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Global housing markets surge, SA declines

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The world’s housing markets continue to surge, and the boom now includes Europe, North America, and some parts of Asia. Of the five strongest housing markets in the Global Property Guide’s survey, three are in Europe – Ireland (+10.81%), Estonia (+8.99%) and Iceland (+6.19%) – while the other two Hong Kong (+16.43%) and the Philippines (+6.61%) are in Asia.

The biggest year-on-year house price declines were in the UAE (-11.72%), Russia (-11.13%), and Ukraine (-10.64%).

During the year to Q2 2015, the survey reports that house prices rose in 24 of the world’s 39 housing markets where housing statistics have been published, using inflation-adjusted figures. The more upbeat nominal figures, more familiar to the public, showed house price rises in 28 countries, and declines in 11 countries.

Europe

Europe’s property markets continue to rise spectacularly. Three of the five strongest housing markets in the global survey are in Europe. Overall, 13 of the 20 European housing markets for which figures are available in Q2 2015 showed rising house prices compared to the previous year.

Apart from Ireland, Estonia and Iceland, other strong European housing markets included Romania, with house prices rising by 4.83% during the year to Q2 2015, Norway (4.26%), UK (4.11%), Germany (3.93%), Switzerland (2.76%) and the Netherlands (2.11%).

European housing markets with minimal house price rises included Portugal, with house prices rising by 1.53% during the year to Q2 2015, Lithuania (1.15%), Slovak Republic (0.92%), and Latvia (0.65%).

Asia

Asia goes two ways – half of Asia is strong. As per the figures cited above, Hong Kong is the top performer in the global house price survey, followed by the Philippines.

The guide reports that Japan’s housing market likewise rose strongly during the year to Q2 2015. In Tokyo, the average price of existing condominiums rose by 6.13% during the year to Q2 2015. This was followed by Thailand (3.72%), and South Korea (2.03%).

Half of Asia continues to lose steam. Prices continue to fall in five of the 10 Asian markets for which figures are available in Q2 2015. Four performed worse than the previous year. Singapore’s housing market continues to struggle (-3.38%), as does Taiwan (-2.16%), Indonesia (-1.74%) and Vietnam (-0.27%).

In China, the guide reports that its house price falls are now decelerating. Shanghai’s second-hand house price index fell only 0.12% during the year to Q2 2015.

North America

North America’s housing markets are strong. The S&P/Case-Shiller seasonally-adjusted national home price index rose by 4.39% during the year to end-Q2 2015, stronger than last year’s rise of 4.15% y-o-y to Q2 2014. Also stronger was the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s seasonally adjusted purchase-only US house price index, which rose by 5.39% y-o-y to Q2 2015, up from a rise of 3.49% during the year to Q2 2014. As a reminder, all figures are inflation-adjusted.

Canada’s house prices rose by 4% in the country’s eleven major cities during the year to Q2 2015.

Rest of the world

Dubai’s house price falls are accelerating; while Israel remains strong. After spectacular house price rises from 2012 to 2014, Dubai’s residential property prices plunged 11.72% during the year to Q2 2015. By contrast, Israel’s housing market remains robust. The nationwide average price of owner-occupied dwellings rose by 5.22% during the year to Q2 2015.

New Zealand’s housing market is mixed, with nationwide median house prices rising by a healthy 5.19% during the year to Q2 2015.

South Africa’s housing market is slowing, with the price index for medium-sized apartments rising by a meagre 0.6% during the year to Q2 2015. House prices actually dropped 1.02% q-o-q in Q2 2015.

Brazil’s house prices continue to fall, amid economic recession and a depreciating currency. In Sao Paulo, house prices dropped 3.52% during the year to Q2 2015.

* The Global Property Guide is a research house and website dedicated to residential property. It covers market trends in 101 countries and is published by UK-based Matthew Montagu-Pollock.

 

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