IMF starts a property index in cities including Singapore

As reported in Bloombeg, the International Monetary Fund has started publishing analysis of housing markets around the world to help ensure boom-to-bust cycles are identified and avoided before they start another financial crisis.

“While a recovery in the housing market is surely a welcome development, we need to guard against another unsustainable boom,” IMF Deputy Managing Director Zhu Min wrote in a blog post today. The fund’s Global Housing Watch will be updated quarterly.

Global housing prices have risen for seven straight quarters, according to the Washington-based fund’s new global index. Countries where housing remains “still too pricey” include Belgium, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, France and the U.K., according to the fund.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-06-11/imf-starts-global-housing-index-to-analyze-boom-bust-cycles.html

Similarly in local business Times a similar article is given. In a development seen as being of global importance for recording property price movements and preventing asset bubbles and financial crises, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) yesterday announced the launch of an index to monitor prices and how these are moving across countries and relative to incomes and other factors.

“The era of benign neglect of housing booms is over,” IMF deputy managing director Min Zhu said, acknowledging that property prices have not until now been the subject of enough official attention matching their ability to create asset inflation and financial crises.

The classic case of this linkage was during the 2008 global financial crisis, which was preceded by the US sub-prime mortgage crisis, but house price inflation has also contributed to spectacular asset booms in Japan, Hong Kong, the UK and elsewhere. China’s property market is now the centre of attention in this regard.

“To share cross-country information, analysis on housing markets and discussions on the effectiveness of policy response, the IMF has launched a webpage – the Global House Price Watch – that will provide a one-stop shop for our data on housing indicators,” Mr Zhu said in an IMF release yesterday.

http://www.businesstimes.com.sg/premium/top-stories/imf-launches-index-avert-property-bubbles-20140612

The actual link to the IMF index can be found here:

http://www.imf.org/external/research/housing/index.htm

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