Husholdningenes gjeld og formue ved inngangen til finanskrisen
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- NIBR notat 
In 2004, 2006 and 2008 Norwegian Social Research (NOVA) carried out research projects on Norwegian households' use of the credit market. The research was commissioned by GE Money Bank. This report presents the results from the last of the projects done in June 2008. A sample of 3000 Norwegians in the age range 18-64 was selected from the internet panel of TNS Gallup. Norwegian household debts consist mainly of mortgage (residential) debt. Therefore the increase of total household debt mirrors the house price increase. During the last years a steadily increasing portion of the households have taken consumer loans. In 1997, 10 per cent in the age group 20-60 had such loans. In 2006 this portion had increased to 50 per cent. Between 2006 and 2008 this growth levelled out. The great majority who use such credits have borrowed rather small amounts of money. In 2008 the median value of such debt was 30 000 Norwegian kroner, the same as in 2004. Debt correlates both with income and age. This is clearly the case with mortgage debt which increases with increasing income. Consumer debt, however, is not correlated with level of income. Compared to the situation in 2006 we observed lower debt among low income households in 2008. We do not know if this is a result of lower demand for loans caused by raising debt costs or a consequence of more strict credit assessment by the banks. In the same period we have observed a reduction of the debt among middle aged people. If we look at the ratio between debt and the value of housing investment we have observed a trend towards greater economic solidity. In 2004 half of the home owners under 60 had mortgage debt up to 50 per cent of the house value. In 2006 half of the home owners had a mortgage debt up to 40 per cent of the estimated value of their house. In 2008 we did not need to move higher than to 33 per cent to include 50 per cent of home owners under 60. We observed the same positive trend concerning the ratio between household total debt and the value of their total real assets. We could also observe increasing variation. For the loan to value ratio the half with lowest values improved their situation more than the half with the corresponding highest value. Also total household debt and total household wealth are characterized by increased variation. Compared to the situation in 2006, the fourth of the households with lowest wealth reduced their wealth with 65 000 Norwegian kroner, while the fourth with highest wealth increased their wealth with 530 000 Norwegian kroner. Despite the great housing value increase there is not any increase in the number of home owners who intend to deplete their housing equity. Compared to 2006 a few more said they were able to pay an unexpected bill of up to 25 000 Norwegian kroner, but at the same time fewer intended to do so by borrowing with the house as collateral. Irrespective of age and income more people had this amount of money at hand in 2008 than in 2006.Irrespective of age and income more people would choose short-term consumption loans before a loan with security in the house. In 2006 this had only been the case among the youngest households and among the houseÂ¬holds with highest income. In these two years there had also been an increasing acceptance for using this type of credit to meet unforeseen expenses. Even if no more home owners intend to spend their house wealth, there have been more opportunities to carry out such spending. Every fourth home owner under 65 has made use of the opportunity to enter an agreement with their bank on a so called frame loan or a flexi loan. Increased housing equity measured as the difference between housing wealth and loan does not increase the chance of entering into such an agreement. Everything being equal, people with a positive attitude towards spending the housing wealth most often enter into an agreement. Bad liquidity increasesthechanceof having a positive attitude towards such spending, but do not increase the chance of entering into such an agreement. 85 per cent of the households had at least one credit card. Half of them had only one or two cards. Two out of three said they had the necessary knowledge of the credit line of their cards. A credit line on 60 000 Norwegian kroner included half of those who had at least one card and knew about their credit line. It is most common to use the cards either to buy a holiday or to use the cards on holiday. All in all the great majority of the credit card holders use their cards in a reasonable way. A great majority of the card holders reported that they did not have any debt on their cards. Only one per cent said they had used the cards to refinance or consolidate other credit card debt. In the summer 2008 the interest rate peaked. Since we did our first investigation in 2004 the mean interest rate for loans in bank had been doubled. Such an increase may cause troubles both for households who have borrowed without any buffer in case of an interest increase and for houseÂ¬holds who have experienced income reduction after they have borrowed. The majority however had adapted rather well to the interest increase. Only one out of ten households with respondent under 65 answered that the increase had caused a more strained household economy. This was most common among households who had bought their home in 2005 and 2006, before the increase of the interest rate really started. But even in this group only 20 per cent reported a more problematic economy. Home buyers from 2007 and 2008 had managed more successfully to adapt to a situation with high interest rates. From 2004 to 2008 the ratio between debt and income were improved for a great part of the households. Steadily more people have a low debt to income ratio. The tenth with the highest debt to income ratio however are in a worse situation compared with the corresponding group in 2004. Some people have borrowed quite a lot, but many more seem to have adapted to the growth of the interest rate by paying off their debt.Nordmenn låner først og fremst til bolig. Men nordmenn låner også på boligen, ved å benytte boligen som sikkerhet for andre typer lån. Mange banker har i den forbindelse lansert ulike lånetilbud som gjør at realformuen bundet i bolig kan bli likvid. Det har likevel ikke blitt færre som benytter seg av mulighetene til å låne uten slik sikkerhet. Det store flertallet av kundene på dette markedet bruker dette tilbudet på en fornuftig måte. Denne del av lånemarkedet kunne imidlertid bli enda mer effektivt ved opprettelse av et register over usikret gjeld, noe som både kunne føre til mindre tap, lavere rentenivå og forhindre at noen hushold pådro seg gjeld de ikke kan betjene. I rapporten sammenliknes resultatene fra en undersøkelse sommeren 2008 med tidligere undersøkelser i 1997, 2004 og 2006. Oppdragsgiver har vært GE Money Bank.