The global house price crash is being led the most important cities in the world and where they are not falling yet, they soon will be.
The fault lies directly in the lap of central banks as quantitative easing caused an enormous injection of cash into economies, forcing interest rates to fall the their lowest levels in history. This knee-jerk over-reaction effectively halted price corrections that should have fully unfolded but didn’t and put rocket boosters under house price inflation the world over.
With banks and their financial services operations now seen by the public as nothing more than criminal gangs operating with impunity, both legally saved money and laundered cash needed a safe haven. Normal people know nothing about derivatives, day-trading and the like. Property is something most people know something about. Criminals just want to harbour ill gotten gains.
With institutional investors, individuals looking to boost pension incomes, criminals with global reach and an aspirational general public all combined, mountains of cash found their way into property. The international property bubble inflated as the market uncoupled from both the economy and reality.
In Britain, a blinkered Chancellor, unable to see the obvious, supported naive first time buyers in various ways all at the expense of the taxpayer in the hope of winning votes in his 2020 bid. By then the housing market in Britain will have crashed and all his first time buyer voters will be in negative equity for another decade.
It now takes an average skilled worker 14 years to buy a 600q ft one bed apartment in London, the equivalent of renting it for 30 years. What could go wrong?
Sales in London have now dropped by a quarter, prices are already deflating with some commentators blaming new stamp duty/taxation rules imposed for April this year. This is just another reason for the impending decline soon to engulf London and then ripple out to the rest of the country. The average price of a property in Britain is 300 per cent higher today than 20 years ago and that includes the biggest financial crash since the Great Depression.
Hong Kong is experiencing property price falls with most commentators expecting declines of 20 per cent, some at 30 per cent and a few at 40 per cent. The government backed builders to construct rented property to ease the ridiculous prices required to buy an apartment. It took ten years and now rental prices have fallen back just as property investment has taken a nosedive.