World property markets improving with Northern Scandanavia recovery most advanced, new report shows

Global residential property markets are showing signs of recovery with values increasing in almost half of the countries reporting prices, according to a new survey of prices in 33 key locations.

Israel remains the top performer over a 12 month period with prices increasing 12.5% while Dubai emerges as the worst with the largest annual and quarterly declines at 47% and 7.5% respectively, the report from international property consultants Knight Frank shows.

On a quarterly basis, Norway saw the biggest rise with prices up 5.3% during the second three months of the year.

While in the same period prices fell 9.7% in Bulgaria, the Global House Price Index also shows.

The housing markets are showing tentative signs of recovery, with values rising in almost half of the countries surveyed, the report said. ‘Significantly, quarterly price falls accelerated in only 22% of the locations and did not exceed 10% in any country. This compares with double-digit falls in a number of locations during the first quarter,’ explained Liam Bailey, head of residential research at Knight Frank.

In Dubai, for example, although prices are still falling the decline has slowed sharply. ‘The second quarter drop in Dubai was only 7.5% compared with a massive 41% slide during the previous three months. While the market still remains over supplied, transaction volumes have started to increase on the back of reduced asking prices, the increased availability of credit and more certainty from developers regarding the completion dates of projects,’ said Bailey.

The report points to Northern Scandinavia as the region that is recovering well with prices increasing during the second quarter in Sweden, up 3.6%, and Finland up 3.9%. ‘This is probably because prices didn’t increase to the same extent as other areas during the property boom. There has also been a sharp slowdown in the number of houses under construction. In Sweden, construction started on 45% fewer houses in the first half of 2009 compared with the same period last year. In Norway, new starts have fallen to their lowest levels since 2000,’ added Bailey.


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