Wednesday, 6 June 2012 8:41 AM
Global house prices have recorded their weakest annual performance since the depths of the recession in 2009, according to Knight Frank.
The property firm’s global house price index said prices rose 0.9 per cent in the 12 months to March 2012 as doubts about the future of the Eurozone combined with efforts by Asian countries to cool speculative markets.
Global prices were static in the first three months of 2012 and this is the first time that annual growth has slipped below one per cent since the fourth quarter of 2009.
Prices fell over the year in 27 out of 53 countries surveyed and the biggest falls happened in places on the periphery of the Eurozone.
Ireland led the way with a decline of 16.3 per cent followed by Greece with -9.8 per cent, Portugal with -8.6 per cent, and Poland and Spain each with -7.3 per cent.
These countries also saw some of the biggest falls over the last three months, beaten only by Ukraine with -7.1 per cent.
At the other end of the table, Brazil, Estonia, India and Austria all saw growth of 10 per cent or more. The UK finished in 25th place with an increase of 0.2 per cent.
Asian countries saw annual price growth beat 16 per cent in the first quarter of 2010 but that has now slowed to two per cent as a result of lending restrictions, new taxes and curbs on multiple property purchases.
Kate Everett-Allen of Knight Frank international residential research said: "The next three to six months will be critical for global housing markets. If discontent in Spain and Greece can be appeased and France and Germany agree on a firm path of growth- promoting policies, the crisis could ease. Either way, it will be 2013 – and possibly the latter half – before the index starts to strengthen."