I continue to be amazed that the senior citizens of western nations haven't rioted over minimal to negative interest rates for years - maybe they've just lived with low interest rates for so long they have accepted that governments, politicians, and central banks have been using their retirement savings without paying anything for the rental for years and years.
I fully get that when we are young and buying homes and cars and such, we would all prefer lower interest rates. But the other side of that transaction, is those folks who are loaning the funds to rent as mortgages - which tend to be senior citizens who have dutifully scrimped and saved to prepare for their own retirement, and now find themselves unable to earn any real returns at all, without venturing into riskier markets - eg stock and limited partnerships.
The folks who are enjoying cheap mortgages then find the real estate properties even more expensive, as you point out - partly because buyers must compete with folks getting their funds with lower interest payments built into them.
Folks believed, years ago, with all their hearts, that real estate and home prices always go up.....until the real estate market crash of 2008. That didn't go so well if I recall.
However, in a few years, the young home and real estate buyers will find they miss safe Treasury bonds and notes that pay an historical reasonable rate of return ( say 3-6 %), rather than a pecuniary or mercenary negative interest rate AND a guarantee that their bond holding will take major declines when interest rates finally rise back up sometime.
There will be those who say most folks own neither stocks or bonds - well, then they hold cash and negative rates aren't kind to cash holders either. Governments routinely inflate their currencies - some faster than others, but even in the USA, $1.00 worth of goods in the 1960s nows costs ~$9.00 to purchase in 2021. Now think about how to save for retirement where every dollar you save is only worth about 10 cents when you retire and you cannot earn any interest in a bank account. You think the deck is stacked against you, maybe???
For some readers, the 1960s will seem like ancient history, but it is easily within the life expectancy of any one of us reading this - a mere 60 years.
Outside of a pandemic, anyway....
I have a good friend who used to admonish me ( poking like only really good friends do with each other) for earning a bit more than he did, as a teacher. He is now retired on a pension that pays about $60K USD annually, lifetime, guaranteed by the state of Illinois.
How large a retirement fund would you have to save, to earn $60k at 1% interest rates??
at 1% -> $60,000/.01 = 6 million dollars and my friend abhored me for trying to save for my retirement while his is guarenteed by the legal power of the state of Illinois to extract money, with guns, if necessary.
Oh, at 0.1% interest rates, which I am currently earning in my savings account, he has the equivalent of 60 million dollars.......to receive 60k interest earnings annually. He taught advanced Math and he understood compound interest and low interest rates very well indeed. I have always admired his fierce intelligence. He understood the real value of his state teacher's retirement plan in a low interest rate world many years ago.
That is what low interest rates are doing to our fellow citizens in much of the western world, as governments, and politicians, and citizens, all, rush to buy that which they cannot afford with their present earnings, and thus mortgage all our futures.
Much of the market mania is contributed to by the cheap cost of money.
I hope we never get a margin call on our futures...