Miniature House on A Financial Graph

Amid a pandemic that prompted unprecedented fiscal and monetary supports, global housing prices surged in the second quarter, the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) reports.

Real housing prices (defined as nominal prices adjusted for inflation) rose 1.9% year over year in the second quarter, the BIS said. The increase was led by the advanced economies.

On average, residential property prices in advanced economies rose by 3.7%, which was the fastest year-over-year growth rate since the end of 2016, the BIS noted.

Only Australia outpaced Canada among the advanced economies, with prices rising by 7%, compared to 6% for Canada. Prices were also up 5% in Europe and 4% in the U.S.

In emerging markets, prices were up a much more modest 0.6%.

However, the BIS called for caution in interpreting data from the pandemic period.

“Anecdotal evidence suggests that conditions in property markets changed markedly, possibly reflecting the impact of lockdowns and social distancing measures on household spending decisions,” the BIS said. “Yet data are scarce and difficult to compare across countries.”

At the same time, the bank also noted that worldwide housing prices have risen since in the financial crisis.

“Global house prices stood 18% above their average level in real terms, as recorded immediately after the great financial crisis,” the BIS reported, with prices up 22% in advanced economies and 16% in emerging markets.

“Among the G20 economies, prices have soared in India and, although to a lesser extent, in Canada, Germany, the United States and Mexico since 2010,” the BIS said.