Global Real Estate Assets Rose 5% In 2020
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Global Real Estate Assets Rose 5% In 2020

Residential appreciation fueled the overall growth.

By Liz Lucking
Thu, Sep 23, 2021 11:02amGrey Clock 2 min

The insatiable appetite for home buying last year saw the world’s real estate assets—the most significant store of wealth globally—jump 5% in value to a record high in 2020, according to a report Wednesday from Savills.

Last year’s price appreciation left the total volume of global real estate assets at $326.5 trillion, a figure that’s more than all global equities and debt securities combined, and worth almost four times that of global GDP,  the estate agency said.

“Government stimulus in the wake of Covid-19 means there is plenty of capital at large, and real estate is viewed as a safe store as global investors search for income in a low-interest-rate environment,” Paul Tostevin, director of the Savills world research team, said in the report.

“While real estate’s capital value annual growth of 5% in 2020 is lower than those seen in securitized debt, equities and gold, at 17%, 20% and 29% respectively, it is the extra income component of property which makes it such a compelling purchase for many buyers,” he added.

The gains were driven by the residential property sector—which accounts for 79% of all global real estate value—a market that has thrived amid the pandemic as homeowners rush to larger homes better suited for working from home and lockdown living.

The sector saw its value increase 8% last year to US$258.5 trillion, pushed up in particular by activity in China.

China is home to 30% of the world’s residential wealth, and the segment recorded gains of 13% in 2020, driven by “strong price growth coupled with the delivery of new supply,” Savills said.

After China, the U.S. accounts for 11% of the global residential wealth, and the two countries along with Japan, Germany, the U.K., France, South Korea, Canada, Italy and Australia, make up 75% of the global residential total.

The value of global commercial property, meanwhile, fell 5% in 2020 to US$32.6 trillion, and is expected to rebound in 2021 and hit a new peak by the end of the year.

Reprinted by permission of Mansion Global. Copyright 2021 Dow Jones & Company. Inc. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. Original date of publication: September 22, 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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