Monday, December 2, 2013

Housing Bubbles Worldwide : We are witnessing in many countries a slow-motion replay of the last housing-market train wreck

In countries where non-recourse loans allow borrowers to walk away from a mortgage when its value exceeds that of their home, the housing bust may lead to massive defaults and banking crises. In countries (for example, Sweden) where recourse loans allow seizure of household income to enforce payment of mortgage obligations, private consumption may plummet as debt payments (and eventually rising interest rates) crowd out discretionary spending. Either way, the result would be the same: recession and stagnation.

What we are witnessing in many countries looks like a slow-motion replay of the last housing-market train wreck. And, like last time, the bigger the bubbles become, the nastier the collision with reality will be.