Covid-Driven Home Buying Drives Global Home Prices Up
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Covid-Driven Home Buying Drives Global Home Prices Up

Australia recorded its highest rate of annual price growth since 2003, according to Knight Frank.

By V.L Hendrickson
Wed, Sep 15, 2021 10:28amGrey Clock 2 min

The ongoing boom in home buying during the Covid-19 pandemic pushed average property prices up 9.2% in the second quarter of the year, according to Knight Frank’s Global House Price Index, released Tuesday.

About one-third of markets, or 18 countries, saw double-digit increases in the second quarter, according to the report, which looked at 55 countries and territories. That’s up from seven at the same time in 2020 and 13 in the first three months of this year.

The index is rising faster than it has since the first quarter of 2005, well before the global financial crisis of 2008-09, according to Knight Frank, although not every region is experiencing a boom.

“A breakdown by developed and developing economies, however, reveals a more nuanced picture,” Kate Everett-Allen, Knight Frank’s head of international residential research, said in the report. “Ten of the world’s developed economies averaged price growth of 12% in the 12 months to June, double that seen in key developing markets (4.7%).”

Turkey remained at the top of the index, registering a 29.2% year-over-year rise in average home prices in the second quarter, the data showed. New Zealand ranked second, where prices jumped nearly 26% and the U.S. had the third strongest growth at 18.6%. 

Australia (16.4%), Canada (16%) and Russia (14.4%) also made the top 10, the report found. Indeed, Australia recorded its highest rate of annual price growth since 2003.

“Only two markets saw prices decline in the year to June 2021—India and Spain,” Ms. Everett-Allen said. “This is the lowest proportion of markets registering a decline in prices since the Global House Price Index commenced in 2008.”

Spain saw a 0.9% year-over-year fall in average prices in the second quarter, the index showed. In India, they were down 0.5% in the same time period.

Despite the overall gains, some markets may be close to peaking, according to Knight Frank.

“In the U.S., mortgage applications have dipped and the share of households thinking now is a good time to buy hit a decade low of 28% in June,” Ms. Everett-Allen continued in the report. “The prospect of interest rate rises in markets such as New Zealand, the U.S. and the U.K. is also likely to weigh on buyer sentiment in the medium term. But conversely, recent tighter restrictions in South East Asia, New Zealand and Australia may yet spark renewed activity as lockdowns shine a light on homes and lifestyles.”

Reprinted by permission of Mansion Global. Copyright 2021 Dow Jones & Company. Inc. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. Original date of publication:  September 14, 2021

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House values continued to fall last month, but the pace of decline has slowed, CoreLogic reports.

In signs that the RBA’s aggressive approach to monetary policy is making an impact, CoreLogic’s Home Value Index reveals national dwelling values fell -1.0 percent in November, marking the smallest monthly decline since June.

The drop represents a -7.0 percent decline – or about $53,400 –  since the peak value recorded in April 2022. Research director at CoreLogic, Tim Lawless, said the Sydney and Melbourne markets are leading the way, with the capital cities experiencing the most significant falls. But it’s not all bad news for homeowners.

“Three months ago, Sydney housing values were falling at the monthly rate of -2.3 percent,” he said. “That has now reduced by a full percentage point to a decline of -1.3 percent in November.  In July, Melbourne home values were down -1.5 percent over the month, with the monthly decline almost halving last month to -0.8%.”

The rate of decline has also slowed in the smaller capitals, he said.  

“Potentially we are seeing the initial uncertainty around buying in a higher interest rate environment wearing off, while persistently low advertised stock levels have likely contributed to this trend towards smaller value falls,” Mr Lawless said. “However, it’s fair to say housing risk remains skewed to the downside while interest rates are still rising and household balance sheets become more thinly stretched.” 

The RBA has raised the cash rate from 0.10 in April  to 2.85 in November. The board is due to meet again next week, with most experts still predicting a further increase in the cash rate of 25 basis points despite the fall in house values.

Mr Lawless said if interest rates continue to increase, there is potential for declines to ‘reaccelerate’.

“Next year will be a particular test of serviceability and housing market stability, as the record-low fixed rate terms secured in 2021 start to expire,” Mr Lawless said.

Statistics released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics this week also reveal a slowdown in the rate of inflation last month, as higher mortgage repayments and cost of living pressures bite into household budgets.

However, ABS data reveals ongoing labour shortages and high levels of construction continues to fuel higher prices for new housing, although the rate of price growth eased in September and October. 

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