The European Semester 2017 has started by the publication of a series of reports that contain the analysis of the European Commission of the general situation of the EU and where Member States should pay attention.
In terms of housing policy, in the Alert Mechanism Report, the European Commission at the real house price evolution and state the following (p.18):
“Real house prices increased in the majority of Member States in 2015. The scoreboard indicator shows increases in prices in 22 Member States, with values exceeding the threshold in Denmark, Estonia, Ireland, Luxembourg, Hungary and Sweden. In Croatia, Italy and Latvia, house prices declined from levels that were already estimated to be under-valued, thereby further widening the negative valuation gap. In contrast, moderate decreases in real house prices in Finland, France and Greece contributed to reducing a persistent overvaluation. In a number of other Member States, the increase in real house prices in 2015 added further pressure to already overvalued housing markets. Tensions are particularly visible in Sweden, where the increase in real house prices in 2015 came on top of a substantial overvaluation gap. In addition, the further price increases have been fuelled by rising net credit to households coming on top of already elevated debt levels. Denmark, Luxembourg and the United Kingdom are three other countries where price increases were significant in 2015 and coming on top of overvaluation gaps. In all three cases, this was also fuelled by rising net credit flows to households. These situations will therefore call for careful monitoring of future developments. In Estonia, Ireland, Hungary and Slovakia, prices are recovering from under-valued levels, while elsewhere prices rises are moderate and coming on top of limited overvaluation gaps or contributing to closing an under-valuation gap”.
From a more “social” and general point of view, the Joint Employment Report states (p.70) that
“A number of Member States undertook reforms in the provision of housing, with a view to improve the housing outcomes of disadvantaged people and promote labour mobility”.
Housing Europe supports its members in analysing the European Commission reports and providing inputs for the country reports that will be published in April 2017. For more information on the European Semester, see our guide.
For a critical analysis of the 2017 Annual growth survey and accompanying document, read FEANTSA’s reaction here