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The impact of credit for house price overvaluations in the euro area: Evidence from threshold models

Dreger, Christian and Gerdesmeier, Dieter and Roffia, Barbara (2020): The impact of credit for house price overvaluations in the euro area: Evidence from threshold models.

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The critical role of house prices for macroeconomic and financial stability is widely acknowl-edged since the global financial crisis. While house prices showed spectacular increases and even a bubble-like behaviour in the pre-crisis years, their fall thereafter was accompanied by deep recessions in many countries. Loose monetary conditions, such as the easy availability of credit, are often blamed to be fuelling such booms. In this paper, the link between credit and house prices is investigated for the euro area in a nonlinear model framework. This choice is motivated by the idea that the linkages between these two variables can be governed by a regime-switching behaviour. Threshold VAR (TVAR) models are estimated, which comprise real house price and credit developments, business and monetary conditions. Optimal breakpoints are determined via a grid search. The relationship between the variables is not stable. If output growth and interest rate changes serve as thresholds, two regimes can be distinguished. Conversely, if house prices and credit control the regime change, three regimes are more appropriate. Nonlinear impulse responses suggest that credit developments respond to house prices, while the reverse causality is less significant. Thus, the modest recovery of credit at the current edge can only be partially attributed to the recent acceleration of house prices in the euro area.

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