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Household Interest Rate Risk Management

55 Pages Posted: 15 Mar 2006 Last revised: 23 Feb 2009

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: February 1, 2009


I investigate household interest rate risk management by solving a life-cycle asset allocation model that includes mortgage and bond portfolio choice. I find that most investors prefer an adjustable-rate mortgage, and thereby save on the bond risk premium that is contained in fixed-rate mortgage payments. Only older, risk-averse investors hold some fixed-rate mortgage debt. Together with a position in short-term bonds this enables them to hedge against changes in the real interest rate, while the inflation exposure of the debt and bond positions cancel out. Hedging house price changes with bonds only occurs at the end of the life cycle. Early in the life cycle short-sale constraints prevent an effective hedge.

Keywords: portfolio choice, mortgage, housing, term structure of interest rates

JEL Classification: G11, E43

Suggested Citation

Van Hemert, Otto, Household Interest Rate Risk Management (February 1, 2009). AFA 2007 Chicago Meetings Paper; EFA 2006 Zurich Meetings. Available at SSRN: or

Otto Van Hemert (Contact Author)

Man AHL ( email )

Riverbank House
2 Swan Lane
London, EC4R 3AD
United Kingdom

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