The decline in house prices creates an incentive to increase the consumption of housing space, but leverage makes it costly for homeowners to sell their homes and buy bigger ones (they must absorb large capital losses). Instead, leveraged households find it advantageous to default and rent housing space. Since renters demand less housing space than homeowners, foreclosures are a negative force affecting house prices. The authors explore the possible effects of the government's foreclosure prevention policy in their model. They find that the policy can temporarily reduce foreclosures and shore up house prices.

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