Consumption and house prices in South Africa.
Twala, December Jacob.
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Many countries such as Australia, Ireland, Netherlands, United Kingdom (UK), Spain, United States of America (USA) and South Africa (SA) among others have experienced an increase in housing prices, since the late 1990s. In SA, the abrupt increase in residential property prices, particularly during the period 1999 to 2007, resulted in an improvement in the level of households’ net wealth position. Empirical investigations, mainly from developed countries, provide evidence indicating that a house price increase has a significant impact on the households’ wealth, and thus house price gains increase housing collateral for homeowners which make it possible for them to take out equity in the form of refinancing or selling of the house to finance consumption. With the above in mind, this study investigates the relationship between aggregate expenditure on consumption by households and residential house prices in South Africa. Following the permanent-income/lifecycle hypothesis (PI-LCH), this study applies the vector error model (VECM) into the 1980:Q1 to 2007:Q4 quarterly data sample. The overall finding of the study indicates there is indeed a long-run positive relationship between housing prices and consumption in South Africa.