OECD releases updated Housing Snapshot

April 30th, 2010

Courtesy of their data visualization software, Tableau Public, you can view some of the charts like this one…..

which attempts to show a snapshot of the international housing market.

Its focused on major OECD partners so NZ misses out, but there’s no doubt about the amount of toxicity the US market has had to travel through, while at the same time how lightly Germany and Australia got off.

Jérome Cukier, OECD Factblogs editor says;

House prices in many OECD countries rose for more than a decade from the mid-1990s –  an unusually long and steep climb. Previously, booms typically lasted for about six years and house prices rose by about 45%; by contrast, the recent boom went on for twice as long and prices increased by an average of 120%.

Then along came the GFC and the recession “we had to have” and that put a real damper on things.

Interestingly housing prices in the USA had already started to nosedive before all this recession stuff and much earlier than in other OECD countries. According to Jérome, “led by the sub-prime crisis – compare the first quarter of 2006 with 2008. Indeed, that US fall, which undermined the value of products like mortgage-backed securities, helped trigger the financial crisis.”

The post informs us that US housing prices fell overall by about 30% leading up to mid-2009.

Some signals are suggesting that the US could be out of the woods soon, but caution on being a tad too optimistic is suggested in this The New York Times article.

The OECD finishes their article with a word of caution;

“International comparisons of house prices are hard to compile. There may be big variations between countries in how data is collected, and the data may focus on city prices, for instance, or cover only certain types of houses.”