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20. Juni 2013     Print Print 

Q1 2013: Global housing markets now in full-scale boom

A dramatic picture of house prices rising around the world is revealed by the latest Global Property Guide house price survey, for the year to the 1st quarter of 2013. This is the most significant global acceleration in house prices since the boom years of 2006/7.

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. But the nominal figures (with which the public is more familiar, see table 2) show the depth and breadth of the boom: in the first quarter of 2013, nominal house prices rose in 30 countries, and fell in only 12 countries.

Inflation is particularly high in several countries with high nominal annual house price rises (India, Brazil, Turkey, South Africa), so the two sets of figures are very different.

Regional snapshots:
U.S. 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. As a reminder, these figures are adjusted for inflation, as are all subsequent figures, except those for the Ukraine. Over the same period, the FHFA's seasonally-adjusted purchase-only house price index rose by 4.93%, its fourth quarter of year-on-year gains. 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.