Tuesday, August 16, 2011

World's best and Worst Property

Where Prices Are Up or Down

Where Prices Are Up or Down

Real estate markets worldwide are stabilizing and showing signs of tentative recovery, according to a recent report from London-based global property consultancy Knight Frank. Unlike during the first quarter of this year, when many countries continued to suffer double-digit declines in average home prices, the second quarter saw upticks in half of the countries tracked by Knight Frank, compared with the previous three months. (Year-over-year prices are still down across the board.) Among the remaining countries, none saw a decline of greater than 10%.


Quarterly Rank: 1
Quarterly Price Change: 5.3%*

Annual Rank: 11
Annual Price Change: -1.5%**

There has been a sharp slowdown in the number of houses under construction in Norway, with new starts falling to their lowest levels since 2000. Given the country's tight housing supply, prices have been pushed up. Norway posted a strong quarterly gain in the second quarter of 2009, up 5.3% from the second quarter of 2008, marking the country's second successive quarterly increase after a 4.1% hike in the first three months of the year. Real estate taxes have also remained relatively low in this oil-rich country.

* Change in average price, second quarter 2009 vs. first quarter 2009
** Change in average price, second quarter 2009 vs. second quarter 2008


Quarterly Rank: 4
Quarterly Price Change: 3.9%

Annual Rank: 15
Annual Price Change: -2.9%

Finland is among the other Nordic countries holding up relatively well despite the economic recession, as prices didn't increase to the same extent as other areas during the property boom. Housing prices in Finland increased in the second quarter of 2009, up 3.9% from the first quarter.


Quarterly Rank: 3
Quarterly Price Change: 4.0%

Annual Rank: 1
Annual Price Change: 12.5%

Israel remains the best performer worldwide on an annual basis and is the only country to have recorded double-digit growth over the past year despite the onset of the financial crisis. Housing prices were driven up thanks to a steady stream of foreign investment by wealthy individuals, particularly Americans, who have strong ties to the country and remain keen to invest there.


Quarterly Rank: 2
Quarterly Price Change: 4.2%

Annual Rank: 10
Annual Price Change: -1.4%

Home prices have bounced back in Australia since the start of this year thanks to a commodities boom that has fueled strong demand for exports to Asia. But price growth in Sydney's residential market remains relatively lackluster, compared with other state capitals. Over the past year, the country's financial capital has witnessed softening demand in its commercial real estate sector and increased numbers of tenants subleasing space.


Quarterly Rank: 5
Quarterly Price Change: 3.6%

Annual Rank: 13
Annual Price Change: -2.0%

There has been a sharp slowdown in the number of houses under construction, keeping housing supply down and prices up. In Sweden, construction started on 45% fewer houses in the first half of 2009 compared to the same period in 2008. The country's real estate market has been recovering well, as prices didn't skyrocket out of proportion compared to other European countries during the property boom.


Quarterly Rank: 6
Quarterly Price Change: 2.7%

Annual Rank: 24
Annual Price Change: -10.3%

Though the overall office vacancy rate remains high in the Amsterdam market, availability is limited in prime central markets. Vacancy rates in sought-after areas like central Amsterdam and South Axis were below 5% at the end of 2008. The country's small supply pipeline will likely keep vacancy rates in check and prices firmer.


Quarterly Rank: 7
Quarterly Price Change: 2.1%

Annual Rank: 2
Annual Price Change: 6.1%

Switzerland was less harmed by the economic recession than many of its European neighbors. With demand from domestic and international buyers outstripping the country's relatively constrained housing supply, real estate prices mounted.


Quarterly Rank: 8
Quarterly Price Change: 1.9%

Annual Rank: 21
Annual Price Change: -6.2%

Corporate vacancy rates steadily declined throughout Canada for most of the past decade thanks to the country's strong commodity prices and healthy financial sector. Yet last year, Montreal saw vacancy rates rise for the first time in nearly five years. But Canada's housing market finally began to recover in the second quarter of 2009, following two subsequent quarters of price falls.


Quarterly Rank: 9
Quarterly Price Change: 1.8%

Annual Rank: 14
Annual Price Change: -2.4%

China saw weakened real estate demand in 2008 as multinational corporations reduced their operations in the country. But its housing market is looking up these days, after major increases in residential leasing and sales during the second quarter of 2009. What's more, Shanghai's luxury residential market is heating up again. More than 10 luxury residential projects were launched last quarter, and the average price of new luxury homes returned to the pre-crisis level of about $6,163 (42,075 renminbi) per square meter by the end of the second quarter of 2009.


Quarterly Rank: 10
Quarterly Price Change: 1.7%

Annual Rank: 12
Annual Price Change: -1.5%

Unlike neighboring Spain, Portugal's housing market was not clobbered during the economic downturn. And in the commercial property sphere, Portugal saw a record year in 2008 thanks to a number of large public sector transactions. Overall, home prices are down only 1.5% year over year.

