Both the global and the Swedish economies appear to be slowing down. Low interest rates – which have resulted in high risk-taking and rising asset prices – are expected to remain low for a prolonged period of time. Resilience in the Swedish financial system is satisfactory in general. However, even if the banks’ resilience is satisfactory overall, FI makes the assessment that they need more capital to cover the risks in their lending to commercial real estate firms.
High debt can mean risks for individual households, banks, financial stability and macroeconomic development. The mortgage survey serves as an important basis for the assessment of the risks associated with household debt.
Under FI's stricter amortisation requirement, which went into effect on 1 March 2018, new mortgagors with debt in excess of 450 per cent of gross income must amortise 1 percentage point more of their loan per year in addition to the existing requirement. The objective of the stricter requirement is to strengthen resilience of households by decreasing the number of mortgagors who have high debt in relation to their income.
The economy continues to be strong, both in Sweden and globally, but it is now showing signs of a slow-down. Interest rates have been low for a long period of time, which has led to high risk-taking and rising asset prices. As a result, the risks in the financial system are elevated. The resilience in the Swedish financial system is satisfactory in general but continued high growth in debt fuelled by lending and investments related to residential property and commercial real estate require monitoring.
The Swedish economy continues to be strong, and resilience in the financial system is satisfactory. However, a long period of low interest rates and strong growth has resulted in an elevated risk appetite, high asset prices and high debt globally, among Swedish households and on the commercial real estate market. The high level of indebtedness makes the financial sector more sensitive to shocks, and, if necessary, FI will take additional measures to strengthen the resilience.
This FI Analysis presents an assessment of the Swedish mortgage cap. The analysis indicates that the mortgage cap has changed household behaviour. Households with new mortgages borrow less than what they would have done if FI had not implemented the mortgage cap. They are also buying less expensive homes.
Finansinspektionen (FI) follows the development of household debt on an ongoing basis. The mortgage survey serves as an important source of data for this work. High debt can mean risks for individual households, banks, financial stability and the macroeconomic devel-opment.
The Swedish economy is thriving, but a strong economy combined with low interestrates has resulted in high asset prices and rapidly rising household debt.
Households with high loan-to-income ratios, i.e. large loans in relation to income, are vulnerable. They are sensitive to rising interest rates since their monthly expenses are affected more than households with lower loan-to-income ratios. They are also somewhat more sensitive to a loss of income, for example if they become unemployed.
This FI Analysis shows that the amortisation requirement has helped households with new mortgages change their behavior. New mortgagors are taking smaller mortgages than what they would have done if FI had not implemented the amortisation requirement. These households are also buying less expensive homes.