Marc shares this interesting chart plotted using OCDE data.
Evolution of the ratio between “house prices” vs “house rental prices” from 1991 until two years ago.
Marc Garrigasait explains:
This chart compares house prices in countries in relation to the cost of renting them. If this ratio is huge, like it was in Spain in 2007, then it is indicating that maybe too many people is buying instead of renting. Look at how around the year 2000 this ratio was pretty normal and uniform all over the world.
I notices how from 91 until 96 the lines of Spain and Japan are more or less overlapping all the time but then in Spain we changed government and the tendency changed. In Spain since 97 real state prices are raising and raising without stop, a similar thing happened in Ireland. Rental prices did not grow as fast in these countries. All the world follows a similar pattern, except Japan that is always falling and falling, a consequence of its own bubble from the end of the 80s and beginning of the 90s.
In Japan real state prices are falling since 1991, but the rental prices stay more or less the same (Sometimes even fall but just a little), that is why the ratio houseprice-rentalprice is always falling in Japan as shown in the chart at the beginning of this post. The tendency in Japan in big cities like Tokyo or Osaka is to rent and NOT to buy houses.