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Within the past eight or nine months, we’ve been thinking (and pushing some numbers) on the potential impact of the downturn in the housing market on local media — print Yellow Pages in particular.

This is a huge topic, of course. One of its many component parts is this: How has the liquidity been spent that was created from home equity loans? We’ve identified dozens of print YP categories we think have been boosted by this liquidity. One of these categories is autos.

The New York Times just published data on this (May 27, 2008, edition). Turns out that almost 12 percent of new car sales nationwide in 2007 were made with home equity loans. (That figure is a whopping 30 percent for new car sales in California!) The implications for the auto industry and auto-related local media spending are not encouraging.

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