Discussion Papers no. 651

Self-reinforcing effects between housing prices and credit

Evidence from Norway

The interaction between housing prices and household borrowing in Norway is estimated in a simultaneous setting in the long and the short run. The long run dependence is analyzed within a cointegrated vector autoregression in real housing prices, real disposable household income and real household debt, conditioning on the real after tax interest rate, the number of house transactions and the volume of housing capital. We identify two cointegrating equations which determine equilibrium housing prices and household debt, respectively. The long run equations are embedded in a system of two error-correction equations which is estimated simultaneously. The model yields meaningful short and long term effects when estimated on the sample 1986q2-2008q4 and impulse responses demonstrate that there are self reinforcing feedback effects between the two variables of interest.

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