A new report from the International Monetary Fund predicts a sharp drop in property prices across Asia.
The report points out that home prices are “flattening” across the continent coming out of the pandemic boom that the region experienced. With rates rising, risks of “significant corrections in a number of markets” are profound, according to Nikkei.
The report set out “to highlight challenges in Asian housing markets linked to fast price rises especially in the advanced economies since COVID, and more broadly including many EMs in the period leading up to COVID,” per the IMF.
It also aimed “to draw policy lessons on how to manage stability aspects through macroprudential and other policies and how to support affordability through structural policies and targeted government support.”
The report notes concerns about affordability due to the spike in prices during the pandemic. South Korea, for example, saw a rise in inflation-adjusted prices of about 20% in 2021. Places like Japan and Singapore saw prices rise about 10% while Thailand saw price spikes of about 5%.
Now the issue is cooling demand as a result of rising rates. The pandemic bubble combined with the quick whipsaw of spiking rates could create drops “on the order of 5% to 20% in some countries,” Nikkei wrote.
Kenichiro Kashiwase, co-author of the IMF study, said: “Our study basically indicates that in order to alleviate, or address, housing affordability, governments can provide targeted, for example, mortgage insurance or mortgage guarantees.”
Krishna Srinivasan, director of the IMF’s Asia and Pacific department, commented this week: “The current phase looks like another turning point for many countries, with the post-pandemic house price surge now increasingly at risk of reversing in the context of slowing growth and rising interest rates.”
“As we look towards 2023, we see once more that the global environment is fragile, with storm clouds on the horizon. We expect 2023 to be worse than 2022. Inflation is still uncomfortably high and financial conditions are tight, so things are looking pretty not so good.”
You can read the entire IMF policy paper, called “Housing Market Stability and Affordability in Asia-Pacific”, here.