Lon­don call­ing – again

Finweek English Edition - - Property Compass -

A WEAKER RAND – cou­pled to fall­ing house prices in many parts of the world – are prompt­ing South African in­vestors to take a new look at op­por­tu­ni­ties off­shore. Cash buy­ers, in par­tic­u­lar, now have the chance to ac­quire prop­erty at what many be­lieve are dis­counted prices in Bri­tain, the United States and many Euro­pean coun­tries.

Lat­est fig­ures from Bri­tish prop­erty group Knight Frank show house prices are now fall­ing in al­most half the 43 mar­kets cov­ered in its global house price in­dex. Knight Frank’s in­dex for sec­ond quar­ter 2008 shows Lithua­nia, Den­mark and New Zealand have joined the group of coun­tries where house prices are fall­ing quickly. The re­port notes hous­ing mar­kets in coun­tries such as Spain, Den­mark, Ire­land and Bri­tain are all be­ing “se­verely chal­lenged” by the global credit squeeze.

Bri­tain’s hous­ing mar­ket has had a par­tic­u­larly sharp re­ver­sal of for­tune this year. Liam Bai­ley, head of res­i­den­tial re­search at Knight Frank, says prices in Bri­tain peaked in late 2007 and have fallen sharply since that point. “Our fore­cast sug­gests we’re now at least half­way through the process of price falls, with around 15% of an es­ti­mated 30%

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