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

As you know, mortgage rates have been moving up and down but on balance they have flattened out a bit over the past few years, if you compare, say, 2003 to now. So what has been happening over that time period is that affordability is edging down to the lower end of the range in which it has fluctuated for a while. There’s nothing scary about it, but affordability has been moving down. Certainly, we can take this argument a little further. If mortgage rates stay pretty stable and disposable income keeps rising at reasonable rates, affordability is going to start looking worse and worse if we keep getting the house-price gains that we’ve been seeing. That’s not necessarily an argument for overvaluation or undervaluation. But it is an argument for the view that the recent increases in house-price gains are not sustainable. If rates flatten out, affordability will start to deteriorate fairly significantly.

Keyboard shortcuts

j previous speech k next speech