Brazil property prices soared this year, according to Knight Frank's Global House Price Index, as eurozone markets slumped.
Brazil's real estate values jumped by 15.2 per cent in the third quarter of 2012, the highest annual increase in the world. Meanwhile, with the Eurozone now in its second recession in three years, buyers' confidence is at an all-time low, according to Knight Frank: all the bottom 12 rankings are occupied by European countries this quarter.
The Eurozone's 17 member states have on average seen prices fall by 1.8% in the 12 months to September. Other world regions such as South America and Asia Pacific have seen growth of 9.8% and 4.2% respectively.
Greece has now pushed Ireland off the bottom slot – where it has resided for five consecutive quarters – by recording an average price fall of 11.7% in the last year. Ireland, by comparison, has seen its rate of decline improve, up from -14.3% a year ago to -9.6%.
Overall, mainstream global property prices stand just 5.2% above the lows experienced in the wake of the financial crisis in Q2 2009.
Alongside Brazil, five other markets recorded double-digit annual price growth in the year to September; Hong Kong, Turkey, Russia, Colombia and Austria.
Despite positive data from the US – prices are 3.6% higher than in the third quarter of 2011, vacancy rates are at their lowest level since 2005 and housing starts are up 49% year-on-year – the US fiscal cliff casts significant doubt on this recovery.
Asia's policymakers are offering little hope of an Asian-driven recovery. China's new leadership looks set to continue with stringent property cooling measures and new lending restrictions in Hong Kong are likely to limit the availability of credit.
Knight Frank's Prime Global Cities Index, which tracks the value of luxury property in 26 cities across the world, shows that prime property values have climbed by 18.7% over the same period.
Kate Everett-Allen, International Residential Researcher at Knight Frank, said: "Confidence, affordability and debt are constraining Europe. Strict lending and the looming fiscal cliff may dent the early signs of growth in the US while regulatory measures in Asia are keeping housing markets in check. The current period of stagnation looks set to continue well into 2013."
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