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Evaluating household expenditures and their relationship with house prices at the microeconomic level

Over much of the past 40 years, cycles of house price and consumption growth have been closely synchronised in New Zealand. Three main hypotheses for this co-movement have been proposed in the literature. Firstly, an increase in house prices increase homeowners wealth, which increases their desired level of expenditure. Secondly, rising house prices may also facilitate additional consumption by reducing credit constraints to homeowners. Finally, house prices and consumption have been influenced by common factors, including expectations of future income growth. This paper uses repeated cross sectional analysis of household level data over the 1984 to 2007 period to ascertain which of these hypotheses is more valid for the New Zealand case. A positive correlation between real house prices and real household expenditures is evident for most tenure and age groupings. However, findings from this paper suggest that the house price and consumption relation is predominantly driven by wealth effects.

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File URL: http://www.rbnz.govt.nz/research_and_publications/discussion_papers/2010/dp10_01.pdf
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Paper provided by Reserve Bank of New Zealand in its series Reserve Bank of New Zealand Discussion Paper Series with number DP2010/01.

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Length: 54 p
Date of creation: Jan 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:nzb:nzbdps:2010/01
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  1. Jeffrey M. Wooldridge, 2001. "Econometric Analysis of Cross Section and Panel Data," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262232197, June.
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  8. Mark van Zijll de Jong & Grant M. Scobie, 2006. "Housing: An Analysis of Ownership and Investment Based on the Household Savings Survey," Treasury Working Paper Series 06/07, New Zealand Treasury.
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  10. Muellbauer, John & Murphy, Anthony, 1997. "Booms and Busts in the UK Housing Market," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(445), pages 1701-27, November.
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  12. Pietro Catte & Nathalie Girouard & Robert W.R. Price & Christophe André, 2004. "Housing Markets, Wealth and the Business Cycle," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 394, OECD Publishing.
  13. Grant Scobie & Trinh Le & John Gibson, 2007. "Housing in the Household Portfolio and Implications for Retirement Saving: Some Initial Finding from SOFIE," Treasury Working Paper Series 07/04, New Zealand Treasury.
  14. Vladimir Klyuev & Paul S. Mills, 2006. "Is Housing Wealth An 'ATM'? the Relationship Between Household Wealth, Home Equity withdrawal, and Saving Rates," IMF Working Papers 06/162, International Monetary Fund.
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  17. Emmanuel De Veirman & Ashley Dunstan, 2008. "How do Housing Wealth, Financial Wealth and Consumption Interact? Evidence from New Zealand," Reserve Bank of New Zealand Discussion Paper Series DP2008/05, Reserve Bank of New Zealand.
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