Consumer Expertise or Credit Risk? An empirical analysis of mortgage pricing
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Loan mortgage interest rates are usually the result of a bank-customer negotiation process. Credit risk, consumer cross-buying potential, bundling, financial market competition and other features affecting the bargaining power of the parties could affect price. We argue that, since mortgage loan is a complex product, consumer expertise could be a relevant factor for mortgage pricing. Using data on mortgage loan prices for a sample of 1055 households for the year 2005 (Bank of Spain Survey of Household Finances, EFF-2005), and including credit risk, costs, potential capacity of the consumer to generate future business and bank competition variables, the regression results indicate that consumer expertise-related metrics are highly significant as predictors of mortgage loan prices. Other factors such as credit risk and consumer cross-buying potential do not have such a significant impact on mortgage prices. Our empirical results are affected by the credit conditions prior to the financial crisis and could shed some light on this issue.