Martin Wolf Calls for SRM-like solution for housing finance

Martin Wolf, Chief Economic Commentator of the Financial Times argues for mortgages structured like the SRM in his September 19, 2014 article “Deeper reform of housing finance is vital for stability“:

Consideration must given to shifting away from inherently inflexible debt contracts to shared-equity contracts.  It is possible to imagine that some finance would be supplied in the form of risk-sharing contracts of the following form: the finance supplied would carry a running yield for investors but their value would be linked to some index of house prices.  This would cushion borrowers during a crash in house prices.  It would also give savers the ability to invest in the housing market other than by actually buying lumpy (and expensive) houses.

For investors, these new instruments could prove to be attractive assets.  More important, the investors would automatically share the risks in the market.  That would make the borrowers less exposed to the risks of extreme leverage and the financial system as a whole more robust.  This is one of the recommendations of House of Debt, an important book by American economists Atif Mian and Amir Sufi.