Koppel: ECB's Actions Will Likely Continue Real Estate Price Rise (2)
The European Central Bank's consideration of quantitative easing measures are meant to aid southern European countries, but will likely raise property prices throughout the Eurozone, says banking strategist Peeter Koppel.
Koppel, who works for SEB, said quantitative easing could be called printing of money, and said based on the history of such steps, the most visible and palpable result is that the rise in property prices will continue.
But no unexpected changes will result in the decisions made last week, he added.
In a historic first for the troubled Eurozone, the head of the ECB, Mario Draghi, and his governing council cut the deposit rate for the region's commercial banks Thursday to -0.1 percent from zero. The central bank also cut its main interest rate to a new record low of 0.15 percent (from 0.25 percent) and announced a 400 billion euro package of cheap funding for banks.
The loans are conditioned on it being used to lend money to companies outside the financial sector, and not for mortgages. The ECB hopes that the negative deposit rate will stimulate lending by banks and hopefully spur economic growth.
"These steps were expected and the nature and extent of the steps were better than expected in fact," Koppel said. "That means most of the things had gone into motion already been made before that," he said, adding that the stock markets had reacted with moderate optimism."
In the first quarter, GDP growth of the Eurozone stumbled to just 0.2 percent, and only avoided contracting due to a strong German economy. According to Statistics Estonia, the Estonian economy contracted by 1.4 percent year-on-year in the first quarter of 2014.