How long can the global housing boom last?

From The Economist:

The IMF’s global house-price index, expressed in real terms, is well above the peak reached before the 2007-09 financial crisis. American housebuilders’ share prices are up by 44% over the past year, compared with 27% for the overall stockmarket. Estate agents from Halifax’s mom-and-pop shops to the supermodel lookalikes on Netflix’s “Selling Sunset”, in Los Angeles, have never had it so good.

Now people are wondering whether the party is about to end. Governments are winding down stimulus. People no longer have so much spare cash to splurge on property, now that foreign holidays are back and restaurants are open. Central banks, worried about surging inflation, are tightening monetary policy, including by raising interest rates. In its latest financial-stability report the IMF warned that “downside risks to house prices appear to be significant”, and that, if these were to materialise, prices in rich countries could fall by up to 14%. In New Zealand, where prices have risen by 24% in the past year, the central bank is blunter. The “level of house prices”, it says, is “unsustainable”.

But is it? (…)

Fundamental forces may once again explain why house prices today are so high—and why they may endure. Three reasons stand out: robust household balance-sheets; people’s greater willingness to spend more on their living arrangements; and the severity of supply constraints.”

Posted by at 8:11 PM

Labels: Global Housing Watch


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