Housing, rights and traffic lights

A dwelling is a place where you live or reside, as the dictionary says. And, in turn, it is a right of every citizen, how do you collect Article 47 of the Constitution Wet paper? It seems. Especially seeing the evolution of house prices, a staple good that the market often treats like any other commodity. The European Central Bank (ECB) has put the housing real estate market in amber at the traffic light in which it warns of the overvaluation Of the prices: between 5% and 15% more than what should be paid. It’s a warning.

Nobody sees, for now, a bubble imminent, although there are certainly “stressed” areas, because the other two elements that swell it are not given: excess credit and shortage of capital by the financial sector. Neither the volume of credit or its conditions are still to be alarmed, according to experts. Prices pose a problem of access to housing, not a bubble that can burst … at least for now. And “the public powers will promote the necessary conditions and establish the pertinent norms to make this right effective,” according to the Magna Carta.

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The Government, after the agreement between its partners Socialists and United We Can, has opted for new rules on this basic right, but little on promoting homes for those who cannot have them. The public powers are, among other things, to alleviate market failures.

In any case, for the ECB to monitor prices and for the Bank of Spain to prepare instruments to prevent, rather than puncture possible bubbles, is good. As the famous economist said John Kenneth Galbraith, financial memory is “notoriously short”, so you tend to stumble over and over again on the same stone. The 2008 crisis, with a real estate and credit bubble gigantic, it is not far away and it is to be hoped that lessons will be learned. That it was not enough to control the individual behavior of the bank but the collective (macroprudential policy) was one of them. Let’s hope so.


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