"Housing is probably not viewed as the secure investment it was once thought to be, given uncertainty about future home prices and about the economy more generally. By some estimates, declines in house prices have reduced homeowners' equity by 50 percent in the aggregate since the peak of the housing boom, resulting in more than a $7 trillion loss in household wealth. One of the effects of the declines in housing wealth is to reduce the willingness and ability of households to spend."

- Ben Bernanke, speaking to builders at the IBS show, February 2012

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