The interest-only product has undergone tremendous evolution, from its mass-market glory days in the run-up to the crisis, to its rebirth as a niche product. However, since reaching a low-point in 2016, the interest-only market is starting to show signs of life again as lenders re-enter the market.
Philippe Bracke and Silvana Tenreyro.
When someone bought a house turns out to be an important factor in predicting whether the house will be sold again soon, and at what price. People who bought during a boom aim at achieving higher prices when they sell and, as a consequence, move less often. We explore whether this pattern is due to psychological anchoring (whereby the previous purchase price becomes an important reference point) or to the way the mortgage market works (for example, with homebuyers often using proceeds from house sales for down-payments on new properties).
Philippe Bracke and Alice Pugh.
Economic theory suggests that property prices and rents should move together: rents represent the flow of housing services gained from living in a property, and prices are determined by the discounted value of all future rents.
There are two ways people can make their resources go further when buying a home.
One is to increase the loan-to-value (LTV) ratio and hence increase the amount available to buy a house for a given deposit.
The other is to lengthen the term over which the mortgage is repaid, which increases the size of loan associated with a given level of monthly repayments.
Lizzie Drapper and Hasdeep Sethi.
In 2006, 64 English houses in every 1000 changed hands. Three years and a credit crunch later, this had halved to only 32 transactions per 1000 houses. Since 2009, transactions have recovered, but remain well below their pre-crisis level (Chart 1). Transactions are a key metric of the health of the UK housing market and can be seen as a measure of “liquidity”. The reasons behind low transactions levels may also provide further insight into people’s behaviour and view of housing in the UK. In the work set out below, we conclude that it is unlikely that transactions regain their pre-crisis level any time soon, because of affordability constraints for first-time buyers and fewer discretionary moves by existing owners.
Property derivatives markets could allow first time buyers to hedge the risk of price rises whilst they save for a deposit and help prevent prices moving away from underlying fundamentals. But despite this, property derivatives trading is still at a nascent stage. I attribute this to the lack of an appropriate underlying index, a thin secondary market and investor unfamiliarity. But as Shiller (2008) says, this will change over time: “Starting a new market is like opening a nightclub. Lots of people will want to come if lots of people are there. But, if few people are there, few people want to come. Somehow, nightclubs do get started. So too, do real estate futures markets, but it will take time.”