Thursday, December 25, 2008

Possible Cause of Housing Decline

Could the collapse of mortgage securities, CDOs, and house prices have an efficient market, rational expectation explanation other than over building and subprime mortgage lending?

A December 2008 released Pew Research Center Social & Demographic Trend survey found; "Only 13% of Americans changed residences between 2006 and 2007, the smallest share since the government began tracking this trend in the late 1940s." The survey was conducted during October 2008 and released on December 17, 2008.

A decline in relocation would cause a decline in demand for housing and a decline in consumer purchases related to setting up a new house. It would also cause an increase in the expected life of mortgages due to a decline in mortgage payoffs caused by the sale of an existing mortgaged house. It would also cause a decline in the demand for employment by existing labor to the extent that two wage earning couple are willing not to relocate.

Pew attributes the decline to an older population which is less likely to relocate and to two career couples because it is difficult to coordinate a move when two wage earners are involved.

The Pew news release is available at
and the full Pew report at

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