New Zealand

Quarterly Rank: 11
Quarterly Price Change: 1.3%

Annual Rank: 9
Annual Price Change: -1.3%

The New Zealand housing market is expected to flatten as Christmas approaches, rather than witness further growth, as credit growth remains weak. Recent house price rises have been attributed to the lack of listings coupled with low interest rates. Yet a reported rise in listings this past September suggests that real estate supply is now improving.


Quarterly Rank: 12
Quarterly Price Change: 1.3%

Annual Rank: 29
Annual Price Change: -15.4%

The U.S. was mired in recession for most of 2008, spelling doom for its housing market. Vacancy rates skyrocketed, with Los Angeles reporting a rate of 10% at the end of last year. But the U.S. is starting to see signs of recovery. Asking prices in several housing markets across the country increased in August, particularly in San Jose and San Diego, which experienced jumps of 1.7% and 1.3%, respectively. What's more, inventory levels declined in 22 of 26 markets, with San Francisco reporting a healthy contraction of 5.1%.


Quarterly Rank: 13
Quarterly Price Change: 1.1%

Annual Rank: 26
Annual Price Change: -11.7%

The British housing market has made an astonishing recovery since the financial crisis kicked in. At yearend, the U.K. will register zero change in housing prices, far better than the 15% dip that analysts predicted at the end of 2008. The government's slashing of interest rates coupled with a low supply of housing have attracted the interest of potential buyers.


Quarterly Rank: 14
Quarterly Price Change: 0.7%

Annual Rank: N/A
Annual Price Change: N/A

It seems as if the worst is past for Poland's residential real estate market. There has been a substantial change in 2009 sales numbers, compared with the last quarter of 2008, where there was absolute stagnation in the housing market. At the end of March, as the weak Polish zloty became more stable, there was an uptick of housing sales in Warsaw. Rentals also saw higher activity as of the second quarter of 2009, particularly in the city of Krakow.


Quarterly Rank: 15
Quarterly Price Change: 0.7%

Annual Rank: 3
Annual Price Change: 2.1%

Indonesia's housing sales increased in the second quarter of this year after relatively quiet activity in the first quarter. Real estate take-up could soon improve when condominium mortgage rates are reduced to a single digit, as the majority of sales transactions in the Indonesian housing market rely heavily on credit.


Quarterly Rank: 16
Quarterly Price Change: -0.1%

Annual Rank: 5
Annual Price Change: 0.8%

Luxembourg's housing market was less badly hurt during the financial crisis than those of its European neighbors. Because so many foreign companies base their corporate headquarters in the country, there is a consistently high demand for housing from well-paid international and domestic workers. Coupled with Luxembourg's tight housing supply, real estate prices only decreased slightly this quarter.


Quarterly Rank: 17
Quarterly Price Change: -0.3%

Annual Rank: 7
Annual Price Change: -1.1%

Office development has continued in Budapest, though a number of projects in the pipeline were delayed as developers struggled for sources of financing. Levels of new housing supply pushed vacancy rates up in the country and also depressed prices.


Quarterly Rank: 18
Quarterly Price Change: -0.3%

Annual Rank: 6
Annual Price Change: 0.2%

Leasing activity in the traditionally stable Brussels market has continued to stay robust. Despite declining demand from the corporate sector, particularly from banks, demand from the public sector has helped sustain office take-up. Overall, Belgium has seen little decline in residential prices over the past year.


Quarterly Rank: 19
Quarterly Price Change: -1.0%

Annual Rank: 8
Annual Price Change: -1.3%

Germany was able to avoid a housing boom and subsequent bust, which many of its European neighbors suffered, thanks to the country's tight mortgage lending restrictions. Germany reported a relatively stable housing market in the past year with little movement in prime rents. Despite Frankfurt's reliance on financial sector renters for demand, there was only a moderate fall in housing prices in the second quarter.


Quarterly Rank: 20
Quarterly Price Change: -1.3%

Annual Rank: 16
Annual Price Change: -3.5%

Prime rents continued to fall during 2009 as demand weakened in the country, particularly in Milan and Rome, the two largest markets for office space. Yet the Milan market is set for a period of considerable change over the next few years. The city's stock of prime office space is likely to be boosted by a number of urban development projects planned in preparation for the Expo 2015 world trade fair.
South Africa

South Africa

Quarterly Rank: 21
Quarterly Price Change: -1.4%

Annual Rank: 19
Annual Price Change: -4.1%

South Africa has seen a major slump in its housing market. The economy is in recession after contracting for three consecutive quarters up to the second quarter of 2009. Residential building activity experienced significant strain in the period from January to July 2009, as both planning and construction phases were under pressure. Last year, South Africa saw its lowest home price growth since 1996. But the government is hoping to spur spending by bringing prime and mortgage interest rates back to their mid-2006 levels of 10.5%


Quarterly Rank: 22
Quarterly Price Change: -1.9%

Annual Rank: 23
Annual Price Change: -8.3%

Rapid economic deterioration coupled with a burst housing bubble greatly affected Spain's property market. Price declines are expected to continue through this year. Prime office rents in Madrid and Barcelona have plummeted, but the worst-hit area is by far the Southern coast of Spain, including the touristy Costa del Sol, where housing supply considerably outstrips demand.


