Luxury Properties Grow, Led By North America
Luxury properties worldwide are showing healthy price growth, and London is leading the way. That’s the news from Knight Frank, whose latest Prime Residential Price Index shows prices in the luxury sector of the market rising by an average of 6.2% across the 32 cities surveyed in the first two quarters of 2014. The star performers were Jakarta and Dublin, with 27.3% and 23.5% price growth respectively, but 27 of the cities surveyed showed price growth in the first two quarters of 2014. On average, though, North America led the way, with the average price growth for the region more than double the global average, at 14.5%.
Greece Bottoms Out
Greek property prices slid further in the second quarter of 2014, but the rate of decline has reduced, leading some to say that the beleaguered Aegean state’s economy is bottoming out.
Finland Struggles for Equilibrium
In Finland, the traditional Nordic immunity to the rest of Europe’s economic woes has begun to look precarious. While the country has seen some improvement in its prospects, housing starts remain low and consumer confidence is also weak, with the underperforming economy matching difficult relations with Finland’s neighbour Russia as a source of unease.
European Property Loans Increasingly From Non-Bank Lenders
European property lenders are lending more than they have for a few years as the continent slowly pulls itself out of recession. But there’s more to the story than that: the lending is increasingly coming from alternative, non-bank lenders. These lenders’ contribution to the home loans market has jumped by 47% since 2012, pushing their share of the home loan market to 40%.
South Africa Seeing Green
South Africa’s residential property market is getting more environmentally aware as consumers see the benefits of going green. As green technology becomes effective enough to offer to save homeowners money, and acquires the cachet of being cutting edge, the real estate industry is likely to bend to the pressure of consumers and start seeing green on the Cape too. Dr. Andrew Golding, CE of the Pam Golding Property Group, said, ‘[The impact on natural capital]… is increasingly becoming integral to how people perceive value in specific properties.’
France Prepares for Uptick
Now’s the time to buy in France. That’s the story coming out of the northern part of the country, where Edward Lazarus, of Domus Abroad, says that after several years of upheaval the market is settling down into the more established historical pattern. ‘Prices in northern France follow those of London and the south-east, with a six to nine month delay, so I expect prices to start rising again in the first quarter of 2015,’ says Mr. Lazartus, adding: ‘There has never been a better time to buy a property in France!’
New Zealand’s Auckland Market Experiences Strong Chinese Interest
Zealand’s most desirable real estate market, Auckland, on the tip of the North Island, has only seen the ‘tip of the iceberg’ of wealthy Chinese buyers, according to the Ray White Real Estate Agency. They’ve seen an unprecedented leap in Chinese purchasers –last year overseas buyers accounted for 22% of Ray White turnover and no buyer was Chinese, while in the first two quarters of 2014, 64% of sales were to Chinese immigrants or overseas buyers. The increase, described by Ray White analyst Brendan Keenan as ‘unprecedented,’ was so large that the company has established a Mandarin-speaking Asian desk to deal with the increase.
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