Transcripts of the monetary policymaking body of the Federal Reserve from 2002–2008.

I guess I would push back on the premise that we don’t have a pretty significant adjustment in house prices built into our baseline. We have house prices as measured by OFHEO declining 7 percent this year and another 5 percent in 2009, and I wouldn’t anticipate any rebound in 2010. You know, our ability to measure where that would leave house prices relative to some notion of fair valuation is incredibly imprecise. But one regression-based indicator that we follow suggests that it would have house prices relative to rents swinging from a relatively high valuation to a noticeably low valuation. Charles Fleischman illustrated this yesterday in his pre- FOMC briefing. The major factor that provides some reason for optimism is that construction starts are now low enough that builders are making progress in chipping away their inventory of unsold homes. The months’ supply figures remain extraordinarily high because the denominator is very low; but in terms of units of unsold homes, my recollection is that we’ve chipped away about half the run-up in terms of absolute number of units in inventory. We also have starts continuing to come down materially from their current level. So we think that the process will begin to get inventories into a more normal alignment.

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