The Ups and Downs of the Global Property Market

The global financial crisis touched countries to varying degrees. You only have to listen to the news every day to hear, for example, the woes of Greece compared to China moving full-steam-ahead.

So for those international property investors looking for which market to invest in, a recent index by Knight Frank reveals some interesting truths.

Five countries posted double-digit growth last year, whilst nine actually saw prices fall by over 10{b2ed3b54c6cb9345f76fcfc3de822373c963a65b7650c57825784f50324f921f}.

As a whole, world housing prices fell by 3.8{b2ed3b54c6cb9345f76fcfc3de822373c963a65b7650c57825784f50324f921f} in 2009, but as with all averages the extremes are masked.

At one far end of the spectrum, three markets experienced a fall by in excess of a staggering 40{b2ed3b54c6cb9345f76fcfc3de822373c963a65b7650c57825784f50324f921f}. These were:
Estonia -40{b2ed3b54c6cb9345f76fcfc3de822373c963a65b7650c57825784f50324f921f}
Dubai -42{b2ed3b54c6cb9345f76fcfc3de822373c963a65b7650c57825784f50324f921f}
Latvia -50{b2ed3b54c6cb9345f76fcfc3de822373c963a65b7650c57825784f50324f921f}

In fact, more than 50{b2ed3b54c6cb9345f76fcfc3de822373c963a65b7650c57825784f50324f921f} of all global housing markets saw their prices still falling in the last three months of 2009.

But all is not lost for these markets, as for smart-investors, they represent some of the best markets to invest with some excellent bargains, offering long-term opportunity for greater growth and returns.

Those markets that have continued to power-forward, may for now be proving good news for owners that are selling, whether it bodes well for the long-term is less certain.

At the other end of the spectrum, Hong Kong saw growth increase by almost 30{b2ed3b54c6cb9345f76fcfc3de822373c963a65b7650c57825784f50324f921f}, and was in fact the country with the highest growth, followed by mainland China, and then Israel which grew by 21.3{b2ed3b54c6cb9345f76fcfc3de822373c963a65b7650c57825784f50324f921f}

Intrinsically linked to the Chinese economy these days, the Australian economy grew by 13.6{b2ed3b54c6cb9345f76fcfc3de822373c963a65b7650c57825784f50324f921f}

If there’s one common factor that does appear across all markets, it is that during the last quarter of 2009 there was marked stabilization. And, as a recent survey by Worldwide Property Group suggests, with 78{b2ed3b54c6cb9345f76fcfc3de822373c963a65b7650c57825784f50324f921f} of participants feeling that property generally offers better safety and returns than any other major medium to long-term investment, canny investors will continue to enjoy the ups and downs of the international market.

Simon Turner
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