European Property Markets Continue Boom in 2015

Investment in global real estate markets shows no signs of abating this year, with statistics showing house price rises.....

Investment in global real estate markets shows no signs of abating this year, with statistics showing house price rises in 32 countries around the world and declines in just 9, from figures so far published for Q4 2014.

Ireland has the world's top performing housing market, seeing prices surging by 16.62% in 2014, a huge leap from the 6.18% achieved the previous year. At the other end of the scale, Ukraine is the weakest international market after property prices plummeted 48.85% in 2014 after an almost significant annual rise of 0.95% in 2013.

In total, seventeen European markets saw house prices rise more during 2014 than the previous year, with just five showing weaker performance.

Investor sentiment for European real estate at all-time high

The rouble crisis, weakening oil prices and dollar strength are all factors behind Europe's continuing property boom, with ultra-wealthy investors from China, the US and Middle East attracted by added value in property investment from foreign exchange fluctuations.

At the high-end, transaction activity has suggested the introduction of liquidity to property markets, particularly from Russian investors seeking to consolidate their financial position with overseas purchases made before the rouble crisis. High value deals are being recorded with increasing regularity; just months after properties have been purchased by the previous owner.

Ireland head and shoulders above other property markets

The Irish economy is now the fastest-growing economy in the EU, with GDP growth of 4.8% last year, after paltry growth of 0.17% in 2013 and a contraction of 0.3% in 2012. Analysts predict Ireland will rebound with economic growth at 3.5% in 2015.

Improving stability breathed life into the Irish housing market, with residential property prices surging 16.62% during 2014, following on from an increase of 6.18% in 2013. This marked the second year of house price increases after the financial crisis of 2008.

UK still a property market of choice for investors

Non-EU investors continue to pour capital into UK property markets although there has been a slow-down in buyer interest in the capital, as investors seek better fundamentals near regional business districts.

Nationwide house prices climbed 7.33% in 2014, after an increase of 4.88% in 2013 and declines for previous years following the crisis. The British economy expanded by 3% last year after more modest growth of 1.7% in 2013, according to the British Chamber of Commerce. Economic growth is projected at 2.6% this year with Q1 recorded at 3%, an indication that this target will be met or exceeded.

Foreign exchange markets have been hugely volatile in recent months, driving investment to more secure, tangible assets such as real estate. Buy-to-let, income-generating investments are very much the vehicle of choice in 2015, with housing affordability in many countries remaining an issue, generating demand for rental properties.

- Wednesday 01 April 2015


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