The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
There is increasing interest in loan-to-value (LTV) and debt-service-to-income (DTI) limits as many countries face a new round of rising house prices. Yet, very little is known on how these regulatory instruments work in practice. This paper contributes to fill this gap by looking closely at their use and effectiveness in six economies-Brazil, Hong Kong SAR, Korea, Malaysia, Poland, and Romania. Insights include: rapid growth in high-LTV loans with long maturities or in the number of borrowers with multiple mortgages can be signs of build up in systemic risk; monitoring nonperforming loans by loan characteristics can help in calibrating changes in the LTV and DTI limits; as leakages are almost inevitable, countries strive to address them at an early stage; and, in most cases, LTVs and DTIs were effective in reducing loan-growth and improving debt-servicing performances of borrowers, but not always in curbing house price growth.