San Francisco leads prime price growth, as London cools

Photo: JeffGunn

San Francisco is leading prime property price growth around the world, as London’s luxury market cools. The UK capital was held back by the looming general election in the first three months of 2015, as buyers and sellers both waited for the May vote’s result to carry out property transactions.

According to Knight Frank, London’s prime property values edged up just 0.2 per cent in Q1 2015 compared to the previous quarter.

America, Canada and Australia, though, enjoyed strong growth, with San Francisco leading the way with prices rising 14.3 per cent year-on-year. It was followed by Bengaluru (13.6 per cent), Miami (12.2 per cent) and Vancouver (11.8 per cent). The top five was completed by previous chart leader Jakarta (11.2 per cent).

Further down the table, Australia’s Sydney and Melbourne are climbing the rankings, with 7.4 per cent and 7.2 per cent annual growth respectively. The rise of the country’s cities highlights a disparity across the world regions: on average, prime prices in North America and Australia increased by 8.4 per cent and 7.3 per cent respectively in the year to March, while Europe’s cities saw prices slip by 0.2 per cent on average.

“If we were to omit cities in North America and Australia, the index would have recorded growth of 2.3 per cent instead of 3.9 per cent in the year to March 2015,” notes Kate Everett-Allen, Partner at Knight Frank.

The index has climbed 46 per cent since its financial crisis low in the second quarter of 2009, she adds. Eight cities, including London, Dubai and Hong Kong have outperformed the index over the same period.

Despite its cooling measures, Hong Kong continued to see growth in 2015, as
tighter mortgage restrictions targeted properties below HK$7m, shifting the focus of some investors from mainstream to luxury residential properties.

In Moscow, although luxury prices are up 0.6 per cent in local currency terms, it is worth highlighting that a large proportion of Russian wealth is held in US dollars and on this basis, due to the weak Rouble, luxury prices have plummeted 38 per cent year-on-year.