The most significant global acceleration in house prices since the boom years of 2006/7 is revealed by the latest Global Property Guide house price survey, for the year to the 1st quarter of 2013. Here is an edited version of their latest report.
Using inflation-adjusted figures, the Global Property Guide's survey reveals that house prices rose in 28 of 42 housing markets which have so far published housing statistics.
The latest house price figures obviously show that the global housing slump is finally over. House prices are rising in more countries than not, and the momentum trend is clearly upwards.
These are the regional snapshots:
• US housing market has been rising strongly. House price rises are accelerating. The S&P/Case-Shiller seasonally-adjusted national home price index soared 8.31% during the year to end-Q1 2013, the biggest year-on-year increase since Q1 2006. Consumer confidence is at a five-year high, construction activity is picking up, and foreclosures and delinquency rates are falling.
• More European housing markets are showing signs of recovery. In Turkey, house prices rose by 8.13% during the year to Q1 2013, in sharp contrast with the 1.55% year-on-year decline seen in Q1 2012. In Denmark, house prices also increased by 7.01% year-on-year in Q1 2013, after annual growth rates of 6.84% in Q4 2012 and 3.25% in Q3 and declines of 4.12% in Q2 and 5.52% in Q1. Other strong European housing markets included Norway, with house prices rising by 4.75% during the year to Q1 2013, Estonia (4.2%), Poland (3.24%), Sweden (3.11%), and Switzerland (2.42%).
• Asian housing markets remain buoyant. In Hong Kong, house prices surged 20.14% year-on-year in Q1 2013, far higher than the 2.11% annual increase seen during the equivalent period last year. In Delhi, India, house prices rose by 7.61% during the year to Q1 2013, from year-on-year increases of 6.05% in Q4 2012, 5.31% in Q3, 6.23% in Q2 and 24.41% in Q1 2012. During the year to Q1 2013, house prices also increased in Beijing, China (5.92%), in Greater Taipei, Taiwan (3.24%), in Makati CBD, Philippines (2.34%), Tokyo, Japan (2.12%), Indonesia (2.04%), and Thailand (1.48%). Only Singapore saw its house prices decline by 0.58% over the same period.
• Pacific housing markets ' upward momentum continues. New Zealand's median house prices rose by 7.23% during the year to Q1 2013, in sharp contrast with year-on-year decline of 0.2% in Q1 2012. In addition, Australia's housing market is also recovering, with house prices in the country's eight major cities rising by 0.11% during the year to Q1 2013, its second consecutive quarter of year-on-year growth.
• The Middle East 's housing markets remain strong. Dubai, UAE, is the world 's best performer. Dubai 's house prices soared by 28.02% during the year to Q1 2013, in sharp contrast with the 1.01% year-on-year decline seen during the same period last year. Likewise in Israel, the average price of owner-occupied dwellings rose by 6.34% during the year to Q1 2013, after year-on-year increases of 4.12% in Q4 2012 and 3.14% in Q3 in 2012, and declines of 0.46% in Q2 and 3.33% in Q1 2012.
• South Africa's housing market has been recovering. In South Africa, the price index for medium-sized apartments rose by 3.09% during the year to end-Q1 2013, its second consecutive quarter of year-on-year increase.
Europe: a closer look
But there is good news even in Europe. Of the twenty-five European housing markets included in our global survey, fourteen performed better in Q1 2013 than the previous year while only eleven showed poorer performance.
Turkey had the fourth highest house price rises in our global survey. In Turkey, house prices rose by 8.13% during the year to Q1 2013, in sharp contrast with the 1.55% year-on-year decline seen in the same period last year. However, house prices dropped by 1.09% during the latest quarter.
The Turkish economy grew for the fourteenth consecutive quarter, with real GDP growth rate of 3% in Q1 2013 from a year earlier, according to the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat).
