By Kate Reinold of the Bank’s Structural Economic Analysis Division.
The amount of housing equity withdrawal (HEW) has swung from being significantly positive before the financial crisis and recession, to negative over the past few years. The net effect of a chain of housing transactions is typically a large equity withdrawal. The fall in the number of housing transactions is therefore likely to have been a key driver of the fall in equity withdrawal since the financial crisis. There is little sign that, at the aggregate level, households are making an active effort to pay down debt more quickly than in the past.