UK Only Article:
Europe’s Tea Parties
Global house prices
Monetary policy may call an end to the house-price party
HOUSE prices are now rising in 18 of the 23 countries we track across the globe, compared with just 12 a year ago. America tops our table: the Case-Shiller index released on New Year’s Eve reported price increases of 13.6% in the year to October 2013. Homes have risen in value by 24% since their March 2012 trough, but they remain 20% below their peak in April 2006.
Builders started work on over 1m new homes in America in the year to November, for only the second time since the financial crisis ended. But this is far short of the 2.3m recorded in January 2006, and below the long-run average of 1.5m. In all, American property is enjoying a recovery but not a bubble.
The Federal Reserve’s decision to start tapering its buying of bonds with newly-created money (ie, to scale back the policy commonly known as quantitative easing, or QE) by $10 billion to $75 billion a month from January may take some wind out of …