Global housing market downturn gathering pace

By Accommodation Times Bureau

The world’s housing downturn is gathering momentum, according to the latest world-wide survey of house price indices prepared by the Global Property Guide.
During 2011, house prices fell in 22 countries, of the 35 countries for which Q4 house price statistics are available, and rose in only 13 countries. Similarly, 21 housing markets performed worse during 2011 than last year, while only 14 countries performed better. The figures for the 4th quarter of 2011 are somewhat worrying, with quarterly price rises in only 10 countries, but price falls in 25 countries. On the other hand, the apparent trend towards recovery in the US is positive.
The slow pace of the global economic recovery, strengthening sovereign debt concerns, weak consumer confidence and high unemployment all continue to weigh on residential property markets.
The Global Property Guide’s statistical presentation uses price-changes after inflation, giving a more realistic picture than the more upbeat nominal figures usually preferred by real estate agents.

House price boom in Asia now over
Almost all Asian housing markets in the survey performed more poorly in 2011, than during the previous year.
House prices in Hong Kong were up 5.32% on the year, after rising 18.87% the previous year. House prices in Singapore rose a mere 0.28%, after a rise of 13.06% the previous year. In both Hong Kong and Singapore there were price-falls in the final quarter of 2011, as a result of cooling measures, coupled with the uncertainties in the global economy. Hong Kong house prices fell 5.24% during the quarter, and Singapore house prices fell 0.67%.
During 2011, house prices in Taiwan fell 8.74%, after rising 9.70% the previous year. China (Shanghai) and Japan (Tokyo) had lesser declines at 3.23% and 3.69%, respectively. House prices may continue to fall in the coming months, for at least as long as the tightening policies remain in place.
However, housing markets in South Korea and Indonesia (14 cities) improved from a year earlier with price rises of 2.94% and 0.89%, respectively.

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