`` The standard wealth effect does not account for the role of credit availability, which can amplify the effect. When home prices are increasing and credit conditions are easy, households can more easily realize the appreciation in wealth. We saw this phenomenon during the boom when easy credit conditions allowed homeowners to use their homes as "ATMs." The reverse is true as well; if credit conditions are tight while home prices are falling, households are stuck in their home and are forced to accept the decline in wealth. In addition, once home prices start to turn higher in an environment of tight credit, the ability to realize that appreciation is limited. This is the case today. Home equity lines of credit and cash-out refinancing has been minimal, even for those borrowers who are already in positive equity.''

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