Did Housing Taxation Contribute to Increase Riskier Borrowing?
Posted: 14 May 2016
Date Written: May 13, 2016
This paper estimates, using a simultaneous equation model, the determinants of mortgage, including as a variable the tax saving due to the treatment of mortgage payments in Spanish income tax. We use an unusually rich data set obtained from a housing market intermediary with franchisers throughout the majority of the Spanish provinces. We observe that the income tax credit increased riskier borrowing during the housing boom years. Increasing by one percentage point the ratio of the present value of the stream of explicit tax savings to the price of the property, the mortgage amount granted increases by 1.6%, whereas it causes a 2% decrease in the term. This in turn, implies that the time discount factor increased in our sample by about 0.7-1.1 percentage points causing individuals to borrow riskier amounts of mortgage for shorter terms. This observation has important policy implications for governments wishing to foster real estate markets growth.
Keywords: Taxation; Housing; Mortgages; Riskier borrowing; Discount factor
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