Eurozone House Prices Rise at Fastest Pace Since Financial Crisis

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House prices across the eurozone are rising at their fastest since before the global financial crisis, forcing the region’s banks to squeeze the supply of credit to would-be mortgage holders, the Financial Times reported. Eurostat reported on Tuesday that house prices in the 19-member currency area rose 4.5 per cent in the year to the first quarter of 2018 — a level last seen in early 2007. Five countries — Latvia, Slovenia, Ireland, Portugal and Slovakia — saw double-digit price rises. With the European Central Bank almost certain to keep its benchmark interest rate at a record low of zero for at least another year, authorities across the region have had to introduce other measures to tighten control on bank lending. In Ireland, where prices have risen 12.3 per cent over the past year, the central bank at the beginning of 2018 imposed a stricter cap on the size of loans banks can make based on borrowers’ incomes. Read more. (Subscription required.)