against liquidity shocks. The proposed risk-based prudential framework should facilitate calibration of these measures, to account for risk differentiation across groups, e.g., first-time home buyers to improve affordability. National legislation should include borrower-based tools (limits on LTVs, DTIs, and DSTIs) in the policy toolkit (FSAP 2020).

To improve affordability, it is important to address features of the tax code and housing supply constraints that create price pressures. Incentives for the adequate supply of housing should be reviewed. Moreover, rent controls in Denmark are pervasive relative to peer countries. Once inflationary pressures abate, these should be relaxed to stimulate the rental market, while protecting the most vulnerable. Mortgage interest deductibility should be reduced as in other advanced economies, as this incentivizes larger housing purchases and higher indebtedness, pushing up prices (Gruber et. al, 2019). Linking property taxes to market valuations should be prioritized.”

From the IMF’s latest report on Denmark:

“Macrofinancial vulnerabilities remain elevated. Household leverage remains high by international standards and housing prices rose faster than incomes through the pandemic. Furthermore, a sizable share of newly-originated loans were interest-only loans, some with amortizing options that could be exercised by lenders if housing values fall. In addition, homeowners are increasingly taking out variable-rate mortgage loans and repaying fixed-rate loans which naturally increases the interest-rate sensitivity of homeowners.

Read the full article…

Posted by at 12:07 PM

Labels: Global Housing Watch

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