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下一个房地产泡沫会在哪个国家破裂?

2014-08-27    来源:fortune    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

始于美国、最终失控的房地产泡沫导致了发达国家从金融危机以来经历的不景气。目前,英国、加拿大等国又出现了类似的房地产泡沫,引起了经济学家的担忧。

The economic slump that richer countries have suffered during the past seven years can be blamed on a runaway housing bubble that started right here in the U.S.
富裕国家在过去7年经历的经济不景气可以归咎于发端于美国、最终失控的房地产泡沫。

Sure, there were other issues–like poor oversight of the broader financial system–that led to the crash. But without the real estate bubble, there would likely have been no financial crisis.
当然,也存在广大金融体系监管不力等其他问题,这些都导致了这次经济萧条。但若没有房地产泡沫,可能就不会出现金融危机。

Which is why the fact that similar-looking bubbles inflating in countries from Canada to the U.K. have economists worried that there might be other catalysts of future crises laying wait for us in the weeds.
这就是为什么从加拿大到英国等国家类似于房地产泡沫的膨胀引发了经济学家的担忧,因为这些泡沫可能成为日后危机的催化剂。

Last week, IMF economist Min Zhu published an article called “Era of Benign Neglect of House Price Booms is Over,” in which he sounded the alarm over rising global home prices. Zhu explains how he determines whether home prices in a particular country are overpriced:
6月14日当周,国际货币基金组织(IMF)经济学家朱民(音译)发表了一篇题为《不能再继续善意忽视房价高涨现象》(Era of Benign Neglect of House Price Booms is Over)的文章,对不断高涨的全球房价发出了警告。如何判断一个国家的房价是否过高?朱民给出了自己的解释:

“Theory asserts that house prices, rents, and incomes should move in tandem over the long run. If house prices and rents get way out of line, people would switch between buying and renting, eventually bringing the two in alignment. Similarly, in the long run, the price of houses cannot stray too far from people’s ability to afford them––that is, from their income. The ratios of house prices to rents and incomes are thus often used as an initial check on whether house prices are out of line with economic fundamentals.”
“理论上,房价、租金和收入从长期来看都应当同步变动。如果房价和租金脱离基准线,人们将在购房和出租之间转换,最终使得两者保持同步。类似地,从长期来看,房价不可能脱离人们的承受能力(即他们的收入)太远。因此,房价收入比常常作为衡量房价是否偏离经济基本面的初步指标。”

The following charts from the IMF show the results of this analysis, with countries like Canada, Belguim and Sweeden appearing to have large housing bubbles on their hands:
以下来自IMF的图表显示了这样的分析结果,类似加拿大、比利时和瑞典等国家看起来都存在很大的房价泡沫:

Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time that economists have warned of housing bubbles around the world. Price increases in Canada have had officials worried for years, for instance. The problem is, it’s difficult to do anything about a growing asset bubble while it’s in progress. Regulators can work to make sure that credit isn’t too widely available and lending standards are tightened, but sometimes the logic of a bubble can overcome even these measures. The only reliable way to eliminate a bubble is to let it burst, which could lead to terrible consequences for the country’s economies in question.
不幸的是,这并不是经济学家们第一次警告全球范围内的房价泡沫。比方说,加拿大房价上涨已经让当地官员们担忧了好几年。问题是,在资产泡沫积累的过程当中,很难找到办法解决。监管机构可以努力确保信贷不过于宽松,同时收紧借贷标准,但有些时候,泡沫趋势可以压倒这些措施。消除泡沫唯一可靠的方式就是让它破裂,但这个办法可能给那些经济不那么好的国家带来严重的后果。

Perhaps a more interesting question, and one that could help policy makers avoid these real estate bubbles in the future, is why are there so many bubbles growing in this particular asset right now? For that it is useful to turn to the recent debate over economist Thomas Piketty’s best-selling Capital in the 21st Century.
或许,一个更值得探讨、同时也有助于政策制定者避开未来房地产泡沫的问题是,为什么房地产领域目前存在这么多正在发酵的泡沫?或许,我们可以参照一下经济学家托马斯•皮凯蒂的畅销书《21世纪资本论》(Capital in the 21st Century)所引发的争论。

Piketty’s book alleges that growing income inequality is a central feature of capitalist systems, because the returns to capital will almost always be higher then economic growth. The result is that capital becomes ever more valuable, while there is not enough economic growth to make richer those who don’t own capital (like real estate or financial assets). Critics of economist Thomas Piketty’s thesis have argued in recent weeks that his argument is flawed because most of the run up in value of capital in the past 20 years is due to the run up in the value of real estate around the world. If real estate is overvalued, as the analysis above suggests, then Piketty’s claim that the return on capital is growing could be an illusion.
皮凯蒂的这本书宣称,不断扩大的收入不平等是资本主义体系的核心特点,因为资本回报率总是高于经济增长率。结果是,资本变得更加有价值,而较低的经济增速不足以让那些不拥有资本(比如房地产或金融资产)的人变得更加富有。最近几周,皮凯蒂论点的批评人士指出,他的论据有瑕疵,因为过去20年资本价值的增长大部分来自全球范围内的房地产价值增长。如果正如以上分析所指出的那也难怪,房地产被高估,那么,皮凯蒂宣称的资本回报正在增长可能就是假象。

But what if real estate isn’t overvalued? What if there is something happening in the economy that’s causing real estate to become more valuable? A growing body of research is arguing just that: As developed economies become less reliant on agriculture and manufacturing, and more reliant on creative industries that thrive on close collaboration for a generation of valuable ideas, land is becoming once again very important.
但如果房地产没有被高估呢?如果经济发生了一些变化,造成房地产升值呢?越来越多的研究正是这么认为的:随着发达国家经济对农业和制造业的依赖程度降低,对于依托宝贵创意、紧密合作的创新行业的依赖程度上升,土地再一次变得非常重要。

We can see this happening in the U.S., where rents in cities like San Francisco, Washington D.C., New York and other innovative cities are skyrocketing along with salaries. In an environment where the most productive workers are seeing rapidly rising property values, it makes sense that people would want to buy a home rather than rent. After all, what force is going to stop this trend in rising prices?
我们可以,这一幕正在美国上演:旧金山、哥伦比亚特区、纽约和其他创新城市的房租正在随同工资一起高涨。在大多数高产劳动者看到房地产价值上涨的环境中,人们想买房、而不是租房不无道理。那么,什么力量会阻止这个价格上涨的趋势呢?

With this explanation, you have reason to believe that the recent run up in real estate prices in developed countries has both a rational component (the evolution of the economy is making location more important) and an irrational component (people think that nothing will stop this trend). It’s difficult to say which force could be a bigger factor pushing real estate prices higher, but it’s important to realize that just because prices have always behaved a certain way in the past doesn’t mean it will continue that way in the future.
有这样的解释,大家有理由相信,最近发达国家房地产价格上涨既有理性因素(经济发展使得位置变得更为重要),也有非理性因素(人们认为没有什么能阻止本轮上涨行情)。很难说哪一个力量是推高房地产价格的更大因素,但价格过去怎么样并不意味着它未来就会继续这样。

In other words, perhaps what we think is a bubble is really just the real estate market telling us that policy makers need to do more to allow more housing supply to be built where economies are most dynamic.
换句话说,或许我们认为的泡沫实际上就是房地产市场在告诉我们,决策层需要在经济最具活力的地区增加住房供应。(财富中文网)



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