Nine out of 10 cities in Knight Frank’s global house price list were in China
Chinese cities are winning the race when it comes to house price growth around the world.
Nine out of 10 cities in real estate consultancy Knight Frank’s house price growth list released Monday were in China, with Nanjing holding the top spot thanks to a 41.15% increase in 2016.
According to Knight Frank, Chinese cities would have occupied the entire top-10 list had New Zealand’s Wellington not nudged Shenzhen out of its 10th spot. The firm, however, expects next quarter’s results to look significantly different.
“The index covers the period to the end of 2016 but already in March we have seen a new round of lending curbs and purchase restrictions across China’s main cities, which has brought price growth in several cities to an abrupt halt,” said Kate Everett-Allen, a partner at Knight Frank.
Overall, the index, which tracks house prices in 150 cities around the world, increased by 6.6% in 2016, its highest rate in three years.
Beyond China’s domination, there were interesting movements in both New Zealand and Canada, with Auckland and Vancouver, which saw growth of 12.4% and 17% respectively last year, being overtaken by Wellington and Toronto, which was in 13th place.
House prices in Wellington jumped 23.7% last year while in Toronto they were 19.8% higher. For Vancouver, one might assume that this is due to the region’s new tax on foreign buyers, but Knight Frank believes much of it is to do with investors spreading risk. The same is true of New Zealand.
Over in Europe, meanwhile, Oslo in Norway was the strongest performing city with growth of 21.7% as falling unemployment, record-low interest rates and strong purchasing power have boosted demand.
The Dutch cities of Amsterdam, Utrecht and Rotterdam represent another center of growth in Europe, all recording double-digit annual price rises. There, a lack of supply is the key determinant of accelerating prices.
At 10.8%, Seattle continued to lead U.S. cities in home price growth, while Denver was not far behind at 8.9%. Though the impact of the Federal Reserve’s third interest rate increase in 10 years to 1% will filter into next quarter’s figures, Knight Frank does not envisage a sudden slowdown in U.S. cities’ price inflation.
In the U.K., six of the eight cities tracked by Knight Frank recorded positive price growth, but only one—Bristol—saw prices reach double figures.
“Improving economic productivity and a structural undersupply of new housing is supporting price growth in a number of the U.K.’s regional cities,” Ms. Everett-Allen said.
The foot of the rankings table remained largely unchanged with Moscow, Scotland’s Aberdeen, Spain’s Seville, Australia’s Darwin and India’s Jaipur jostling for position within the bottom five.