Five stories making global property headlines:
Rate rises put pressure on Hong Kong growth
Hong Kong’s soaring residential property price growth may be nearing an end. Prices are set to fall 13 per cent next year as mortgage rates increase, Bloomberg said. It reported comments by Joyce Kwock, head of Hong Kong property research at Nomura International, who said: “Remember what happened in late 2015 — prices dropped about 13 per cent in only six months, and the trigger was the [US Federal Reserve’s] rate hike. The entirely same situation may repeat again.”
Swedish prices stabilising
House prices in Sweden are stabilising after last year’s market slump, which followed increases of more than 50 per cent in less than four years, reported the Wall Street Journal. Prices of apartments and single-family homes in cities dropped 9 per cent between August and December 2017, according to an index from data provider Valueguard, but the index was up 2.9 per cent in July on December’s low.
Mixed reports on UAE rent levels
More than a fifth of renters in the United Arab Emirates are paying more for the same home than they did last year, despite reported falling rental rates. The National covered a study by price comparison site yallacompare, which found 21 per cent of tenants paid a higher rate in the second quarter of 2018 compared with the same period last year. Just under 20 per cent paid less, while just under half paid the same. We previously reported research from property consultants Cavendish Maxwell, which found rents in Dubai had fallen by 5 per cent on average in a year.
China struggles with rental market reforms
Chinese efforts to develop a well-functioning rental market to combat high property prices are foundering, according to the Financial Times. It said research group China Real Estate Information Corporation had found at least eight operators of long-term rental housing have failed since the beginning of 2017, while analysts say a sustainable business model for rented housing remains elusive.
A US home fit for a superhero
Batman had the Batcave, but you don’t need to be a superhero to own your own underground lair. The 5,500 sq ft Beckham Creek Cave in north Arkansas, originally built as a bomb shelter in the early 1980s, is on the market for $2.75m following a three-year $1m overhaul, according to the New York Times. The fully furnished retreat comes with 257 acres, stalactites and a “live cave” stretching for more than a mile that is home to reptiles and bats.
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