Conference Paper

Housing activity, home values, and consumer spending

Abstract: The current expansion has seen record-high levels of transactions in housing, extraordinary growth in the aggregate value of owner-occupied housing, and large increases in the amount of funds realized from the refinancing of mortgage debt. Many analysts thus have pointed to the strong housing market and rising home prices as a major pillar supporting recent economic growth and have expressed concern that a contraction in housing activity and values could pose a significant risk to consumer spending and real economic growth. This paper explores the channels by which the housing market may affect consumer spending and assesses the potential risk from a softening in the housing market. Our assessment is that a housing slowdown by itself may slow consumer spending and GDP growth some; however, it is probably insufficient to precipitate a downturn without some additional shocks outside of the sector.

Keywords: Housing - Prices; Consumption (Economics);

Status: Published in Conference on Bank Structure and Competition (2006: 42nd) ; Innovations in real estate markets : risk, rewards, and the role of regulation


Bibliographic Information

Provider: Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago

Part of Series: Proceedings

Publication Date: 2006

Number: 1012

Pages: 78-89