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Credit conditions and the housing price ratio: evidence from Ireland's bubble and crash

Ronan Lyons ()

Economic Papers from Trinity College Dublin, Economics Department

Abstract: The Great Recession starting in 2007 has refocused attention on the importance of understanding housing market dynamics as contributors to macroeconomic fluctuations. While the sale-to-rent ratio of housing prices is generally regarded as a fundamental barometer of housing market health, the study of its determinants remains in its infancy. This paper examines the housing price ratio in Ireland, during an extreme housing market cycle. Using new data on first-time buyer loan-to-value (LTV) ratios, a one-step error correction model of the housing price ratio in Ireland is presented for the first time. Covering the period 2000-2012, it finds clear evidence that, alongside user cost, credit conditions were central in determining equilibrium in the housing market, which saw rapid adjustment in the ratio in response to changes in its determinants. The results imply that an increase in the LTV by 10pp would have associated with a fall in the yield in 2012 from 5.6% to 5.2% in equilibrium. Overall, the results suggest that simplistic models of the housing price ratio, depending solely on user cost, are lacking. The importance of credit conditions is a finding with implications for other markets and for macro-prudential policy.

Keywords: Housing markets; housing bubbles; price-rent ratio; credit conditions; Ireland. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: E32 E44 E51 G12 G21 R21 R31 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-eur, nep-mac and nep-ure
Date: 2017-03
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