Denmark 's house prices are also rising growing strongly. The price index of owner-occupied flats increased by 7.01% year-on-year in Q1 2013, after annual growth rates of 6.84% in Q4 2012 and 3.25% in Q3 and declines of 4.12% in Q2 and 5.52% in Q1. House prices rose by 3.25% during the latest quarter.
Other strong European housing markets included Norway, with house prices rising by 4.75% during the year to Q1 2013, Estonia (4.2%), Poland (3.24%), Sweden (3.11%), and Switzerland (2.42%). All saw house prices drop during the latest quarter (2.38% for Norway, 2.14% for Estonia, 4.81% for Poland, 0.69% for Sweden and 0.97% for Switzerland).
Some European housing markets also saw minimal house price increases. This category included Iceland, with house prices rising by 0.59% year-on-year in Q1 2013, Romania (0.52%), Riga, Latvia (0.3%), Finland (0.29%). All these, except Iceland, performed better during the year to Q1 2013, compared to a year earlier.
Despite this improvement, the thirteen weakest housing markets in the Global Property Guide's survey were all in
Greece remains the world's weakest housing market in Q1 2013. House prices dropped 11.53% during the year to Q1 2013, a slight improvement from the 12.01% year-on-year drop seen in Q1 2012. Greek house prices fell by just 0.22% quarter-on-quarter in Q1 2013, the slowest decline since Q1 2011.
The Greek economy is now suffering from a prolonged recession, amidst falling consumption and investment, exacerbating by the government 's austerity measures. The economy is expected to contract further by 4.2% in 2013, after shrinking 6.4% in 2012, 7.1% in 2011, 4.9% in 2010, 3.1% in 2009 and 0.2% in 2008. In Q1 2013, the economy shrank by 5.6% from a year earlier. Search here for Greek properties for sale.
The Netherlands comes second on the list of the world's worst performers. House prices fell by about 11% during the year to Q1 2013, the nineteenth consecutive quarter of year-on-year house price falls. On a quarterly basis, house prices dropped by 2.92% in Q1. The economy is projected to shrink by 0.5% in 2013, from a contraction of 0.9% in 2012 and a growth of 1% in 2011.
Spain's housing market downturn continues. Spanish house prices plunged 10.24% year-on-year in Q1 2013, the third worst performance in our global survey. However during the latest quarter, Spanish house prices actually increased by 0.28%. House prices in Spain plunged by 35% from Q3 2007 to 2012, due to the global financial meltdown.
The Spanish economy contracted for the seventh consecutive quarter, with real GDP falling by 0.5% in Q1 2013, according to the National Statistics Institute (INE). The economy is expected to contract by 1.6% in 2013. Search here for properties for sale in Spain.
Croatia had the fourth highest house price falls in our global survey. The average price of flats in Zagreb fell by 9.53% year-on-year in Q1 2013, the steepest decline since Q4 2009. During the latest quarter, house prices dropped 3.12%. Croatia is already on its fifth year of recession. The economy is expected to contract by another 0.2% in 2013, from annual declines of 2% in 2012, 0.05% in 2011, 2.3% in 2010, 6.9% in 2009.
Russia's housing market performance remains miserable, despite robust economic growth. In Russia, house prices dropped by 8.09% during the year to Q1 2013, the steepest decline since Q1 2011. Over the same period, house prices also dropped by 9.49% in Moscow and 8.37% in St. Petersburg. The economy is projected to grow by 3.4% in 2013, almost unchanged from the previous year.
All five worst-performing housing markets, except Greece, saw bigger house price falls this year than during the previous year.
Some European countries despite experiencing house price-falls, saw their house price declines decelerate. These included Portugal, with house prices falling by -7.18% during the year to end-Q1 2013, Bulgaria (-4.52%) and Ireland (-3.51%).
European countries and capital cities with moderate house price falls during the year to Q1 2013 included Germany (-3.3%), Vilnius, Lithuania (-2.58%), UK (-2.52%), France (-2.37%), and Slovak Republic (-1.73%). All saw house prices drop during the latest quarter, except Vilnius, Lithuania, which saw slight increase of 0.08%.