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Terms-of-Trade and House Price Fluctuations: A Cross-Country Study

Paul Corrigan

Staff Working Papers from Bank of Canada

Abstract: Terms-of-trade shocks are known to be key drivers of business cycles in open economies. This paper argues that terms-of-trade shocks were also important for house price fluctuations in a panel of developed countries over the 1994–2015 period. In a panel vector error-correction model of house prices, household debt and real tradable prices, terms-of-trade shocks explain between 16 and 41 per cent of the long-run variance in house price growth in a typical country, and from 45 to 85 per cent of the long-run variance of the ratio of house prices to non-housing consumption. Most of the variation in the house price/consumption ratio is associated with changes in real import prices, with idiosyncratic shocks to real export prices playing a minor role. On average, a permanent 1 per cent decline in real import prices raises the ratio of real house prices to non-housing consumption by about 0.9 per cent.

Keywords: Financial stability; Housing; International topics (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C32 E32 E51 F36 F41 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 59 pages
Date: 2017
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-mac, nep-opm and nep-ure
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Handle: RePEc:bca:bocawp:17-1