After a six-year boom in home prices, the housing bubble is finally deflating. Millions of families were able to take advantage of the boom, buying, selling, and then buying new homes again. During the same period, however, homeownership rates actually declined for a significant number of Americans. Recent economic data has also tarnished the legacy of the great American housing boom by revealing that many families are in a very vulnerable situation economically. The equity share of homeowners’ stakes in their own homes decreased as homeowners amassed new debt more rapidly than their homes appreciated. Rising home prices led families to have a greater concentration of wealth tied up in their homes even as they expanded their credit lines to fuel their consumption. A slowdown in the housing market could thus result in less consumption growth and less economic growth. In short, policymakers have a number of issues to address in the coming months and years as we face the fallout from the end of the housing boom.
Join the Center for American Progress and a distinguished group of panelists for a discussion on what the end of the housing bubble means for American families and for the economy. The panelists will discuss if preventing a similar boom is desirable and how that could be accomplished. The panelists will also highlight what policy makers must now undertake in order to address the effects of the end of the housing bubble. Particular attention will be given to what affordability measures are needed. The honorable Sen. Paul Sarbanes (D-MD) will provide opening remarks, followed by presentations from four experts.
Senator Paul Sarbanes (D-MD)
Dean Baker, Co-director, Center for Economic and Policy Research
Kimberly D. Warden, Vice President of Federal Affairs, Center for Responsible Lending
Christian Weller, Senior Economist, Center for American Progress
Mark M. Zandi, Chief Economist and Cofounder, Moody’s Economy.com
Derek Douglas, Associate Director for Economic Policy, Center for American Progress
Opening Remarks by:
Sarah Rosen Wartell, Executive Vice President for Management, Center for American Progress