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Policymakers are worried about the impact of monetary tightening on household debt, which has risen to record levels in major countries due to an increase in home mortgages. (Source photo by AP)

World's red-hot housing markets brace for interest rate hikes

Global household debt hits record $55tn as people ramp up borrowing to buy homes

KAZUYA MANABE, MOMOE BAN and TATSUYA GOTO, Nikkei staff writers | Japan

TOKYO/NEW YORK -- Home prices have surged worldwide due to fiscal stimulus and monetary easing to help counter the economic fallout from rising COVID-19 cases. But the outlook for housing markets is now murky as the U.S. Federal Reserve and other central banks lean toward tightening policies to combat higher inflation.

Policymakers everywhere are watching the impact of tightening as spikes in outstanding mortgage loans drive household debt sharply higher.

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