In its latest quarterly review the IMF looks at the consequences that house price “busts” have had for advanced economies such as the UK and the wider implications for global financial markets. According to the IMF such “busts” normally last about four and a half years and see a thirty percent drop in prices. This time round things have been different which points to the impact of the globalisation of financial markets. Looking to the future the IMF says: “It may not be sufficient to ensure that loans made to residents by domestic financial institutions are prudently managed and that the domestic housing market is sound. In future, policymakers may need to be aware of developments in geographically distant financial markets and take action to protect their financial institutions from risks emanating from these markets”. Will this result in an international “gold standard” for mortgage lending? Only time will tell but the fact is that the UK housing market cannot exist inside a bubble.
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