Mixed for­tunes from around the world

Yorkshire Post - Property - - PROPERTY -

PRICES in­creased in al­most half of the lo­ca­tions in the Knight Frank Global House Price In­dex in 2009.

But big losses in places like Latvia, where prop­erty halved in value, dragged the an­nual house price av­er­age down to a fall of -3.8 per cent.

Asia Pa­cific saw the strong­est growth with in­creases of 8 per cent and the top per­former was Hong Kong with prices ris­ing by nearly 30 per cent.

Three coun­tries saw prices fall by more than 40 per cent Es­to­nia – 40 per cent, Dubai 42 per cent and Latvia 50 per cent. The UK saw a 3.4 per cent rise. Liam Bai­ley, head of res­i­den­tial re­search, Knight Frank, says:

“The re­cov­ery in global hous­ing mar­kets is still prov­ing some­what shaky. Al­though a num­ber of lo­ca­tions saw stag­ger­ing growth of up to 28 per cent in 2009, prices were still fall­ing in al­most half of the coun­tries in our in­dex dur­ing the fi­nal three months of the year.

“There re­mains a very clear po­lar­i­sa­tion be­tween the lo­ca­tions at the top and bot­tom of our ta­ble. Five coun­tries posted dou­ble-digit growth last year, but nine ac­tu­ally saw prices fall by over 10 per cent.

“Prices in Hong Kong and Main­land China in­creased by over 25 per cent, driven up­wards by a mas­sive in­jec­tion of liq­uid­ity into the econ­omy by the Chi­nese govern­ment’s fis­cal stim­u­lus pack­age. Prices do ap­pear to be lev­el­ling off though with fi­nal quar­ter in­creases of only 2.9 per cent in Hong Kong.

“The Aus­tralian econ­omy has also ben­e­fited from China’s rapid re­cov­ery from the global re­ces­sion and the coun­try’s house prices in­creased by 13.6 per cent, with par­tic­u­larly strong growth of 5.2 per cent in the fi­nal quar­ter of the year.

“A con­tin­u­ing de­sire by Is­raelis to in­vest in prop­erty rather than eq­ui­ties, other less tan­gi­ble as­set classes and low yield­ing de­posit ac­counts helped push over­all price growth dur­ing 2009 up by 21.3 per cent.

“Ac­cord­ing to the Jewish Chron­i­cle 50 per cent of Is­raeli houses are be­ing pur­chased as sec­ond homes.

“At the other end of the scale, 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. The pos­i­tive news for these lo­ca­tions is that prices do seem to have sta­bilised with most re­port­ing min­i­mal falls or even slight growth in the fi­nal three months of the year.

“In Ire­land, how­ever, im­pact of the credit crunch con­tin­ues to be felt and prices slid a fur­ther 8.3 per cent in the last quar­ter.

“In­ter­est­ingly, a num­ber of

FALL AND RISE: Riga, in Latvia, which has seen big losses, and Hong Kong, which is up nearly 30 per cent.

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