Guyana’s residential real estate prices have been rising, particularly in the capital city Georgetown, following the discovery of oil in 2015. In line with the growing demand for housing, commercial banks’ housing loans have increased, prompting higher household debt. This paper presents two analyses which suggest that housing prices in Georgetown and banks’ lending to the housing sector appear to be in their early stages of growth. However, given the data limitations and caveats that underpin the analyses, the findings could also indicate early signals of possible risks. Further data collection would support surveillance and deeper studies. At the same time, enhancing prudential measures would help safeguard financial and macroeconomic stability. These include strengthening the monitoring of the housing market, bank lending practices and household debt, as well as fortifying the macroprudential framework, including with more effective toolkits for early intervention.
Mr. Helge Berger, Mr. Thomas Dowling, Mr. Sergi Lanau, Mr. Mico Mrkaic, Mr. Pau Rabanal, and Marzie Taheri Sanjani
Potential output—in the sense of the GDP level or path an economy can sustain over the
medium term—is a crucial benchmark for policymakers. However, it is difficult to estimate
when financial “booms and busts” are driving the real economy. This paper uses a simple
multivariate filtering approach to illustrate the role financial variables play in driving
potential or sustainable output. The results suggest that it moves more steadily during
financial “boom and bust” periods than implied by conventional HP filter estimates, which
tend to more closely follow actual GDP. A two-region, multisector New Keynesian DSGE
model with financial frictions sheds light on the economic forces that could be behind the
results obtained from the filter. This has important implications for policymakers.