Singapore has the best performing property market in the world, according to a survey conducted by Global Property Guide .
The research shows an uneven recovery in global housing markets during the first half of 2010. Singapore, according to the report, has been a “spectacular performer” with 34 per cent year-on-year house price increases. Hong Kong and Australia, ranked second and third, have also witnessed strong performances in the property markets.
At the other end of the scale, markets in Europe have been very mixed. House price declines continue in Ireland, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Iceland, Russia, Croatia, Spain and Slovakia.
Global Property Guide discovered the during the year ending June 30, 18 countries saw house price increases, while 18 countries saw price declines. Only six countries saw bigger price decreases, or smaller increases, during the year from Q2 2009 to Q2 2010, than during the same period the previous year, however 30 countries saw larger price increases, or less severe declines, than last year.
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.
While Singapore enjoyed the highest increase among all countries surveyed by the Global Property Guide, Hong Kong followed with an increase of 21.42 per cent over the year to end Q2 2010, a huge improvement over last year’s price decline of 6.96 per cent. Taiwan’s house prices were up 11.51 per cent over the same period. Residential property prices in Shanghai rose 5.78 per cent during the year to end Q2 2010.
The report notes the region’s strong economic growth, low interest rates and increases in foreign demand which has fuelled skyrocketing house prices, stoking fears of a property bubble. In June the International Monetary Fund warned that “the booming Asian real estate markets may pose risks to financial stability.
Governments have responded by implementing anti-bubble measures. Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan and China have tightened credit supply by lowering the loan-to-value ratio. Singapore and Hong Kong have also increased land supplies. China increased the down payment requirement for second-home mortgages to 50 per cent. Taiwan raised its interest rate to 1.375 per cent, from a record-low of 1.25 per cent.
Unlike their neighboring countries, the report concludes, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines’ property markets performed poorly. Political unrest in Thailand took its toll. In Q2 2010, Thai house prices were down 4.83 per cent from a year earlier. However, Thailand’s house prices recorded an impressive 10.49 per cent gain during the three months ending June 2010. Prices of condominium units in Makati, Philippines dropped 4.85 per cent over the year, while in Indonesia’s 14 main cities prices were down 1.42 per cent over the same period.
Bangkok Property overview
Although the current outlook for Thailand property has taken a knock and the current political situation needs to be followed closely by potential Thailand property investors, the country’s property market should not be overlooked.
The completion of the Suvarnabhumi-Bangkok International Airport has spurred growth in commercial property markets in eastern Bangkok as well as in the beach resort of Pattaya. Thailand has become even more accessible by air with a wide range if International carriers using Bangkok as a hub. In recent years, there has also been a surge in budge carriers, offering very competitive prices to both local and international destinations.
Thailand’s property market was able to rebound from past crises and there is every reason to believe it will be able to absorb the blow of recent political tensions. The taxation situation has actually improved the conditions for purchasing property in Thailand, and if property prices do dip slightly as a result of the current situation it may actually be a good time to buy as there is a very real possibility Thailand property will regain its golden outlook soon. As a result, the financial condition of most major housing developers in Thailand is much more robust than in the past. The development of the local bond markets and increasing domestic savings has the made the industry much less dependent on foreign funds, a significant difference from 1997.