MATRIX GETTING GRAPHIC Getting Graphic is a semi-sort-of-irregular collection of our favorite BIG real estate-related chart(s).

Source: NYT

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In Floyd Norris’ Off The Charts column, Across the Globe, Hints of More Perils in Housing he comments on the results of International Monetary Fund report: Managing Housing Sector Boom-Bust Cycles and points out its contrarian conclusion.

Norris writes:

the fund also concluded that central banks should pay close attention to home prices and consider raising interest rates when prices are rising rapidly. That conclusion is directly contrary to the established policy of most central banks, including the Federal Reserve, which ignores home prices when they are expanding.

In other words, flatten out, or keep markets relatively flat, or without significant boom and bust periods.

The IMF report concludes:

we conclude that economies with more developed mortgage markets could become more economically stable by pursuing a monetary policy approach that responds to house price movements, particularly when they are unusually rapid or lead prices away from past relationships with fundamentals, in addition to consumer price inflation and the output gap (that is, the difference between potential GDP and actual GDP, or output). But this approach must be followed within a broader risk management framework that recognizes the uncertainty over the factors driving house price dynamics and their impact on the economy.

Of course, it’s really, really (really) easy to say these things in hindsight. Try making such policy when economies are clicking, tax revenues are flooding in and the economy is booming.

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