Housing prices may decline, but Alan Greenspan doesn’t expect “anything resembling a collapsing bubble,” the Federal Reserve chairman told the House Financial Services Committee on Thursday, according to the Washington Times.
“I think we’re running into certain problems in certain localized areas. We do have characteristics of bubbles in certain areas, but not, as best I can judge, nationwide,” Greenspan told the committee, the Times reported.
Greenspan said there are housing-price bubbles in certain areas and that prices may go down. “I do believe it is conceivable we will get some reduction in overall prices, as we’ve had in the past, but that is not a particular problem,” Greenspan said, according to media reports.
Greenspan was responding to U.S. Rep. Scott Garrett (R-N.J.), who told Greenspan he’s buying a house in Washington, D.C., reports said.
“The bubble is about to burst as soon as I buy my home down here,” Garrett reportedly lamented. Washington, D.C., is one of the many areas nationwide where home prices have jumped significantly.
In his testimony, Greenspan said homeowners have accumulated considerable wealth because of the rapid run-up in the value of their homes in recent years, media reports said. He commented that many have been tapping into that wealth through home sales, cash-out refinancings and home-equity loans.
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