London calling – again
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%