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May/June 2003, 
Vol. 85, No. 3
Posted 2003-05-01

Housing in the Macroeconomy

by William Poole

The author provides an overview of longer-run trends in housing and housing finance. The United States is well housed, and the housing finance system has been working efficiently in recent years. He first discusses some of the history and reports some measures showing how the housing stock has changed over time and how the housing finance system has developed. He notes that the aim of policy should be to sustain and continue this progress. The author also reflects on his longstanding interest in issues of financial stability stemming from his study of monetary economics and financial history. Given the enormous importance of housing and housing finance to the U.S. economy, the author suggest the need to carefully examine the potential for financial instability and consider steps that could reduce the risk.

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