From London to Sydney and Beijing to New York, house prices in some of the world’s most sought-after cities are heading south.
Tax changes to damp demand, values out of kilter with affordability and tougher lending standards have combined to undermine the market. That could have wider implications because the world’s wealthy have been buying homes on multiple continents, meaning a downturn in one country could now pose more of a threat to markets elsewhere, according to the International Monetary Fund.
London’s Falling Sales
Prices in the U.K. capital are starting to fall as fears about the impact of Brexit, a slowing economy and high prices damp demand. Sales volumes are down and more properties are being offered for sale as sentiment turns. Properties in central London’s best districts have fallen almost 18 percent since their peak in 2014, with some homes losing as much as a third of their value, according to research by Savills Plc. At the same time developers began work on a record number of pricey apartments, creating a glut of multimillion-pound penthouses in a city with a chronic shortage of affordable housing.
Beijing Buyers Hold Off
China’s clampdown on overheated property prices has frozen sales and left values in a downtrend. More than 30 restrictions, from buying thresholds to mortgage curbs, helped send sales by area to a historical low this year. New homes are now being offered for less than existing homes by some developers who faced heavy financing constraints. There are further headwinds ahead—the city wants to increase rental supply, affordable housing and government-subsidized property, prompting some would-be buyers to defer purchases.
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