The residential property market in the Eurozone put to the test of monetary normalisation


Because of its significance and its many connections with the real and financial spheres, the residential property sector plays a central role in the economic cycle. The acceleration in property prices in the eurozone, which began in 2014, the year in which the monetary bloc emerged from recession, intensified after the “Great Lockdown” of 2020, peaking at almost 10% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2022. The tightening of monetary policy by the European Central Bank, unprecedented in its scale and speed, seems to have put a halt to this progress, although at this stage there are significant differences between countries. Economies where the property market had withstood the subprime crisis better now appear to be in greater difficulty in the face of tighter credit conditions. This is the case in Germany, which is not benefiting from the same growth drivers as in the past. However, the vulnerabilities and risks associated with monetary normalisation are not the same as during the previous cycle of interest rate hikes (2006-2008). Household debt in the countries formerly known as “peripheral” (Spain, Ireland, Portugal and Greece) has fallen sharply, the weight of the construction sector in their economies has shrunk and lending conditions have been tightened. However, the still high proportion of outstanding loans under variable rates remains a source of fragility.

The original article can be found here

Scroll to Top