The Most Lucrative Global Housing Markets in 2012

It’s no secret that the global real estate markets didn’t do exactly well last year. However, this shouldn’t prevent you from looking for good deals in the world market today, because despite the mere .5 percent price increase in 2011 and fears of asset bubbles bursting into oblivion, there are still properties around the world that are not greatly affected by the economic crisis
Here’s a trivia for you: What happens when you rank the highest average growth in housing prices from 2006-2011? Obviously, you get a lot of data about the best countries with the highest growth in real estate. Those with the most lucrative housing markets include the following:
Switzerland’s property prices have been performing well in the past five years, with a 27.5 percent five year price growth. The country has very low interest rates that helps stifle the franc, which consequently ignited a real estate boom in the country.
Knight Frank, who leads a real estate consultancy, has surveyed the most expensive places to live in Switzerland: Geneva, St. Moritz, and Gstaad, with prime properties (Geneva) reaching almost $32,000 in the fourth quarter of 2011. Its price per square foot costs $3,000.
Norway not only ranks as the second wealthiest country in the world in monetary value — it also boasts of good properties in the market as well.
Norway’s economic outlook stands adamantly stoic and unpeturbed amidst the barrage of its European neighbors with struggling economies. This is primarily due to its oil reserves and low interest rates, which has encouraged its citizens to borrow money to buy properties. Another strong motivator is the 28 percent tax deduction on interest payments when purchasing a home.

North America, South America, and the Middle East

Canada has been experiencing a high rise in apartment construction, with existing home sales rising to around 9 percent in February. Many speculators are targeting the property markets in Toronto and Vancouver, which is Canada’s most “pricey” housing markets.
Today, the average price of a house in Vancouver stands at around $734,000, which is high compared to the national average of 358,000.
Once coined by BusinessWeek as “the most extreme emerging market on Earth” in 2007, Colombia has enjoyed a fast economic expansion rate with a growth of around 6 percent in 2011. This has led to a surge in house buying, especially from the middle class population.
Colombia has also attracted a lot of foreign investments, which further strengthens the housing market. In 2011, the property prices shot to 3.2 percent, with home sales reaching 19 percent in the first half of last year.
Israel enjoys the highest standard of living in the Middle East, and is considered one of the most advanced countries in Southwest Asia when it comes to economic and industrial development.
It also holds the spot as the third most lucrative housing market in the world, with house prices increasing to more than 21 percent in 2010.


China is the world’s second largest economy and the worlds’ largest exporter of goods. It’s also considered the number one country with the most lucrative housing markets today. A typical house in Shanghai and Beijing has increased by over 110 percent in the past five years alone, with Shanghai’s costs around $19,000 per square meter in 2011, and in Beijing, around $17,000.
The strong rise in real estate has led the government to control the surge of its housing prices. Multiple properties are now prohibited, and interest rates are raised. They have succeeded in lowering the prices, and despite the prices of houses still quite high, it is expected that the average rate will fall between 10 percent to 20 percent in 2012.
Considered one of the four Asian Tigers, Singapore has one of the most pricey real estate markets in Southeast Asia today. Low interest rates and rapid immigration has increased the demand for houses.
Singapore currently has a huge foreign population, with foreigners taking up more than 1/3 of Singapore’s five million demographics. Foreign buyers of real estate are high, with mainland Chinese making up the largest group of home buyers. Its current average property price in the city is $25,600 per square meter, which is the third most expensive city to rent high-end properties in Asia (next to Tokyo and Hong Kong).
Often called the “Taiwan Miracle”, Taiwan’s rapid urbanization has made its metropolitan center (Taipei) overcrowded these days.
The housing prices in Taiwan have risen more than 30 percent between 2006 to 2011, although it went down to 4.1 percent in 2011. This decline can be attributed to the “luxury tax” restrictions that the government enforced last year. Also, there is a ten percent tax that is levied on any investment property that is sold within two years. This increases to 15 percent if the property is purchased within one year.
Hong Kong
Hong Kong has one of the most expensive properties in the world, ranking fourth in the world’s most expensive property rates. Today, the average price of its prime houses is around $48,000 per square meter.
There is a surge of mainland buyers in Hong Kong’s housing market in recent years. A main factor can be the increasing wealth of mainland Chinese and the property restrictions made in China’s housing market. It is estimated that three in ten deals in its luxury property markets mostly come from the Chinese.
This surge has led the Hong Kong Monetary Authority to become stricter with foreign buying, requiring buyer with principal incomes not in Hong Kong to pay an additional ten percent  down payment.
The global real estate market is still a lucrative place to invest in – if you know where to look. Use the knowledge that you’ve learned here as a starting point, and make sure that you gather more information about the country you want to invest your money into. In the end, your knowledge will become an important vehicle that will help you reach your goals.

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