Nothing exists in a vacuum. All markets are interconnected to some degree.

Last week, we discussed stocks and housing. Which is the preferable asset? The reality is that the two are not mutually exclusive. It's not an “either/or” scenario. What's more, one can influence the other, and frequently does. Stock market losses can lead to decreased housing demand, or to increased housing demand. Housing can have the same impact on stock prices.

We saw falling home prices lead to falling stock prices in 2008. When housing values plummeted, so did stock prices. Through late 2007 to early 2009, the S&P 500 stock market index lost more than half its value. Interestingly, though, when stock values sank after the bursting of the Internet bubble in 2000, home prices, on average, rose.

Stocks have been on a strong run since early 2009. The S&P 500 has nearly tripled in price. This has no doubt produced a “wealth effect” that has helped the housing recovery. When people feel wealthier – as they do when they see the value of their investments rise – they are more willing to spend. This includes spending on housing.

That said, the stock market is on a six-year bull run. That's long as bull runs are concerned. Therefore, we would not be surprised to see a retreat in stock prices in 2015.

If stock prices retreat, could this lead to falling home prices? Or could it lead to rising home prices?

If stock prices were to retreat, we think the latter scenario – continued rising housing prices – is more likely. We say that because homes are much more reasonably priced today compared to 10 years ago. That said, it will be worthwhile to keep an eye on the stock and housing markets in 2015.

Information provided by Jessica Regan.

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