Dubai house prices flat in Q1, says Knight Frank

Global House Price Index ranks Dubai 29th out of 53 global real estate markets in Q1
Dubai house prices flat in Q1, says Knight Frank
By Andy Sambidge
Sat 02 Jun 2012 09:30 AM

House prices in Dubai were flat in the first quarter of 2012, according to the Knight Frank Global House Price Index released on Saturday.

Average prices were unchanged from the fourth quarter of 2011, and were 0.3 percent down on the the last six months.

Knight Frank's index also showed that house prices in the emirate had fallen 1.1 percent on the year-earlier period, placing the city 29th on the list of 53 real estate markets worldwide.

Brazil was the top global performer over the past year, the index showed, with a 23.5 percent increase in prices since Q1 2011.

Estonia, India and Austria also posted double digit price rises in the same period, Knight Frank added.

At the other end of the index, Ireland was named the worst performing real estate market over the past year with a 16.3 percent price drop.

Greece and Portugal completed the bottom three as the euro zone crisis continued to weigh heavily on property sectors.

Global house prices were static in the first three months of 2012 but it is the first time since Q4 2009 that annual price growth slipped below one percent, Knight Frank said.

The weakening sentiment was due to the euro zone’s malaise, the IMF’s decision to revise its GDP forecasts downwards and a concern that the global economic recovery is struggling to gain any real traction.

Knight Frank added that the next three to six months will be critical for global housing markets.

"If discontent in Spain and Greece can be appeased and France and Germany agree on a firm path of growth-promoting policies, the crisis could ease.  Either way, it will be 2013 and possibly the latter half – before the index starts to strengthen," it said.

In April, Jones Lang LaSalle said residential property prices in Dubai had bottomed out, reaching prices not seen since early 2008.

Villa sales increased three percent in the first quarter of 2012, compared to a peak in the third quarter of 2008, but prices still remain 25 percent lower, the firm said in its quarterly Dubai real estate market overview, which sourced data from REIDIN.

It said apartment sales in the emirate also started to stablise in the first three months of the year, but prices remained low, down 34 percent compared to 3Q 2008.

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