Saturday, March 21, 2009

Global Property Prices: Still Depressed

The recently published market indicators of global property prices. Their conclusion: global property prices remain depressed.

Based on global housing prices, according to the Economist (bold highlight mine),

``WHEN we last looked at global house prices, only six of the countries we surveyed had recorded year-on-year declines. Three months later that figure has risen to 16. In America some saw signs of a bottom in a report on March 17th showing sharp rises in housebuilding starts and permits in February, after months of decline. Others, however, just saw a bigger stack of apartments for sale which no one will be very keen to buy. Fear has now replaced frenzy, and house prices may overshoot on the way down. A recent report by Numis Securities estimated that British house prices could fall by a further 40-55%, saddling millions with properties worth less than their mortgage debt. Long was the uphill march, long will be the downhill descent."

Based on office rents, again from the Economist, ``Office rents in London, measured in dollars, fell by 41% in the year to the fourth quarter of 2008, according to CB Richard Ellis, a property firm. Around half of that drop reflects lower local charges for office space. The rest was down to a fall in sterling against the dollar. Almost all of Sydney’s 25% decline in rents was because of a weaker Australian dollar. Rents in other rich cities, such as Frankfurt, New York and Paris, dropped by less. These places are already cheaper than Moscow. The rise in Tokyo rents makes it the most expensive city in the survey. All and more of the rise in charges was because of the yen’s appreciation. Rents in Beijing were barely changed in yuan, but cost 8% more than a year earlier in dollars."(bold emphasis mine)

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