Search Options
Home Media Explainers Research & Publications Statistics Monetary Policy The €uro Payments & Markets Careers
Sort by

Brian E. Higgins

15 February 2024
This paper studies how mortgage borrowers and house prices react to a tightening of mortgage limits following a policy change in Ireland in 2015. The policy introduced limits to the loan-to-income and loan-to-value ratios of new mortgages issued. In response to a tightening borrowing constraint, borrowers can choose to purchase a cheaper house or to reduce the leverage (LTV) of the mortgage. Using a difference-in-difference methodology, I find that groups of (poorer) borrowers, who were more likely to be above the loan-to-income threshold before the policy, responded primarily by buying cheaper houses after the policy change. On the other hand, groups of (richer) borrowers, who were more likely to be above the loan-to-value threshold, responded primarily by reducing the LTV of the mortgage. Borrowers who purchase cheaper houses could be buying smaller houses or the same size houses at a lower equilibrium price. To test for changes in equilibrium prices, I compare prices across postcodes and find that houses prices fell after the policy change in postcodes where a higher fraction of borrowers were above the loan-to-income threshold before the policy.
JEL Code
G21 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Banks, Depository Institutions, Micro Finance Institutions, Mortgages
E21 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Consumption, Saving, Production, Investment, Labor Markets, and Informal Economy→Consumption, Saving, Wealth
E44 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Money and Interest Rates→Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
E58 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Central Banks and Their Policies
R21 : Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics→Household Analysis→Housing Demand
R30 : Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics→Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location→General
ECB Lamfalussy Fellowship Programme