The news on the housing front out of the U.S. continues to be bleak – prices were down 12.7% on average in 20 markets in February 2008 compared to the same time last year, with prices dropping 20% or more in Las Vegas, Miami and Phoenix. In Canada, at least one analyst boldly declared the housing boom “officially over”, not to mention an entire grim book on the subject but the IMF thinks that Canada is in a much better position compared to other major economies. Here’s the housing bust is playing out around the world:
Australia: Home prices have started to fall in many Australian cities (Melbourne and Sydney) and some estimates suggest property prices could fall as much as 25%. With interest rates at 7.25%, many reports indicate that overleveraged homeowners are struggling to pay the mortgage.
Ireland: The Independent newspaper colourfully labelled 2007 as “the year the roof began to fall in” and another later report notes that Irish home prices fell by an average of 7.3% in 2007.
United Kingdom: Reports indicate that the housing bubble has already started to deflate in the U.K. The Times featured anecdotal reports of falling home prices, while The Economist magazine calls for a “hard landing”.
India: After prices tripled over four years, reports indicate that housing prices have fallen as much as 20 to 30 percent.