Global house prices accelerate in 2015 as low interest rates help buyers shrug off economic concerns

Kasmira Jefford
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Istanbul experience the biggest rise in house prices last year (Source: Getty)

Concerns over the global economy has failed to dent buyer confidence as house price growth accelerated last year, new research shows.

Knight Frank's global house price index increased by three per cent in 2015, up from 2.3 per cent the previous year, boosted by the low interest rate environment.

“Forty-three of the 55 housing markets tracked in our global house price index saw prices rise, up from 10 countries in the aftermath of the Lehman’s collapse in Q2 2009," Knight Frank partner Kate Everett-Allen, said.

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Turkey led the pack, with prices rising by 18 per cent followed by New Zealand (14 per cent) and Sweden at 12 per cent. Double digit growth in New Zealand and Australia made Australasia was the strongest-performing world region last year.

In 26th place, UK house prices rose by 4.2 per cent last year, and by 1.5 per cent in the fourth quarter compared with the previous three months.

Meanwhile data from China’s National Bureau of Statistics shows house prices rose marginally, by 0.4 per cent, having reached their peak in the first quarter of 2014. Cities such as Shenzhen and Shanghai outperformed the national average thanks in part to favourable government policies and strong demand in first-tier cities.

Hong Kong prices slowed from 17 per cent in the year to September to seven per cent for the year as a whole, which Everett-Allan attributed to rising supply as well as China's financial market volatility and the expectation of increasing interest rates.

“Our outlook for 2016 is muted. We expect the index’s overall rate of growth to be weaker in 2016 than in 2015. The global economy is experiencing a potentially dangerous cocktail of low oil prices, a strong dollar and a continued slowdown in China," Everett-Allen said.

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