Feb 7, 2023
Blanchflower Says Housing Market Collapse Will Force BOE Pivot
(Bloomberg) -- Danny Blanchflower, a former Bank of England policy maker, said “collapsing” house prices will push the UK central bank into a rapid pivot toward interest rate cuts.
Blanchflower, a professor of economics at Dartmouth College, said the BOE will have to “respond to really bad data” as previous rate increases continue to feed through to the economy.
The economist was known as an arch dove during his time on the BOE’s Monetary Policy Committee between 2006 and 2009, pushing for lower rates more than most others. He said the BOE should have cut interest rates at last week’s meeting when the MPC backed an 10th consecutive increase.
The housing market has slowed sharply since the euphoric highs of the pandemic with monthly prices falling and mortgage approvals slumping.
“We are seeing house prices tumbling,” Blanchflower said in an interview on Bloomberg Radio on Tuesday. “You’re going to start to see really bad stuff appearing as these economies slow fast and the central bank and the markets are then going to respond to that,” he told Bloomberg Radio.
“As I sat at the Bank of England, my job was to think about what inflation was going to be at about 18 months to two years down the road. And you change rates now because it takes time to have an effect.
“What people should see is a collapsing housing market, a slowing economy and the reason is that these interest rate hikes that have been going crazily haven’t actually impacted the economy yet.”
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