Vancouver tops prime property index

Vancouver has topped Knight Frank’s Prime Global Cities Index for the fourth consecutive quarter, the company’s latest data shows.

Prices of prime property in the Canadian city increased by 26 per cent in the year to March 2016. Knight Frank’s chief residential researcher, Kate Everett-Allen stated that a severe lack of supply of luxury property in the city is creating an ongoing upward pressure on prices. What’s more, she revealed that there is as yet little evidence that February’s increase in land transfer tax, from 2 per cent to 3 per cent on all purchases above CDN$2 million, has dented sale volumes.

Along with Vancouver, three other cities; Shanghai, Sydney and Melbourne also recorded double-digit annual price growth, but the gap between this top tier and the remaining cities has widened.

Record-low interest rates and cheap finance fuelled demand in Shanghai leading to price growth of 20 per cent year-on-year. However, new government rules introduced in March have tightened mortgage lending rules which are likely to result in slower growth in the second quarter.

Australasia proved the world’s hottest world region in the year to March 2016 with prices rising 12 per cent on average; this is despite the introduction of a new fee for foreign buyers.

Overall, prime prices across the 35 cities tracked by the index increased on average by 3.6 per cent in the 12 months to March 2016. The index entered a period of steady growth in 2014, consistently recording annual growth of 3-4 per cent in the subsequent seven quarters

No city has recorded a double-digit annual decline in prices since Q2 2015.

Prices in prime central London increased by only 0.8% in the year to March, its lowest figure since October 2009, when a 3.2 per cent decline was recorded as the market readjusted following the collapse of Lehman Brothers.

The largest prime property price falls in the past 12 months were recorded in Taipei (-7.6 per cent), Hong Kong (-6.4 per cent) and Moscow (-5.9 per cent).

Article by David Fuller