Knight Frank has published its Global House Price Index, showing that South Africa’s mainstream residential prices have increased slightly more than the global average over the past year.
The index shows that prices across 56 countries and territories worldwide are rising at an annual rate of 3.7% on average, the slowest rate of growth for over six years.
Analysis of the latest available data shows Hungary leads the index this quarter with 15.4% annual price growth, boosted by a robust economy (4.9% GDP growth forecast in 2019), low mortgage rates, high wage growth and a range of government subsidy measures.
Previous frontrunners from the last two years – Slovenia (18th), Malta (22nd) and Iceland (26th)- have cooled significantly, either due to weaker economic landscapes, affordability concerns or a decline in tourism.
Seven of the top 10 rankings this quarter are European countries and most are located within Central and Eastern Europe. Here, prices are rising albeit from a low base, economies are strengthening and borrowing costs are close to record lows.
South Africa ranked 24th on the list of 56 countries with an average 12-month change of 3.8%.
Recent data from analytics group Lightstone showed that 261,097 properties were sold in South Africa as of December 2019, totalling R210 billion.
The town of Noordhoek, in the Western Cape, achieved the average highest transaction prices across the year at R4.5 million.
The most expensive residential property sold in 2019 was R45.7 million, while the most expensive commercial property sold for R365.5 million.