The Global Housing Watch tracks developments in housing markets across the world on a quarterly basis. It provides current data on house prices as well as metrics used to assess valuation in housing markets, such as house price‑to‑rent and house-price‑to‑income ratios.
At least until the Great Recession, there was a widespread consensus for policies in support of mortgage markets. Many considered access to housing finance as essential to promoting home ownership, which in turn was seen as beneficial to social stability and, ultimately, economic growth. Then, a tension emerged between increasing access to housing finance and containing the dangers associated with fast-growing mortgage credit. A new IMF paper explores this conflict.
Housing markets across the globe have broadly followed a two-speed pattern: in one group of countries,
housing markets quickly rebounded after modest declines during the Great Recession, while in the other
group, they are still recovering from much sharper declines. Read more...
China's residential real estate sector plays an important role in the economy and has been a key driver of growth. Since 2014 the sector has softened visibly, reflecting overbuilding across many cities. An orderly adjustment of the sector is welcome. The key questions are how severe the adjustment will be and how long it will last. Read more...
Belgium: Selected Issues
This paper analyses the risks of a rapid house price adjustment in Belgium and the potential repercussions for the Belgian economy. The paper argues that current house prices are closer to their equilibrium than simple historical ratios would suggest and that given the moderate overvaluation, a gradual and limited adjustment seems a plausible scenario.
In housing crises, high mortgage debt can feed a vicious circle of falling housing prices and economic slowdown. As a result, more households default on their mortgages and the crisis deepens. A new IMF Working Paper studies the differences in the housing crises and policy responses in Iceland, Ireland, Spain, and the United States. Read more...
Resources on Housing Prices
Other Research at the IMF
Last Updated: June 30, 2015