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經濟學人:新冠當下,房價為何還在漲?(2)

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Fiscal policy, the second factor, may therefore be more important in explaining buoyant prices. In a normal recession, as people lose jobs and their incomes fall, foreclosures drag house prices down—not only by adding to the supply of houses on the market, but also by leaving ex-home-owners with a blemish on their credit history, making it harder for them to borrow again. But this time governments in rich countries have preserved households' incomes. Handouts through wage subsidies, furlough schemes and expanded welfare benefits amount to 5% of GDP. In the second quarter of the year households' disposable incomes in the G7 group of large economies were about $100bn higher than they were before the pandemic, even as jobs disappeared by the millions.

第二大因素是財政政策。財政政策在解釋房價上漲上可能更為重要。在正常的經濟衰退之下,當人們失去工作、收入下降時,喪失抵押品贖回權會拖低房價——這不僅會增加市場上的房屋供應,還會讓前房主的信用記錄上留下污點,使他們更難再次貸款。不過這次,發達國家的政府保護了家庭收入,通過工資補貼、休假計劃和擴大福利發放的補貼達到了GDP的5%。今年第二季度,儘管有數百萬人失去了工作,由大型經濟體組成的七國集團(G7)的家庭可支配收入依然比疫情爆發前高出了約1000億美元,

Other measures directly support the housing market. Spain, for instance, has allowed borrowers to suspend their mortgage repayments. Japan's regulators have asked banks to defer principal repayments on mortgages, and the Netherlands temporarily banned foreclosures. In the second quarter the number of owner-occupied mortgaged properties that were repossessed in Britain was 93% lower than in the same period in 2019, the result of policies that dissuade repossessions. In America foreclosures, as a share of all mortgages, are at their lowest level since 1984.

還有其它一些直接支持房地產市場的措施。例如,西班牙已經允許借款人暫停還貸。日本的監管機構已要求銀行推遲償還抵押貸款的本金。英國第二季度被收回的業主自住抵押房產的數量同比減少了93%,這是勸阻收回房產政策的結果。在美國,喪失抵押品贖回權佔所有抵押貸款的比例處於1984年以來的最低水平。

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The third factor behind the unlikely global housing boom relates to changing consumer preferences. In 2019 households in the median OECD country devoted 19% of spending to housing costs. With a fifth of office workers continuing to work from home, many potential buyers may want to spend more on a nicer place to live. Already there is evidence that people are upgrading their household appliances.

全球房地產意外出現的繁榮背後的第三個因素與消費者偏好的變化有關。2019年,經合組織中位數國家的家庭將19%的支出用於住房成本。隨着五分之一的上班族繼續在家工作,許多潛在的買家可能想要花更多的錢在更好的地方居住。已有證據表明,人們正在升級家用電器。

People also seem to be looking for more space—which, all else being equal, raises house prices. Though the New York and San Francisco housing markets look weak, there is little wider evidence to support the idea that people are fleeing cities for the suburbs, at least in America. Data from Zillow, a housing marketplace, suggest urban and suburban property prices are rising at roughly the same pace; price growth in the truly get-away-from-it-all areas is actually slowing. It seems more likely that people are looking for bigger houses near where they already live. In Britain prices of detached houses are rising at an annual rate of 4%, compared with 0.9% for flats, and the market for homes with gardens is livelier than for those without.

人們似乎也在尋找更多的空間,在其他條件相同的情況下,這就抬高了房價。儘管紐約和舊金山的房地產市場看起來很疲軟,但至少在美國,沒有更廣泛的證據支持人們正從城市遷往郊區這一觀點。房地產市場Zillow的數據顯示,城市和郊區房價的上漲速度大致相同;在那些真正可以擺脱危機的地區,價格增長實際上正在放緩。人們似乎更有可能在他們已經居住的地方附近尋找更大的房子。在英國,獨立住宅的價格正以每年4%的速度上漲,而公寓僅為0.9%,此外,帶花園的住宅市場比不帶花園的住宅市場更為活躍。

Can house prices continue their upward march? Governments are slowly winding down their economic-rescue plans, and no one knows what will happen once support ends. But lower demand for housing may run up against lower supply. High levels of economic uncertainty deter investment: in America housebuilding has fallen by 17% since covid-19 struck. The experience of the last recession suggests that even when the economy recovers, construction lags behind. It may take more than the deepest downturn since the Depression to shake the housing market's foundations.

房價還會持續上漲嗎?各國政府正逐漸縮減經濟救助計劃,沒有人知道一旦救助結束會發生什麼,但住房需求的減少可能會與供給的減少相沖突。經濟的極具不穩定性將推遲投資:美國自新冠爆發以來住房建造已經減少了17%。上一次經濟衰退的經驗表明,經濟即使復甦了,建築行業仍然滯後。要想動搖房地產市場的根基,經濟衰退還得再加把勁兒!

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關鍵字: 經濟學人 房價 新冠

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