A survey [WSJ]  by Royal Bank of Canada’s RBC Capital Markets unit of 1001 consumers found that most owners think their homes will continue to appreciate and the housing boom has not affected their spending patterns.
The results of this survey seems to indicate that consumer perceptions of their spending habits contradicts the Fed’s pronouncement that the consumer is driving the economy through extracting equity from their homes.
The sample was spread across geography, gender and income brackets, to make it representative of the general U.S. population. The survey’s margin of error was plus or minus 3%.
Only 10% of homeowners polled said they believe that rising real-estate values had affected their spending.
85% of homeowners surveyed said they had experienced real-estate gains in the past three years
70% saw gains of more than 10% in the past three years
50% had extracted funds through home equity loans
60% expect home values to rise at least 5% annualy for the next 3 years.
3% expect home values to fall over the next 3 years.
60% said rising energy costs were causing them to reign in spending.