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Are house prices driven by a housing shortage?
Buying a house or a tenant-owned property is the biggest investment most households make and in order to be able to buy a place to live, almost all households require a loan. The average debt ratio among households with mortgages is more than twice their annual income before tax. However, there is a great deal of variation, with young households in mortgaged tenant-owned apartments in Stockholm having an average mortgage equivalent to 4 times their annual income. As these loans are agreed using the house and its market value as security, this intensifies the positive effects for households when house prices rise and the negative effects of price falls.