AUSTRALIA ranks in the top ten countries in the world for strong house price growth.


The latest Knight Frank Global House Price Index puts Australia at seven in the world in terms of house price growth in the past 12 months. The index, which analyses price data from 54 different countries, found that house price growth had slowed throughout the world for the first three months of 2014.


Despite this for the first time since 2008, no single country tracked by the index recorded an annual price fall of more than 10 per cent. The report found Australia, the United States, and Iceland now sat alongside several emerging markets in the top ten rankings for annual price growth.


Dubai headed the list for the fourth year in a row with price growth of 27.7 per cent in the past 12 months.
Australia recorded price growth of 10.9 per cent for the year and a more conservative 2.1 per cent for the first quarter of the year.


Croatia, Cyprus and Greece were the weakest-performing housing markets in the 12 months to March 2014. Knight Frank associate director of residential research, Michelle Ciesielski says the turnaround in the Australian, US and Icelandic housing markets was evident in the results


She said in many markets the final quarter of the year often resulted in a peak of sales transactions as buyers rushed to complete sales before the New Year. This she says led to a quieter market in the first quarter of the year in many countries.


“We expect to see the index’s performance strengthen again in the second quarter.’’ “All eyes will remain on central banks, in particular the Federal Reserve, the Bank of England and the European Central Bank. The issue is not when interest rates rise but the speed and extent to which they do.’’