Economy

Ex pats drive top-end home prices higher

SmartCompany /

Ex pats buying expensive properties in Australia helped accelerate the growth in Australian housing prices during the past year, says James Hall, Knight Frank’s national director, residential.

The latest Knight Frank Global Price Index, which looks at rising house prices in 30 countries, shows the growth in house prices is slowing led by the US and Germany.

But house prices in Australia accelerated in the past year. In the 12 months to June the index rose 7.8%, compared to 9.6% the previous year.

Australia had a 9.2% rise compared to 8% the year before. Much of this rise was driven by prices at the top end, with prices at that end of the market expected to remain high.

“The ex pats are competing for houses at the top end of the market,” he says. They are not returning to Australia yet, but are buying investment properties.

He says while the lower end of the market has softened, prices at the top end are expected to rise further due to tightening supply. “The sharemarket has been very volatile over the past month, so traditionally we would expect to see a move to property although that hasn’t happened yet.”

Eleven other countries also experienced higher home prices including Singapore, South Africa, Norway, New Zealand and Hong Kong. Meanwhile house prices fell in Denmark, Sweden and Germany. Latvia had a massive 38% leap in house prices followed by Bulgaria at 27%.

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