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The Housing Subsidy Scheme and Households' Wealth in Hungary: Urban Legends and Facts

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  • Gabor Vadas

Abstract

As a significant part of national wealth, households' wealth is a central issue in both policy debate and academic literature. Nevertheless, in Hungary little effort has been made so far to conduct a thorough evaluation of households' wealth over the past decade. This study provides a formal evaluation of Hungarian wealth and connects the development of components of wealth to the wider economy. Based on international comparison and econometric techniques, it is confirmed that the recent level of financial wealth among Hungarian households is still relatively low, whilst the level of current housing wealth is not evidently below the equilibrium level. These results provide an explanation as to why the government's housing subsidy scheme has a major effect on house prices rather than housing supply. Moreover, soaring house prices, supported by housing loans, suppressed financial savings. The 'saving disaster', i.e. small or in some periods zero saving rates, experienced in the early 2000s, to a certain extent is the other side of the 'saving miracle' of the early and mid-1990s when households rearranged their wealth portfolio from real assets to financial assets implying decreasing house prices and a higher saving rate.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Taylor and Francis Journals in its journal European Journal of Housing Policy.

Volume (Year): 9 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 1-24

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Handle: RePEc:taf:eurjhp:v:9:y:2009:i:1:p:1-24

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Keywords: Households' wealth; housing subsidy scheme; house price;

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