Quarterly Rank: 23
Quarterly Price Change: -1.9%

Annual Rank: 20
Annual Price Change: -6.1%

Croatia is a mature Eastern European housing market. The government has demonstrated great foresight in refusing the overdevelopment of resort properties in the country, keeping the housing supply in check. Thanks to this regulation, there has been no housing boom and bust in Croatia unlike those in other Eastern European countries like Bulgaria. The dip in housing prices was fairly moderate in the second quarter


Quarterly Rank: 24
Quarterly Price Change: -2.3%

Annual Rank: 18
Annual Price Change: -3.9%

Housing prices continue to slide in 2009, falling by as much as 3.9% in the first quarter compared with the last quarter of 2008. One reason is declining demand from international firms, whose demand for office space started tailing off last year in Moscow after years of expansion and rising rents in the Russian capital. Investment activity in the country nearly gound to a halt as investors became increasingly cautious about the region. Office rents fell by 20% to 25% during the last quarter of 2008.


Quarterly Rank: 25
Quarterly Price Change: -2.5%

Annual Rank: 28
Annual Price Change: -14.3%

In Slovenia, repossessed properties have noticeably increased since the onset of the financial crisis. But despite the drop of house prices in the second quarter of 2009, real estate listings in the Eastern European country were low to begin with, so declines haven't been too dramatic.


Quarterly Rank: 26
Quarterly Price Change: -2.8%

Annual Rank: 25
Annual Price Change: -11.4%

Denmark has a more regulated mortgage market than other European countries, so real estate prices didn't rise dramatically during the Continent's housing boom over the past decade. As a result, although house prices are still falling, they are relatively cushioned.


Quarterly Rank: 27
Quarterly Price Change: -3.9%

Annual Rank: 4
Annual Price Change: 1.5%

The largest and most southerly of the Channel Islands, Jersey has long been a tax haven for wealthy Britons and other Europeans, and has boasted a stable housing market with sparse price declines. Yet a steady influx of Brits into the country during recent years gradually pushed up housing prices, and following the credit crunch, prices inevitably dropped in the second quarter of 2009.


Quarterly Rank: 28
Quarterly Price Change: -5.0%

Annual Rank: 27
Annual Price Change: -13.4%

Second-home purchases in Slovakia by Western Europeans have driven up the country's real estate prices during the past few years. But when the economic crisis hit, prices fell dramatically, coupled with increases in defaults and repossessed properties.


Quarterly Rank: 29
Quarterly Price Change: -5.2%

Annual Rank: 31
Annual Price Change: -27.7%

Singapore's private residential market showed encouraging sales activity in the beginning of this year. But home buying interest improved only after effective repricing rendered units affordable. With real estate prices falling, developers remain cautious about releasing luxury private residential units, putting most of these projects on the back burner, including the not-yet-launched Madison Residences.


Quarterly Rank: 30
Quarterly Price Change: -5.6%

Annual Rank: 17
Annual Price Change: -3.7%

Domestic political strife, coupled with the international financial crisis, created a challenging business climate in 2008 for Thailand. Developers postponed multiple projects, including construction on a major shopping center at Rama IX in Bangkok


Quarterly Rank: 31
Quarterly Price Change: -7.5%

Annual Rank: 32
Annual Price Change: -47.3%

Housing prices are still tumbling in Dubai, but the decline has slowed substantially. The second-quarter drop in Dubai was only 7.5%, compared with the painful 41% slide during the previous three months. Though the country's real estate market still remains oversupplied, transaction volumes have started to increase thanks to reduced asking prices and the increased availability of credit.


Quarterly Rank: 32
Quarterly Price Change: -9.7%

Annual Rank: 30
Annual Price Change: -21.9%

Bulgaria's housing market, historically bolstered by wealthy second-home buyers from Europe and Russia, took a heavy hit during the economic recession. Amid falling prices and distressed sales, developers seem unable to close real estate deals as traditional buyers back out.
In our next issue, we will cover the BEST PLACES TO LIVE. Here are some preview on what's ahead and I will be back next time. 


No. 13: Amsterdam, Netherlands

No. 13: Amsterdam, Netherlands

Mercer score: 105.7
2008 rank: 13
GDP: $670.2 billion (2008 est.)
Population: 740,000 (total city); 16,715,999 (total country)
Life expectancy: 79.4
No. 30: San Francisco, U.S.

No. 30: San Francisco, U.S.

Mercer score: 103
2008 rank: 29
GDP: $14.29 trillion (2008 est.)
Population: 808,976 (total city); 307,212,123 (total country)
Life expectancy: 78.1

No comments:

Post a Comment