Chinese Buyers Drive Up Vancouver Prices
Foreign buyers are fuelling a ‘seismic spike’ in Vancouver’s property market, say Canadian realtors MacDonald Realty. Vancouver has attracted Chinese buyers for decades, along with a handful of other international cities like Hong Kong, Sydney and Singapore – all of which are conspicuously closer to the Chinese mainland, of course.
But now, as anti-corruption laws sweep China clean and the property market is shaking hard, Chinese investors are looking further afield. Bing Thom Architects found that values for detached homes in the $2-$5m range have risen by 49% since 2009, while homes in a handful of Vancouver’s luxury enclaves rose by over 50%, driving up citywide values by more than 35% - and more than half of buyers in premium markets are mainland Chinese.
UK Property Market Stabilizes
The UK property market is showing signs of cooling off after a precipitous rise that saw prices become unstable. RICS now sees the future as a return to what it calls a ‘less volatile market.’
Ireland Still Isn’t Building Enough Houses
Housebuilding is falling in Ireland, despite increasing demand. Figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) showed builds falling in the second quarter of 2014 by 1.9%, this year’s second quarterly decline. Residential building has dropped by 8.8% year on year. The figures suggest that Ireland’s building is nowhere near the rate needed to satisfy the current demand, which has contributed to a spike in Irish house prices that has chiefly affected Dublin.
Activity Rises in Australia
In Australia, the number of home loans for new properties is up by 40%, while construction loans have increased by 15% compared with 5 years ago. Home loans financed for existing properties have fallen during the same period, but by only 3%. The Reserve Bank of Australia has announced that the interest rate will remain steady at 2.5%, and most states are encouraging the housing market’s admittedly geographically uneven upward progress with packages of incentives for building new homes, meaning many Australians are buying land and building.
French House Prices Level Out – But Fall in Paris
France’s house prices are stabilizing, after the French government modified its policies. Across the country, French house prices stopped their quarter-on-quarter decline for the first time in a year, holding steady at a growth rate of 0.0%. However, on an annual basis prices fell by 1.2% following a 1.9% year-on-year fall the previous quarter.
Unusually, French provinces saw slight rises in prices, averaging 0.2%, but the Ile-de-France region, home to Paris, saw a 0.5% quarterly fall. The French government has continued to offer support, including 0% interest loans, to first-time buyers from low and middle income groups, and has modified slightly its ‘Target 500k’ initiative aimed at building half a million houses a year until 2017 to satisfy chronic shortfall.
Jamaican Housing Market Sees More Action
Jamaica’s housing market is improving, under conditions of low mortgage rates and competition among leading mortgage providers. ‘Basically what we are seeing is that there is a lot more activity in the market,’ says Deborah Cumming, managing director of Century 21 Jamaica. About J$80 billion (£46m) worth of transactions were recorded in 2013 and lists have increased. Houses selling for about J$20m (£110, 000) tend to sell best and vendors typically get several offers; however, the island remains far from a seller’s market.
Demand is strongest for apartments and some of the recent activity may be down to people downsizing their homes to fit straitened economic circumstances –hardly good news for Jamaica in the long term.
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