The Long Road Home
The chill economic wind that came swirling across the Atlantic last year has torn its way across the residential markets of Europe, but as the Continent dusts itself down and assesses the damage wreaked by the subprime mortgage crisis, a very different series of scenarios has emerged.
The overheated markets of the United Kingdom and Spain have slowed, in the case of the latter, dramatically, while hopes of large-scale home ownership adoption in Germany have largely vanished. But in Europe’s centre and east the good times continue to roll.
In Spain, the run-up to the country’s general election in March was consumed by disputes over the ill-health of the economy. Credit Suisse believes that GDP in Spain will fall to 2.4 percent this year, although this remains above the 1.5 percent average E.U. growth forecast for 2008. The credit crunch has done most of the damage in a country where companies are typically highly leveraged. Euribor rates are drifting upward toward 4