A recent poll found that in the coming years, the price in Germany’s overvalued property market looks set to ease. However, affordability will worsen as supply constraints keep values elevated, offsetting a negative impact from tighter monetary policy.
According to the median estimate of 11 property market experts polled by Reuters between November 18 and 29, after soaring to an estimated 10.0% this year prices will rise 6.0% next year, 4.0% in 2023, and 2.0% in 2024.
Nevertheless, over the next two or three years, respondents unanimously said that affordability would worsen. Sebastian Schnejdar at BayernLB stated:
“The continuing price increase, especially in metropolitan areas, will exclude an increasing proportion of the German population from owner-occupied housing.”
Respondents, when asked, cited tax deductions, higher wages, a faster building pace, and reduced legislation, amongst others would help improve affordability. Carsten Brzeski, an anlyst at ING, highlighted:
“To improve affordability, real estate prices would have to come down or wages would have to rise faster than real estate prices. Additionally, a decrease in mortgage interest rates would improve affordability.”
The European Central Bank, just like its peers, cut interest rates to a record low at the height of the coronavirus pandemic. In the meantime, a separate poll said that it was not expected to increase borrowing costs until at least 2024 which will end its emergency asset purchase program.
Official data showed on November 29 that inflation in the Eurozone is well above the Bank’s 2% target and in Germany, Europe’s largest economy, it jumped to 6.0% in November – the highest rate recorded since January 1997, when the EU-harmonized series began.
Earlier this month, ECB board member and German economist Isabel Schnabel said Bank policy cannot ignore a surge in property prices that has led to a potentially dangerous overvaluation.
The median, while responding to a question on the level of house prices on a scale of 1 to 10 from extremely cheap to extremely expensive, responded with an 8. Florian Neumeier from Interhyp said:
“The judgment is two-fold: in metropolitan areas and their suburbs, prices have reached very high levels at 8-9, but rural areas, which continue to regain significance in the eye of remote working, are still more affordable.”
Market watchers polled were split on what would have the biggest impact on the German housing market next year with seven picking supply constraints and seven selecting higher interest rates or tighter monetary policy. Some selected both. Peer Hessemer who works at VON POLL Real Estate said:
“The desire for more properties, the smaller household size, etc. continue to generate more demand. Higher interest rates, inflation, and tighter monetary policy are curbing demand.”