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Graffiti made during a protest in May, in Minnesota, calling for an end to housing evictions during the pandemic.

Graffiti made during a protest in May, in Minnesota, calling for an end to housing evictions during the pandemic.

Photographer: Michael Sulik/Universal Images Group/Getty Images

Politics
The Big Take

The Global Housing Market Is Broken, and It’s Dividing Entire Countries

The dream of owning a home is increasingly out of reach. Democratic and authoritarian governments alike are struggling with the consequences.

Soaring property prices are forcing people all over the world to abandon all hope of owning a home. The fallout is shaking governments of all political persuasions.

It’s a phenomenon given wings by the pandemic. And it’s not just buyers — rents are also soaring in many cities. The upshot is the perennial issue of housing costs has become one of acute housing inequality, and an entire generation is at risk of being left behind.