Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Americans raiding 401(k) accounts

CBS-3 in Philadelphia reports on a new study that shows increasing numbers of Americans drawing on their 401(k) accounts in order to pay routine bills and expenses.

While there is no direct real estate aspect to this story, I link to it because there is a definite real estate implication for the immediate future.  Increasing raiding of retirement accounts (despite penalties and tax consequences) implies severe lack of liquidity on the part of the individuals doing the raiding.  Unless lending standards are relaxed to reflect pre-2008 requirements, this lack of liquidity will tend to dampen the market for residential real estate.

There are many factors that determine trends for real estate sales and values, but consumer liquidity will definitely affect such trends going forward.

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