IMF Launches Global Housing Watch

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has launched a Global Housing Watch that tracks developments in housing markets. The aim is to keep track of boom and bust cycles and prompt early action from policymakers to moderate house price booms. Housing is an essential element of the economy, but it has been an element of instability, as demonstrated in the financial crisis for both financial institutions and countries.

Understanding the drivers of house price cycles, and how to moderate them, is seen as being important for economic stability. Therefore the IMF has launched a new initiative in the form of a web page  which will provide information and data concerning housing markets together with a quarterly update on housing developments to be launched in July. 

The page will feature the Global House Price Index, a compilation of average housing prices in different countries. It will also show how affordable housing is relative to income and rents. Other indicators, such as how fast credit is growing, will be added. Whilst there are existing monetary tools it is important to share experience across countries and to look at trends in order to apply policies which may help prevent problems in the sector. 

CEPI welcomes efforts to increase transparency in the housing sector and recognizes the importance of accurate and timely information about the housing markets and house prices. It compiles its own market data and works on initiatives to gather information by way of a housing market survey as to which see