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Global housing markets fell in 1Q2012, survey shows

KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 4):  Global housing markets fell in 1Q2012, according to the Global Property Guide's (GPG) latest house price indices survey.

Asia is weakening, and house price falls in the worst-hit European crisis countries are dramatically accelerating.

“There were alarming price-falls year-on-year in Q2 2012 in Ireland, Spain, Greece, Portugal and the Netherlands (each down more than 10% after inflation).  Poland and Cyprus seem also to be slipping into the abyss.

“In the worst-affected European countries, house price declines were significantly greater this year, than during the same period last year.  House prices fell in 15 of the 22 European countries for which house price data is available,” said GPG.

According to the survey released Tuesday, house prices fell in 24 countries, of the 36 countries for which quarterly house price statistics are available, and rose in only 12 countries.

GPG said that during the latest quarter the downturn appeared to have accelerated, with house price falls in 26 countries and house price gains in only 10.

It said that in Singapore, house prices dropped 3.28% year-on-year in Q2 2012, and by 0.77% during the latest quarter, after a 5.27% increase during the same period last year.  The turnaround was due to government housing market curbs, exacerbated by the worldwide economic downturn.

In Indonesia, the residential property price index dropped 0.78% year-on-year in Q2, it said.

“In Hong Kong, house prices rose by 3.01% year-on-year in Q2 2012, but this was a sharp slowdown from the 20.64% annual increase during the same period last year.

“Housing prices in India rose 6.23% year-on-year in Q2 2012.  This was also a sharp slowdown from the 22.7% annual rise during the same period last year. Housing prices fell 1.09% during the latest quarter. The slowdown in the Indian housing market is partly due to its slowing economy,” it said.

In nominal terms only 16 countries experienced house price falls during the year, while 20 countries recorded house price rises.

“But 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,” it said.

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