Housing Finance Across Countries: New Data and Analysis

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Date Published 2013
Primary Author Anton Badev, Thorsten Beck, Ligia Vado, Simon Walley
Other Authors
Theme Comparing Housing Finance Systems


This paper presents new data on the depth and penetration of mortgage markets across countries. We find a large variation across both dimensions of mortgage market development, both across countries but also – in terms of depth – within countries. Mortgage markets seem to develop only at relatively high levels of GDP per capita. Policies associated with financial system development are also associated with mortgage market development, including price stability and the efficiency of contractual and information frameworks. We find that the development of the insurance sector and the stock market, sources of long-term funding, is strongly associated with mortgage market development, while government subsidies and support are not. A benchmarking exercise compares the actual values of mortgage market development to values predicted by structural country factors and shows a large variation across countries and over time in the gap between predicted and actual values, related to specific policies but also mortgage boom and bust cycles.

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