House prices: 'Wall of money' hits European real estate – DW (English)

For many Europeans, home ownership is a pipe dream due to soaring prices. The pandemic has not helped things. The spotlight is also increasingly fixed on the large financial institutions pumping billions into the market.

A pandemic, an economic crisis of historic proportions and a seemingly endless upwards surge in the price of houses — it seems an unlikely combination.

Yet house prices in the EU increased by 5.5% last year, a rise almost as big in scale as the 6.2% collapse in GDP that the bloc’s pandemic-battered economy suffered.

Prices had been rising fast in Europe in the years before the pandemic but the health crisis has brought its own unique confluence of accelerants. Huge government stimulus packages have helped keep borrowing costs at historic lows while prospective buyers’ private savings have swelled amid stay-at-home orders.

On top of that, the pandemic has prompted both a major cultural shift

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