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经济学人文艺新闻在线试听:瑞士房产 心痛之处是为家(下)

比目鱼 于2017-01-19发布 l 已有人浏览
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2010年,瑞典央行采用了该方案:新抵押贷款将要求至少15%的保证金。
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Caps on how much individuals can borrow, in the form of maximum loan-to-value (LTV) and debt-to-income ratios, are another option.A recent IMF study found that in more than half of countries where this has been tried, credit growth and asset-price inflation fell.In 2010 the Riksbank embraced this policy, requiring a deposit of at least 15% for new mortgages.The authorities have also tried to restrict the use of interest-only mortgages, which are common in Sweden.

If borrowers use these to protect themselves from temporary financial problems while still paying down their debt, they can be helpful.But if they take out interest-only loans simply to borrow more, they exacerbate the bubble.Almost 40% of Swedish mortgages by value are not being paid down at all, and for many of the remainder the pace of repayments is slow.The FI has been trying to push banks and borrowers to agree voluntary repayment plans.

It suggested that those with LTVs above 70% pay down at least 2% a year, and those with LTVs of 50-70% pay 1% a year.But in April a court quashed such efforts, arguing the FI had no authority to promote such plans.In any case, the allure of cheap loans is so great that households in Sweden and beyond will find ways around the restrictions that remain in place.When the Slovakian government put limits on housing loans, banks boosted other forms of lending to bridge the gap.

In Sweden, so-called “blanco-loans”, more expensive unsecured loans, can be used for that purpose.All told, credit is still growing and asset prices climbing, despite regulators' efforts.A better solution might be to eliminate the tax code's various incentives for home ownership.Property taxes were abolished in Sweden in 2008; up to 30% of mortgage interest can be deducted from personal tax bills and a rebate of up to 50% can be claimed on home extensions and repairs.

The Riksbank thinks that abolishing mortgage-interest relief alone could cut aggregate debt as a share of income by more than 50 percentage points over the next 50 years.Reducing the maximum LTV ratio to 80% would only trim debt-to-income ratios by five percentage points; the FI's repayment scheme would cut them by 12.The tax code is in the hands of politicians, as are the planning and rent-control regimes that impede the construction of new homes.An independent commission last year recommended urgent reforms to all three, but has been ignored.

Politicians at least seem to be warming to the idea of cutting mortgage-interest relief, partly because they are looking for money to pay for the influx of refugees.But for the most part, measures to slow the property boom seem politically unpalatable.“People feel rich today thanks to these crazy prices,” says one member of parliament.“Nobody wants to be the one who breaks the spell.”

Politicians and regulators also know that any measure that obliges Swedes to spend more of their income on deposits or mortgage payments would be a drag on consumption, and thus a blow to an already fragile economy.“Ideally, I'd like to have something in my toolkit with which I could influence the housing market and nothing else,” says Henrik Braconier of the FI."But up to now," he adds, "I have not found it.”

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