The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
This paper analyses the characteristics and functioning of real estate markets. It focuses on the relationship between developments in these markets and the financial sector to determine under what circumstances real estate booms and busts can develop and how they can affect the health and stability of the financial system. It concludes that unbalanced real estate price developments often contribute to financial sector distress and that trends in real estate markets should be monitored closely in the context of financial sector assessments.