Examines recent innovations in the UK mortgage market and links these to the theoretical and empirical literature on the choice of mortgage instrument by households. Low inflation rates and employment insecurity have led to a demand for more flexible payment and amortization scheduling. Estimates a multivariate logit and a probit model to highlight the underlying determinants of amortization rates (mortgage maturity) from 1987 to 1991. Sees affordability criteria and the susceptibility of a household to financial problems as important determinants of extended mortgage maturities while the absence of these problems encourages shorter maturities, consistent with lifecycle behaviour. These choices provide the underpinnings to subsequent mortgage market innovations.
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