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

Let me be perfectly clear about one thing. We have a couple of different ways in which we try to make an assessment about what is happening to house prices. One of those doesn’t take into account the arbitrage condition, as it were, between house prices and rents; it basically looks at interest rates and cyclical variables. On that basis, the expectation would be that house prices would continue to rise quite rapidly. When one takes into account the gap between house prices and changes in rents, that model would actually have house prices, as Dave indicated, essentially having to flatten out and the gap coming down to zero. So what we have done in the baseline forecast is to take a position about midway between, moving only part of the way toward that flattening-out view of the world. And the point Dave was making is that the flattening-out model could be the right one, so there is a chance that we could see more house-price deceleration than we’ve forecast. We could see the change in house prices actually flattening out for a while or perhaps—though it would be unusual—even turning negative.

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