Global property prices up 4.7% year on year led by Hong Kong, latest data showsGlobal house prices have increased by a median of 4.7% year on year led by Hong Kong, Turkey, Ireland, Sweden and Australia, a new international report shows.
Overall prices have increased in 21 of the 26 countries tracked by the Economist House Price Index but growth does vary from nation to nation.
The growth is topped by Hong Kong with annual price growth of 20.8%, followed by Turkey with a rise of 18,8%, Ireland up 13.4%, Sweden up 10.3% and Australia up 7.5%.
At the bottom end of the index the country with the biggest annual drop in property prices is Greece with a fall of 5.9%, Singapore down 3.7%, Italy down 3.3%, China down 2.4% and France down 2.3%.
All other countries has seen annual price growth according to the index which measures national affordability by comparing prices to the long run average of their relationship with rents and income.
In Hong Kong prices have now doubled in five years despite seven separate round of cooling measures being introduced but with little effect. The latest, in March this year, reduced the average loan to value ratio for new mortgages from 64% to just 52%. But the index report suggests that in practice it is China’s recent stock market crash is likely to be a bigger dampener on demand as mainland investors put off new purchases.
Meanwhile, China’s own housing market, it is one of only five in the index where prices are falling, but the report points out that prices are falling at a slower rate than before. The government has been trying to boost the market over the past 10 months, cutting interest rates by 1.4% and relaxing rules on down payments. Prices are now rising on a monthly basis in many cities including Beijing and Shanghai.
The report points out that in the United States annual growth of 4.7% shows the real estate market is well into recovery. Some cities are seeing strong growth such as San Francisco with prices up by 10% in the year to July and up by 75% since 2009.
Other countries’ housing markets are already well above fair value and the report reckons that houses are more than 30% overvalued in six markets, including Canada and Australia, with the UK the most supply constrained of this group where demand is outstripping the number of properties coming to the market.
It points out that in the UK although prices have risen by 35% since their trough in January 2009, house building is failing to respond. Just 140,000 homes were completed in the year to March 2014, some 25% below the long term norm.