China Dominates Cities Index

 

Chinese cities have dominated the latest analysis of city property prices around the world in the Knight Frank Global Residential Cities Index, with all of the top eight positions, together recording average annual growth of 31.8%.

Nanjing (43%) and Shanghai (40%) have usurped the rapid-growing technology hub of Shenzhen (35%) this quarter. Urbanisation and rising household wealth is behind the surge in Chinese prices but it is far from uniform with smaller cities and rural markets lagging behind.

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Overall, house prices increased in 77% of the 150 cities year-on-year. Thirteen cities recorded price rises in excess of 20% in the year to September. Vancouver, a long-time frontrunner, slid down the rankings this quarter, from fifth to ninth position.

This shift is not as a result of slowing prices, annual growth is much the same as in June, close to 24%, but due to the phenomenal ascent of the Chinese cities which have supplanted it. In the US, Seattle was the strongest performer with growth of 11.1%, while New York was the weakest with less than a 2% increase.

Budapest (24%), Oslo (18%) and Bristol (16%) are Europe’s strongest performers but for differing reasons. Budapest represents good value compared with other European capital cities; Oslo is experiencing high demand and low supply, whilst Bristol’s boom is being fuelled by low mortgage rates, and a structural undersupply of housing.

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China’s rapidly-rising urban house prices have not escaped the attention of policymakers with many cities seeing the tightening of mortgage lending, higher deposit requirements, and in some cases, a ban on non-local buyers.

Home purchase restrictions even saw couples divorcing to enable them to buy more properties. Since September there is some evidence to suggest the rate of price growth has cooled in a few key cities as the new regulations have taken effect.

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China Dominates Cities Index

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