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22 April 2010

Global house price recovery “somewhat shaky”

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by Gill Montia

Global house price recovery

Knight Frank has published its latest Global House Price Index covering the final quarter of 2009.

According to the estate agent, almost half of the locations included saw growth last year; Asia Pacific led the way with prices increasing by 8%, on average.

Hong Kong saw a rise of almost 30% and in Mainland China, the average value of a residential property rose by over 25%, the market “driven upwards by a massive injection of liquidity into the economy by the Chinese government’s fiscal stimulus package”.

According to Knight Frank’s head of residential research, Liam Bailey, the Australian economy also benefited from China’s rapid recovery from the global recession, with house prices increasing by 13.6% in 2009 and particularly strong growth of 5.2% recorded in the final quarter of last year.

In Israel a “continuing desire” to invest in property helped push the typical price of a home up by 21.3%.

Three locations saw price falls of 40% or more (Estonia -40%, Dubai -42% and Latvia -50%) while house prices fell by an average 3.8% worldwide.

In addition: “Ukraine and the Baltic states (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania), as well as Ireland and Dubai, continue to be hit hard by the fall out from the credit crunch and prices corrected sharply last year.”

Prices have shown signs of stabilising in all but Ireland, which saw a further 8.3% slide in the final quarter.

Mr Bailey concludes that the recovery in global housing markets is “somewhat shaky” with “a very clear polarisation” between the locations at the top and bottom of the table.

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