Economists have forcefully argued for the introduction and use of property derivatives as a hedge against house price risk (e.g. Shiller and Weiss, J. Real Estate Finance Econ., 19(1):21–47, 1999). The rationale for these financial instruments seems clear, as many households are heavily invested in housing and standard financial instruments offer a poor hedge. In practice, however, most of the property derivatives available have been targeted to meet the needs of institutional investors, not those of owner-occupiers. Building on the recent launch of the first Swiss property derivative, we here propose index-linked mortgages tailored to retail consumers. The payments of these mortgages depend on the corresponding housing market performance. We further price the instruments, discuss the stabilization of the homeowner’s net wealth, and quantify the expected decrease in the mortgage default risk achieved by this immunization effect.
The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics – Springer Journals
Published: Aug 15, 2007
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