【英语财经】IMF:全球高房价危及经济稳定 IMF sounds housing alarm

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2014-6-12 06:48

小艾摘要: The world must act to contain the risk of another devastating housing crash, the International Monetary Fund warned yesterday as it published new data showing house prices are well above their histori ...
IMF sounds housing alarm
The world must act to contain the risk of another devastating housing crash, the International Monetary Fund warned yesterday as it published new data showing house prices are well above their historical average in many countries.

The warning from the IMF shows how an acceleration in global house prices from already high levels has emerged as one of the biggest threats to economic stability, with countries making limited progress in keeping them under control.

Min Zhu, the IMF’s deputy managing director, said the tools for containing housing booms were “still being developed” but that “this should not be an excuse for inaction”.

House prices “remain well above the historical averages for a majority of countries” in relation to incomes and rents, Mr Zhu said in a speech at the Bundesbank last week, which was released yesterday because it clashed with a European Central Bank announcement.

“This is true, for instance, for Australia, Belgium, Canada, Norway and Sweden,” he said.

In the wake of the global recession, central bankers have cut interest rates to record lows, pushing house prices to a level where the IMF regards them as a significant risk to economies as diverse as Hong Kong and Israel.

In Canada, for example, house prices are 33 per cent above their long-run average in relation to incomes and 87 per cent above their long-run average compared with rents. The figures for the UK are 27 per cent relative to incomes and 38 per cent relative to rents.

The IMF’s new global house price index shows a fresh acceleration, with prices up by 3.1 per cent on a year ago. The fastest increase is in emerging markets, with prices up more than 10 per cent on a year ago in the Philippines, 9 per cent in China and 7 per cent in Brazil.

“In some cases house prices are recovering from a sharp correction during the Great Recession,” said Mr Zhu. “In other cases, house prices have continued an upward march with only a bit of moderation during the Great Recession.”

House prices fell most heavily in peripheral European countries, down by 7 per cent on a year ago in Greece, 6.6 per cent in Italy and 5 per cent in Spain.

Mr Zhu said that even though the tools for controlling house prices were new, countries must start using them immediately. He pointed to options including limits on mortgage lending relative to house values and incomes; higher capital requirements for banks making risky loans; and stamp duties to damp foreign demand for investment properties.

“We need to move from ‘benign neglect’ to an ‘all of the above’ approach when it comes to policy choices,” said Mr Zhu, adding that policy makers could combat the shortcomings of different approaches with “the interlocking use of multiple tools”.

In the US, house prices are rising fast but not overvalued, coming in at 13.4 per cent below their long-run average relative to incomes, and 2.6 per cent above their long-run average relative to rents, according to the IMF’s numbers.

The world’s cheapest housing market is Japan, where housing is 41 per cent below its long-run average relative to incomes and 38 per cent relative to rents.

Germany and Estonia also appear cheap, with prices in both more than 10 per cent below their long-run average compared with incomes and rents.

国际货币基金组织(IMF)昨日警告称,世界必须行动起来,遏制又一场毁灭性房价崩盘的风险。IMF发布的新数据显示,目前许多国家的房价远高于其历史平均水平。

IMF的警告显示,全球房价在原有高位上加速上扬,已成为经济稳定的最大威胁之一。许多国家在稳定房价上收效不大。

IMF执行副总裁朱民表示,遏制房价繁荣的工具“仍在开发中”,但“这不应成为不作为的借口”。

朱民上周在德国央行(Bundesbank)发表演讲称,相对于收入和房租,房价“在多数国家仍远高于历史平均水平”。因为在时间上与欧洲央行(ECB)的一项宣布冲突,他的演讲内容在昨日发布。

朱民表示:“举例而言,澳大利亚、比利时、加拿大、挪威和瑞典都是这种情况。”

全球经济衰退爆发后,央行官员们将利率降至历史最低水平,推高了房价。IMF认为,在从香港到以色列的多个经济体,当前房价都对经济构成一个重大风险。

例如在加拿大,房价相对于收入高出长期均值水平33%,相对于房租高出长期均值水平87%。英国的对应数据是,房价相对于收入高出27%,相对于房租高出38%。

IMF的最新全球房价指数显示房价再度加速上扬,同比上涨3.1%。新兴市场房价涨速最高,菲律宾同比上涨逾10%,中国上涨9%,巴西上涨7%。

“在某些地方,房价正从‘大衰退’期间的大幅回调恢复过来,”朱民表示。“在另一些地区,房价维持了上涨态势,仅在‘大衰退’期间略有放缓。”

在欧洲外围国家,房价跌幅最大,希腊同比下跌7%,意大利同比下跌6.6%,西班牙同比下跌5%。

朱民表示,尽管目前用来抑制房价的工具是新的,但各国必须马上运用这些工具。他指出了多个可选工具,比如根据房价和收入对抵押贷款设限;对发放高风险贷款的银行提高资本金要求;以及抑制海外买家对投资型房产需求的印花税措施。

朱民表示,“在政策选择方面,我们必须放弃‘善意忽略’思路,转而‘同时运用上述所有措施’。”他补充道,政策制定者“综合运用多种工具”,有助于克服不同方法的缺陷。

IMF数据显示,虽然美国房价上涨很快,但当前价格并不太高,房价相对于收入低于长期均值水平13.4%,相对于房租高于长期均值水平2.6%。

全球房价最低的市场是日本,房价相对于收入低于长期均值水平41%,相对于房租低于长期均值水平38%。

德国和爱沙尼亚的房价似乎也很便宜,两国的房价相对于收入和房租都低于长期均值水平逾10%。

译者/邢嵬

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