SA property market solid on global index

You might be worried about the slow growth in the value of your property. but, by comparison with other key markets around the world, South African property has put in a fairly solid performance.

The South African market finished 19th out of 52 countries analysed in the Knight Frank Global House Price Index for the fourth quarter of 2011.

Weakened consumer confidence, strict lending criteria and economic cooling measures put in place by the Chinese government have combined to put the brakes on average global house price growth.

According to the Knight Frank index, prices in the global formal housing sector declined by 0.3% in the last quarter of the year, with overall growth for 2011 limited to 0.5% - the weakest numbers since 2009. South Africa's house price growth for 2011 was 3.6%.

The 2011 table was topped by Brazil, where property prices grew by an average of 26.3%, followed by Estonia (12.3%), Hong Kong (11.3%), India (11.1%) and Slovenia (10.1%). Ireland propped up the table in 52nd place with a dismal price slump of -16.7%.

All of the 12 bottom-placed markets were European.

The 2011 table belies the strong growth in the Asia Pacific region this decade.

Over the past five years, properties in Beijing and Shanghai have seen whopping price growth of 110.9%, followed by Hong Kong at 93.7%. These figures show the dramatic slowdown in Asian markets, particularly since the Chinese government stepped in to curb inflation.
"Asia's downturn has proved highly influential. In 2007, China, Hong Kong and Singapore saw price rises of 42%, 21% and 33%, respectively. Last year, growth was -2%, 11% and 5%," Knight Frank said.

According to the report, no significant improvement in the global averages is expected in 2012. "No improvement is expected until the gap between house prices and two of their key determinants - incomes and rents - starts to shrink and the excess supply of new homes built in many locations during the boom years prior to 2008 is absorbed," the report stated.

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