At times during the long boom that followed the global financial crisis of 2007-09, it seemed as if house prices would never stop rising. Sales surged as ultra-low interest rates and supply shortages boosted competition for properties. Things are very different today. In countries across the rich world, from America to New Zealand, sales have cratered, as central banks embarked on the sharpest monetary-policy tightening in four decades. In many markets prices are now heading in the wrong direction, too, at least from the perspective of homeowners.
Yet with the bulk of central banks’ rate rises behind them, many in the property industry are starting to wonder if the worst may soon be over. In March both the Federal Reserve and the Bank of England raised rates by a mere quarter of a percentage point. Markets are pricing in at most one more rise from each. The world economy … Read More