30.11.2022 • 28/2022
Stricter rules for banks can relieve real estate markets
Exuberant price levels in the German real estate market could further exacerbate an economic crisis. Fiscal instruments exert too little influence to contain this danger, shows a study by the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH).
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European Real Estate Prices
IWH Technical Reports,
Real estate markets are pivotal to financial stability given their dual role as the underlying asset of crucial financial products in financial systems, such as mortgage loans and asset-backed securities, and the primary source of household wealth alike. As such, they also play traditionally a crucial role for the transmission of monetary policy. Imbalances and sudden corrections in real estate markets have been the root cause of many financial crises over the last decades. But whereas some national, often survey-based indicators of real estate prices are provided by central banks and statistical offices, a comprehensive collection of purchase prices, rents, and proxies for the liquidity of European real estate markets is lacking. The IWH European Real Estate Index (EREI) seeks to fill this void for residential property. This technical report describes the gathering and processing of sale and rental prices for properties in 18 European countries. We provide the general scrapeing step in the section before describing country-specific details for each country in separated sub-sections.
European Real Estate Markets During the Pandemic: Is COVID-19 also a Case for House Price Concerns?
IWH Policy Notes,
We use a new database on European real estate purchase and rental prices – the IWH European Real Estate Index – to document the relationship between staggered COVID-19 dynamics and real estate prices in 14 EU countries between January 2020 and December 2021. For most countries, we find no statistically significant response of monthly purchase and rental prices due to an increase of regional COVID-19 cases. For the UK we find that more COVID-19 cases depressed both purchase and rental prices significantly, but the economic magnitude of effects was mild during this sample period. In contrast, rents in Italy increased in response to hiking COVID-19 cases, illustrating the importance to consider heterogeneous crisis patterns across the EU when designing policies. Overall, COVID-19 dynamics did not affect real estate values significantly during the pandemic, thereby mitigating potential financial stability concerns via a mortgage lending channel at the time.
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Real Estate Transaction Taxes and Credit Supply
IWH Discussion Papers,
We exploit staggered real estate transaction tax (RETT) hikes across German states to identify the effect of house price changes on mortgage credit supply. Based on approximately 33 million real estate online listings, we construct a quarterly hedonic house price index (HPI) between 2008:q1 and 2017:q4, which we instrument with state-specific RETT changes to isolate the effect on mortgage credit supply by all local German banks. First, a RETT hike by one percentage point reduces HPI by 1.2%. This effect is driven by listings in rural regions. Second, a 1% contraction of HPI induced by an increase in the RETT leads to a 1.4% decline in mortgage lending. This transmission of fiscal policy to mortgage credit supply is effective across almost the entire bank capitalization distribution.
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