Global Property Guide inspects worldwide house price indices
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.
Most countries whose housing markets experienced accelerated downturns in 2011 are located in Europe, including Finland (-2.22% down in 2011), United Kingdom (-3.39%), Sweden (-5.29%), Netherlands (-5.77%), Slovak Republic (-6.88%), Portugal (-7.78%), Spain (-9.27%), Athens, Greece (-10.43%), and Warsaw, Poland (-10.55%).
Unhappy Ireland still holds the title of ‘world’s weakest housing market’, with house prices plummeting by 18.08% in 2011. With low transactions, constrained mortgage lending, and an uncertain economic environment, Irish house prices are likely to continue falling in 2012.
However, several European countries actually enjoyed house price rises in 2011. The highest house price climb in Europe was in Tallinn, Estonia, whose property market has been recovering since the second half of 2010. Over the past twelve months, house prices in Tallinn rose 8.36%.
Housing markets in the Ukraine and Iceland finally bounced back in the final quarter of 2011. In Kiev, apartment prices climbed by 5.29% (in nominal terms) from a year earlier, after falling 9.47% the previous year. Likewise, house prices in Iceland rose 1.84% year-on-year, after falling 4.18% the previous year.