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Saturday 15 December 2012

Global Housing Market Figures Released

Latest Statistics on Global Housing Markets
Latest figures from the Global Property Guide suggest Europe is still experiencing the brunt of the downward pressure comparing figures from the 3rd Quarter 2011 to Q3 2012 in terms of property prices and sales numbers.
On a positive note the U.S. housing market continues to recover with the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) seasonally-adjusted purchase-only house price index rose by 2.31% year-on-year in Q3 2012, the highest growth seen since Q2 2006. The nationwide seasonally-adjusted S&P/Case-Shiller home price index also rose by 1.92% during the year to Q3 2012, in sharp contrast with its 7% year-on-year decline seen in Q3 2011.
Also Dubai in the U.A.E. has shown positive trends with the price index for all residential properties surged by 14.43% during the year to end-Q3 2012, as compared to a meagre year-on-year increase of 0.96% seen in the same period last year.
The Pacific markets also show signs of recovery with New Zealand 's median house price rose by 5.19% during the year to end-Q3 2012, in sharp contrast with the 4.39% year-on-year decline in Q3 2011. Likewise, Australia 's housing market is also improving, with house prices in its eight major cities falling by just 1.57% year-on-year in Q3 2012, the lowest decline since Q4 2010.
Some European markets are experiencing turnarounds with house price falls in Ireland decelerating. Ireland 's residential property price index fell by 13.17% year-on-year in Q3 2012, the lowest decline since Q1 2011. In addition, house prices have risen significantly in Austria, Turkey, Latvia, Germany, Iceland and Finland.
On the other hand many European housing markets remain extremely depressed, and continue their rapid spiral downwards. House price falls are accelerating in Greece, Spain, Netherlands, Portugal, Croatia and Lithuania. Of the 23 European countries included in the survey, 14 countries recorded house price falls while only 9 countries have seen house price increases. The nine weakest housing markets in our global survey are all in Europe.
Also the Asian housing market surge has weakened. Seven of the 10 Asian housing markets included in our survey performed more poorly this year than the previous year. But Asia 's biggest housing market, China, is recovering, judging by the latest quarter 's figures.
In inflation-adjusted terms, 23 housing markets have shown better year-on-year figures in Q3 2012 than in the same period last year, while 20 housing markets have shown poorer performance. However the nominal figures are slightly more disappointing—25 housing markets performed more poorly while only 19 performed better.
In Conclusion of the 44 countries for which quarterly house price figures are available, house prices fell in 23 countries, and rose in 21 countries during the year ending in the third quarter of 2012, again in inflation-adjusted terms.
The Global Property Guide's statistical presentation uses price changes after inflation, giving a more realistic picture than the more upbeat nominal figures usually preferred by real estate agents. Nominal figures can be misleading, as suggested by the fact that year-on-year in Q3, nominal house prices rose in more countries (27 countries) than fell (17 countries).

European housing markets generally weak
The scale of the European downturn, the sheer size of the downward pressure, continues to surprise. Of the 23 European countries included in the survey, 14 countries recorded house price falls while only 9 countries have seen house price increases. To make the picture more dismal, the nine weakest housing markets in our global survey are all in Europe.
Ireland remains the world 's weakest housing market in Q3 2012. However, house price falls now appear to be decelerating in Ireland. House prices dropped 13.17% during the year to Q3 2012, the smallest decline since Q1 2011. House prices dropped by just 0.03% in Q3.
Not so far behind was Greece, with house prices plunging by 12.47% during the year to Q3 2012, the steepest year-on-year decline since 1998. House prices dropped 1.03% during the latest quarter. Greece is already on its fifth year of recession with real GDP expected to contract by 6% this year.
House prices have declined in Spain. House prices plunged by 11.87% during the year to Q3 2012, the biggest decline since Q4 1992. House prices dropped 2.78% during the latest quarter. The Spanish economy is expected to contract by 1.3% this year and by another 1.4% in 2013. The country 's deficit is projected to remain high, at 8.1% of GDP by end-2012. Overall unemployment is at a record high, at 25%.
The Netherlands comes fourth on the list of the world 's worst performers. House prices fell 11.43% year-on-year in Q3 2012, the sharpest decline since Q1 2009. On a quarterly basis, house prices fell 3.37% during Q3.
Romania 's housing market remains depressed. The average selling price of apartments plunged 12.76% year-on-year and fell 4.61% during the latest quarter. Romania 's economic growth is expected to be flat this year with real GDP actually declining 0.5% in Q3 2012 from the previous quarter. The economy fell into recession in Q1 2012 before seeing a minimal growth in Q2.
Many other European countries continue to suffer. These include Portugal, with house prices falling by 9.7% during the year to Q3 2012, Zagreb, Croatia (-8.03%), Warsaw, Poland (-7.64%), Bulgaria (-6.84%), Ukraine (-4.41%), Vilnius, Lithuania (-4.36%), Slovakia (-4.13%), Russia (-3.98%), UK (-3.97%), and Sweden (-3.17%). All of these, except Slovakia and Sweden, recorded house price falls during the latest quarter.
Some strong European housing markets relieve the gloom. Austria 's housing market remains ebullient, with the residential property price index rising by 7.53% during the year to Q3 2012, after rising by 11.26% year-on-year in Q2 and 8.24% in Q1 2012. House prices rose by 0.50% during the latest quarter. Vienna 's residential property price index rose a dramatic 13.10% during the year to Q3 2012.
Norway 's house price index rose by 6.55% during the year to Q3 2012, and by 1.27% during the latest quarter.
The upsurge in these two countries' housing markets was so strong as to propel them into fourth and fifth place in the worldwide league table.
Other European countries which saw moderate year-on-year house price increases to Q3 2012 included Turkey (4.96%), Riga, Latvia (3.38%), Switzerland (3.27%), Germany (3.16%), Estonia (2.62%), and Iceland (2.28%).
Finland 's housing market is also improving. The average price of apartments in old blocks of flats rose by 0.52% during the year to Q3, the first year-on-year growth after four consecutive quarters of house price falls.

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