Staff Working Paper No. 760
By Vladimir Lazarov and Marc Hinterschweiger
The mortgage market has played a central role in the global financial crisis. One particularly pressing question surrounds the conditions under which mortgage borrowers enter distress, ie get into arrears or default. This paper develops a novel micro dataset from residential mortgage loans which UK banks and building societies have pre-positioned with the Bank of England for use as collateral in exchange for central bank funding. The dataset is used to investigate the determinants of borrower distress as a function of borrower and loan-level stock/flow characteristics over the loans’ lifetime in the buy-to-let (BTL) and owner-occupier (OO) mortgage markets. We find systematic differences between these two markets, controlling for a range of loan and borrower characteristics as well as macro variables. Our main result shows that, adjusting for affordability, the loan-to-value ratio is reliably more important for borrower distress in the OO market than for distress in the BTL market, contradicting McCann’s (2014) results.