Global house price update

Posted on 27 Apr, 2021

It’s not just the UK that has an obsession with compiling, analysing and comparing house prices. Here Viewber rounds up international property value trends seen in the last 12 months...

UK: house prices at home continue to rise, with the Office for National Statistics confirming that property values increased by 8.6% in the year to February 2021. Also up is the number of transactions – increasing by 23% - with 180,690 sales in March 2021, the highest monthly figure since records began in 2005.

The rise in both price and activity is thought to be a culmination of pent-up demand released during the first lockdown easing, the desire to move for re-evaluated lifestyle reasons and artificial stimulation in the shape of the stamp duty holiday. With the tax perk being extended and new Government-guaranteed 5% deposit mortgages now launched, house prices are expected to climb further.

North America: it is a similar story across the pond, with buying and selling activity in 2020 influencing the figures being published in 2021. Two of the country’s leading house price indexes have posted recent house price rises. S&P/Case-Shiller shows 8.89% of property value growth during 2020, while The Federal Housing Finance Agency reports a 9.42% increase last year.

Figures from Canada are similar. Exceptional levels of demand – despite the pandemic – have been fueling house price growth. Sales surged by 47.2% in December 2020, compared to the year before, making it the biggest year-on-year growth seen for 11 years, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA). As a result of booming activity, house prices in Canada’s 11 major cities rose by 8.57% during 2020, which is in contrast to a fall of 0.29% seen in 2019.

Europe: posting house price rises in the same league as the UK and North America, European property values continue to edge upwards. Price increases* during 2020 were seen in Finland (+4.01%); Switzerland (+1.09%); Norway (+5.75%); Russia (+9.14%); The Netherlands (+7.33%) and Portugal (+6.2%). Europe’s top performer in 2020 was Germany, where house prices rose by 11.42%. In France, experts predict a price uplift of 3.5% as 2021 continues.

Middle East: the story is very different across the Middle East, where house prices* have largely been on a downward trend. Egypt’s struggles are among the most marked, with properties losing 14.38% of value during 2020. A glut of apartments and oil is reported to be behind a slide in real estate value over in Dubai, where property prices slipped back 2.93% in 2020 – although the rate of decline is slowing when compared to the falls seen in 2019.

A glimmer of hope is also coming from Qatar where a 4.78% house price fall is starting to be offset by growing demand – partly fueled by the Qatari Government’s decision in October 2020 to ease foreign property ownership rules to attract more expatriates and overseas buyers.

Asia: it’s a tale of two halves in Asia, where sharp rises are contrasted with substantial falls. Property price* dips during 2020 were seen in Vietnam (-14.51%); Cambodia (-8.8%) and the Philippines (-1%). Larger economies fared better, with rises in Japan (+6.05%); Thailand (+3.05%); Singapore (+2.16%) and Taiwan (+6.44%). In the middle were Hong Kong, Indonesia and Macau, where house prices remained unchanged or increased by less than 2%.

Africa: South Africa experienced ups and downs during 2020, with quarterly house price values flipping between the negative and positive. The year ended with property values* increasing by 0.12%. Relative few house price indexes are available for the rest of the continent but reports suggest that Africans are increasingly turning to rented properties, leading to a softening of real estate values.

*Figures sourced from April 2021


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