No. 751: Mortgages and Monetary Policy
August 13, 2015
Mortgages are prime examples of long-term nominal loans. As a result, under incomplete asset markets, monetary policy can affect household decisions through the cost of new mortgage borrowing and the value of payments on outstanding debt. These channels are distinct from the transmission through real interest rates. A stylized general equilibrium model in corporating these features is developed. Persistent monetary policy shocks, resembling the level factor in the nominal yield curve, have larger real effects than transitory shocks. The transmission is stronger under adjustable-than fixed-rate mortgages. Higher, persistent, inflation benefits homeowners under FRMs but hurts them under ARMs.
J.E.L classification codes: E32, E52, G21, R21
Keywords:Mortgages, Debt servicing costs, Monetary policy, Residential investment