People have suffered from rising rents and purchase prices for years, but the official inflation rate does not fully reflect this. Behind this lies a statistical dilemma – which the ECB now wants to resolve.
By Markus Zydra, Frankfurt
Rising prices for houses and apartments are a burden for many people. Some households have to spend 30-50% of their monthly income on rent or borrowing costs. In many large cities, average workers can no longer afford real estate; society sees this as a growing inequality of life opportunities. However, rising housing costs are not sufficiently reflected in official inflation statistics. The European Central Bank wants to remedy this problem, but it is unlikely that the fundamental problem will change: official measurement and individual perception of price changes are difficult to reconcile, especially for the real estate market. The SZ explains why this is so.