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Consumption, house prices and expectations

  • Orazio Attanasio
  • Laura Blow
  • Robert Hamilton
  • Andrew Leicester

Over much of the past 25 years, the cycles of house price and consumption growth have been closely synchronised. Three main hypotheses for this co-movement have been proposed in the literature. First, that an increase in house prices raises households' wealth, particularly for those in a position to trade down the housing ladder, which increases their desired level of expenditure. Second, that house price growth increases the collateral available to homeowners, reducing credit constraints and thereby facilitating higher consumption. And third, that house prices and consumption have tended to be influenced by common factors. This paper finds that the relationship between house prices and consumption is stronger for younger than older households, and that the consumption of homeowners and renters are equally aligned with the house price cycle. This suggests that neither the wealth nor the collateral channels have been the principal cause of the relationship between house prices and consumption - instead, the most important factor is likely to have been common causality.

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File URL: http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/research/Documents/workingpapers/2005/WP271.pdf
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Paper provided by Bank of England in its series Bank of England working papers with number 271.

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Date of creation: Sep 2005
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Handle: RePEc:boe:boeewp:271
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  1. John Y. Campbell & Joao F. Cocco, 2005. "How Do House Prices Affect Consumption? Evidence From Micro Data," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2083, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  2. Browning, Martin & Deaton, Angus & Irish, Margaret, 1985. "A Profitable Approach to Labor Supply and Commodity Demands over the Life-Cycle," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(3), pages 503-43, May.
  3. Ludwig, Alexander & Sløk, Torsten, 2004. "The relationship between stock prices, house prices and consumption in OECD," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 04-12, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim;Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
  4. Karl E. Case & John M. Quigley & Robert J. Shiller, 2001. "Comparing Wealth Effects: The Stock Market versus the Housing Market," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1335, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  5. Alexander Ludwig & Torsten Sløk, 2004. "The relationship between stock prices, house prices and consumption in OECD countries," MEA discussion paper series 04044, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
  6. Todd Sinai & Nicholas S. Souleles, 2005. "Owner-occupied housing as a hedge against rent risk," Working Papers 05-10, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  7. Deaton, Angus, 1985. "Panel data from time series of cross-sections," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1-2), pages 109-126.
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