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EU watchdog sounds alarm bell on housing market in 11 countries

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FRANKFURT (Reuters) – The European Union’s financial stability watchdog sounded an alarm bell on the state of the housing market in eleven countries including the Netherlands, France and Germany on Monday, citing household debt as one area of concern.

The European Systemic Risk Board (ESRB) urged the governments of Belgium, Denmark, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Finland and Sweden to take action to remedy such risk.

The Czech Republic, Germany, France, Iceland and Norway were sent warnings – an earlier stage of intervention.

“In many of the countries receiving warnings and recommendations, vulnerabilities are related to the level of household indebtedness, the growth of mortgage credit and signs of loosening of lending standards,” the ESRB said.

“Some countries also have vulnerabilities related to house price growth or the overvaluation of residential real estate.”

The ESRB monitors compliance with its recommendations via an “act or explain” mechanism.

(Reporting By Francesco Canepa; Editing by Balazs Koranyi)

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