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Euro area house prices grew at their fastest rates since mid-2007, according to the June edition of the European Central Bank's Economic Bulletin, with growth hitting 5.8% in the last quarter of 2020 compared with 4.3% at the end of 2019. By contrast, house prices contracted during both the financial crisis of 2008 and the 2010 sovereign debt crisis.
Almost three quarters of the total increase (73%) was seen in Germany, France and the Netherlands, with the rise in residential property prices attributed to a combination of a steep fall in the number of transactions due to lockdown measures, continued loan growth and favourable financing conditions. Forced saving associated with the pandemic may also have contributed to loosened liquidity restraints, the study's authors concluded. A broad-based increase in house prices beyond capital cities was also observed, though it remains to be seen whether this will outlast the effects of the pandemic.