Global housing markets saw prices rise in 2015, led by Australasia

The real estate price index covering key property markets around the globe increased by 3% in 2015, up from 2.3% in 2014.

Concerns over the global economy have failed to dent buyer confidence and instead the lingering low interest rate environment influenced sentiment, the index report from Knight Frank says.

Some 78% or 43 of the 55 housing markets tracked by the Global House Price Index saw prices rise up from 10 countries or 19% in the aftermath of Lehman’s collapse in the second quarter of 2009.

Turkey leads the rankings with prices rising 18% during 2015. Increasingly viewed as a safe haven for Middle Eastern investors, Turkey is bridging East and West whilst seeing strong population growth, the report suggests.

Although Hong Kong’s prices increased in 2015, the rate of growth has slowed significantly from 17% in the year to September to 7% in the 12 months to December 2015. The slower rate of growth is attributable to rising supply as more than 11,200 homes were completed in 2015, as well as china’s financial market volatility and the expectation of increasing interest rates.

Data from China’s National Bureau of Statistics shows house prices rose marginally in 2015 by 0.4% having reached their peak in the first quarter of 2014 before falling 6% over the next 12 months. Cities such as Shenzhen and Shanghai continue to outperform the national average due in part to favourable government policies and strong demand in first tier cities.

Australasia was the strongest performing world region in 2015, buoyed by the strong performance of New Zealand and Australia, both of which saw annual price growth in excess of 10%.

Belgium and New Zealand are currently the world’s least affordable markets when house prices are compared with incomes whilst home ownership is most accessible in South Korea and Japan. Ukraine and Greece were the weakest housing markets in 2015, recording price falls of 12% and 5% respectively.

‘Our outlook for 2016 is muted. We expect the index’s overall rate of growth to be weaker in 2016 than 2015. The global economy is experiencing a potentially dangerous cocktail of low oil prices, a strong dollar and a continued slowdown in China,’ said Kate Everett-Allen, head of international residential research.