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World's Best and Worst Housing Markets


While the America's housing market slowly comes back, the rest of the world is reporting very split results, with some markets seeing huge increases in home prices, while others lag (mostly the PIGS).

Even though there are plenty of places in the U.S. where the housing markets are mostly deep underwater, the nation’s real estate market is slowly coming back. The rest of the world is also seeing both ends of the spectrum, with markets where house prices are still in a steep slide and others that are seeing huge growth.

According to the Global Property Guide (GPG), Asia is weakening and news out of Europe is alarming. But there are still some markets that are bright spots.

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

Here are the best and worst housing markets in the world based on their year-over-year (YoY) home price changes.

Images from Wikimedia Commons


7. Hong Kong

View of Hong Kong from Victoria Peak

Although house prices were still up by 3.01% YoY in the second quarter, this was a huge decline from the previous year, when house prices had increased by 20.64% in the same period of 2011.

6. Canada

House prices in Canada’s 11 major cities all rose 4.06% YoY, making the country a strong performer in 2012. During the same period in 2011, housing prices only increased by 0.47%.

5. Switzerland

Zurich, Switzerland

Most of Europe struggled, but Switzerland was one bright spot, reporting YoY increase of 4.86%. However, home prices were down by half a percent quarter over quarter (QoQ) in Q2 2012.

4. Germany

There was significant improvement here with a YoY increase of 5.24%. During the same period last year, Germany reported a decline of 0.5%.

3. Delhi, India

Although home prices were up by 6.23% YoY, this is a sharp slowdown from the 22.7% annual rise during the same period last year. QoQ prices fell 1.09% in Q2.

2. Norway

The rising skyline of Bjørvika, Norway

Another bright spot in Europe, home prices in Norway were up 6.26% YoY and 2.98% QoQ in Q2 2012.

1. São Paulo, Brazil

Luxury homes in São Paulo

Easily taking the top spot, home prices were up 15.56% YoY and 2.38% QoQ in Q2 2012.


7. Cyprus

Just the first of a long string of European markets, Cyrpus’ home prices were down 7.68% YoY. House prices fell in 15 of the 22 European countries for which house price data is available.

6. Warsaw, Poland

Historic Centre of Warsaw (UNESCO World Heritage Site)

Although home prices were down by less than 1% QoQ, compared to the same period last year, prices in Warsaw were down 8.19%. GPG used Warsaw home prices since nationwide data was lacking.

5. Netherlands

Breaking into double-digit percentage drops, home prices in the Netherlands were down 10.12% compared to the same period in 2011.

4. Portugal

The first of the PIGS; those countries considered weaker economically following the financial crisis. The countries continue to struggle because they use the euro and thus cannot employ independent monetary policies. YoY home prices were down 10.95% and down 1.68% QoQ in Q2 2012.

3. Greece

Athens, Greece

Another of the PIGS. Greece continues to struggle in the wake of the recession and its home prices reflect that. YoY prices were down 11.92%.

2. Spain

Also part of PIGS, Spain’s home prices were 13.18% YoY and based on the quarterly change in home prices it looks like Spain will continue to struggle. Home prices were down 6.02% QoQ.

1. Ireland

Dublin, Ireland

Once again Ireland was the world’s weakest housing market. Home prices plunged 16.85% YoY in Q2 of 2012. Prices were down 2.91% over the previous quarter. Furthermore, transaction volumes were low and mortgage lending weak.

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