PurposeThis paper aims to contribute to the banking and housing market literature by proposing an alternative measure of rate of return for Islamic banks that is based on the rental rate of the property. This alternative Islamic mortgage pricing mechanism could be adopted by Islamic banks as a replacement for mortgage rates if it is found to be independent from any form of interest rates as required by Islamic law.Design/methodology/approachBy investigating the short run and long run dynamics between rental price index (RPI) and the proposed Islamic Rental Rate (RR-I) and, three selected macroeconomic indicators in the UK via autoregressive distributed lag model, the authors examine the link between RPI, RR-I and the real economy.FindingsThe findings provide evidence that while RPI in the UK is significantly related to three leading macroeconomic variables, namely, gross domestic product (GDP), real effective exchange rate and interest rates measures, while RR-I is only impacted by changes in GDP. More importantly, the authors show that there is no short or long run dynamics between the rental rate and any form of interest rates.Research limitations/implicationsThis paper did not attempt to investigate the impact of the physical attributes of the rental property to formalize the model describing the relationship between RPI and RR-I. Also, other macroeconomic factors like household income growth, risk, house value growth rate and taxation could be included in future models.Practical implicationsAs Rental Rate is not linked to the macroeconomic determinants, it is therefore more stable, resilient and sustainable and, at the same time, making the financing less risky for both parties, as they are less susceptible to economic vulnerabilities.Social implicationsSome calculations incorporating the proposed RR-I can also be extended to the pricing of products based on other contracts such as Tawarruq, Bai Bithaman Ajil or even Murabahah for a fairer and just pricing to both the banks and customers.Originality/valueThe results suggest that Islamic banks should consider incorporating the proposed rental rate (RR-I) when pricing their home financing products, as this will lead to less dependence on interest rates for benchmarking. In addition, using the proposed rental rate (RR-I) reduces the exposure to the subjective evaluation by property valuators and speculative macroeconomic elements.
international Journal of Housing Markets and Analysis – Emerald Publishing
Published: Oct 3, 2016
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