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World’s Most Bubbly Housing Markets Flash 2008 Style...

Business Maverick

Business Maverick

World’s Most Bubbly Housing Markets Flash 2008 Style Warnings

The Vancouver House building stands under construction in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, on Monday, April 8, 2019. Government policies to tame the housing market -- from new taxes to stricter mortgage regulations -- have fueled a plunge in sales to the weakest since the global financial crisis. Prices are down 8.5 percent from their peak in June, according to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver. Photographer: Jennifer Gauthier/Bloomberg
By Bloomberg
15 Jun 2021 0

Real estate prices around the world are flashing the kind of bubble warnings that haven’t been seen since the run up to the 2008 financial crisis, according to Bloomberg Economics.

New Zealand, Canada and Sweden rank as the world’s frothiest housing markets, based on the key indicators used in the Bloomberg Economics dashboard. The U.K. and the U.S. are also near the top of the risk rankings.

Where House Prices Rose the Most

“A cocktail of ingredients is sending house prices to unprecedented levels worldwide,” economist Niraj Shah wrote in the report. “Record low interest rates, unparalleled fiscal stimulus, lockdown savings ready to be used as deposits, limited housing stock, and expectations of a robust recovery in the global economy are all contributing.”

Stay-at-home workers in need of more space and tax incentives offered by some governments to home buyers are also stoking demand.

Bloomberg Economics’ dashboard compiles five indicators to estimate a country’s ‘bubble rank,’ with a higher reading indicating greater risk of a correction. Among the indicators, price-to-rent and price-to-income ratios help assess the sustainability of price gains. House price growth measures current momentum.

For many countries in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the price ratios are higher than they were ahead of the 2008 financial crisis, according to the Bloomberg Economics analysis.

Bubble Ranking

Even as risk metrics rise, with interest rates still low, lending standards generally higher than in the past, and macro-prudential policies in place, the trigger for a crash isn’t obvious, according to the analysis. Shah said the period ahead will more likely be characterized by cooling rather then collapsing.

Bloomberg Terminal readers can access the full report here: GLOBAL INSIGHT: Property Bubble Gauges Flash 2008 Level Alert

Unaffordable Homes

Yet the risk is greater when there’s a synchronized boom in house prices — as is the case in the current cycle, according to Shah.

“When borrowing costs do start to rise, real estate markets — and broader measures put in place to safeguard financial stability — will face a critical test,” Shah wrote.

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