The American housing market is frothy with some already seeing signs of a legitimate bubble, and now the International Monetary Fund is raising the alarm about housing markets in developed countries.
“House prices are inching up. But is this a cause for much cheer? Or are we watching the same movie again? Recall how after a decade-long boom, house prices started to fall in 2006, first in the United States and then elsewhere, contributing to the 2008-9 global financial crisis,” warns IMF’s deputy managing director Min Zhu. “In fact, our research indicates that boom-bust patterns in house prices preceded more than two-thirds of the recent 50 systemic banking crises.”
The IMF’s Global Housing Watch studies international housing market information to keep track of boom and bust cycles in dozens of advanced nations.
They assemble country-level data on housing trends in one location, allowing for more transparent cross-country and historical comparisons.