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Journal Article

Understanding house-price dynamics


Abstract: For most homeowners, housing is the single most important component of their nonpension wealth. Therefore, a change in house prices greatly affects the total wealth of many households. Furthermore, movements in house prices can affect people?s lives indirectly. For example, the surge in the number of mortgage defaults and foreclosures during the recent recession was triggered in part by a drop in house prices, and this surge damaged the health of the financial institutions that either directly or indirectly owned mortgage loans. In turn, the deteriorating health of the financial sector was one of the factors contributing to the recession. Naturally, for both policymakers and for people who want to make sound financial decisions, it is important to understand how and why house prices move. In ?Understanding House-Price Dynamics,? Makoto Nakajima explains a simple theory that helps us better understand house-price dynamics. The theory ? called the user cost-rent equivalence ? is based on the close relationship between user costs, which are the costs of owning a house for a year, and rents.

Keywords: Households - Economic aspects;

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Bibliographic Information

Provider: Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia

Part of Series: Business Review

Publication Date: 2011

Issue: Q2

Pages: 20-28