Peas in a Pod? Comparing the U.S. and Danish Mortgage Finance Systems

By Berg, Jesper; Nielsen, Morten Baekmand et al. | Cityscape, January 1, 2019 | Go to article overview

Peas in a Pod? Comparing the U.S. and Danish Mortgage Finance Systems


Berg, Jesper, Nielsen, Morten Baekmand, Vickery, James, Cityscape


Foreign Exchange

Foreign Exchange, a department of Cityscape, reports on what the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's Office for International and Philanthropic Innovation has learned about new departures in housing and development policy in cities and suburbs throughout the world that might have value if applied in U.S. communities. If you have a recent research report or article of fewer than 2,000 words to share in a forthcoming issue of Cityscape, please send a one-paragraph abstract to matthew.l.hennessy@hud.gov.

The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the position of the Danish Financial Supervisory Authority, Nykredit, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, or the Federal Reserve System. To view the authors' disclosure statements, visit https://www.newyorkfed.org/research/ epr/2018/epr_2018_US-danish-mortgage-finance_berg.

The material on pages 215-238 is reprinted from the Economic Policy Review by permission of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, 2018.

Overview

* As it weighs mortgage finance reform, the United States can draw lessons from Denmark, whose system is similar in some key respects to that of the United States but enabled Denmark to better weather the crisis.

* The U.S. and Danish mortgage finance models both rely heavily on capital markets to fund residential mortgages, transferring interest rate and prepayment risk, but not credit risk, to investors. But in Denmark, homeowners can buy back their mortgages or transfer them in a property sale, avoiding the "lock-in" effects present in the U.S. system, and easier refinancing reduces defaults and speeds the transmission of lower interest rates in a downturn. Denmark's tighter underwriting standards and strong creditor protections help limit credit losses, while its higher capital requirements make lenders more stable.

* The Danish example suggests that a stable mortgage finance system is possible with a capitalmarkets-centric funding model, and without requiring a large role for government.

The way mortgages are designed, financed, and regulated varies strikingly across countries.1Although this variation reflects adaptation to international differences in social, economic, and legal conditions, it likely also stems from historical accidents and path dependence. As the United States considers further reform of its mortgage finance system, it is useful to examine what can be learned from the experiences of other countries and whether any international practices could be adapted to improve the institutional design of the U.S. mortgage market.

With that goal in mind, this article compares and contrasts the U.S. system with that of Denmark. The Danish mortgage finance system is a salient reference point because, in several respects, it is the international model most similar to the U.S. system. In particular, Denmark relies very heavily on capital markets for funding residential mortgages, transferring interest rate risk and prepayment risk to fixed-income investors in a way that is similar to U.S. mortgage securitization. Unlike the U.S. system, however, the Danish mortgage finance system remained stable and solvent during the 2007-09 financial crisis and did not require government funding or capital injections, despite experiencing a fall in home prices of similar magnitude to that in the United States during this period.

In the Danish model, mortgages are financed through the issuance of "covered bonds" (bonds collateralized by a cover pool of mortgages or other debt) by a small number of specialized mortgage banks. The system relies on the "balance principle"-the covered bonds match the maturity and cash flows of the underlying pool of mortgages funded by the bond, and payments by mortgage borrowers are passed directly through to covered bond investors. Thus, interest rate risk and prepayment risk are borne by investors rather than by the mortgage bank that issues the covered bond. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Peas in a Pod? Comparing the U.S. and Danish Mortgage Finance Systems
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.