Six stories making global property headlines:
Fastest rises in a decade for eurozone house prices
House prices in the eurozone rose at the fastest rate in 11 years during the first quarter of 2018. The Wall Street Journal reported figures from Eurostat, the EU’s statistical office, which showed prices increased 4.5 per cent on the same quarter last year — the largest year-on-year growth since 2007. Latvia, Slovenia, Slovakia, Portugal and Ireland all recorded annual increases of more than 10 per cent.
Call for borrower clampdown to cool UK market
Outside the euro area, a UK think-tank has called on the Bank of England to impose mortgage restrictions on homebuyers to prevent house prices rising for at least five years. The Guardian covered a discussion paper by the left-of-centre Institute for Public Policy Research, which suggested the central bank should have new powers to set a target for zero house price inflation.
Hong Kong buyers exploit stamp duty loopholes
Measures by the government to cool Hong Kong’s soaring property prices have been undermined by loopholes in its stamp duties, new research suggests. The Financial Times reported that independent local policy research group Liber Research Community had found HK$8.3bn ($1.06bn) in taxes had been avoided since 2016, when authorities imposed an extra fee on overseas buyers and Hong Kongers with more than one property. The investigation showed some buyers were purchasing real estate through a company.
Falls for high-end homes in Canada
Sales of high-end homes in Toronto and Vancouver tumbled in the first six months of this year as a result of rising mortgage rates, stricter lending constraints, and federal and provincial government policies and taxes. Bloomberg covered a report by Sotheby’s International Realty Canada, which revealed sales of homes above C$1m ($760,000) fell 46 per cent year-on-year in Toronto and 19 per cent in Vancouver, while sales above C$4m plunged 51 per cent and 47 per cent respectively. Montreal bucked the trend, with sales of homes above C$1m rising 24 per cent.
Dubai rents slide as housing stock expands
Following on from the news that declining rental rates had helped Dubai drop down Mercer’s global rankings for the most expensive places to live, figures from property consultants Cavendish Maxwell have confirmed that rents in Dubai have fallen by 5 per cent on average in the past year. The Khaleej Times revealed a further decline is predicted for the second half of 2018 as new supply comes on to the market. It suggested approximately 3,700 units were handed over during the second quarter of this year.
American homes fit for a King (Charles spaniel)
In the US, a new waterfront apartment building in Alexandria, Virginia, is pulling out the stops to make its four-legged residents feel at home. The Washington Post detailed how the 439-unit Thornton development includes a dog-grooming salon and hosts pet-friendly “Mutts and Mimosas” events.
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