By SHARON WROBEL
Israel's housing market was the best performer for the second quarter in a row, while global housing markets are recovering unevenly, the Global Property Guide reported Wednesday.
"[Israel's] house prices rose 10.2 percent over the year to the end of the third quarter [compared to the third quarter of 2008], an acceleration from an 8.4% increase over the year to the end of the second quarter [compared to the second quarter of 2008]," the report said.
Housing markets in Singapore and Hong Kong jumped 14.3% and 11.1% respectively in the third quarter.
The report showed that many housing markets in leading economies around the world remain distressed. Seventeen countries reported falling house prices over the course of the year, while 10 said prices had risen. But in the third quarter, 16 countries said prices had risen, while 11 said they dropped.
The Global Property Guide uses price changes after inflation, giving a more realistic picture than the more upbeat nominal figures usually preferred by real-estate agents.
"The world seems polarized between the Asian economies, which are enjoying strong economic growth and high residential-property price rises (Thailand excepted), and Eastern Europe and the UAE, where growth has stalled and property markets have crashed," the report said. "Quarter-on-quarter house-price changes in the UK, Canada, Germany, Singapore and South Africa are back in positive territory, after these countries suffered during the global financial crisis."
The second-best performer was Australia, where housing prices rose 4.9% from the beginning of the year to the end of the third quarter [compared to the third quarter of 2008], followed by Switzerland and Shanghai, which were up 4.28% and 3.97%.
Among countries where house prices dropped, in inflation-adjusted terms, were: Latvia, 60%; UAE, 48%; Bulgaria, 29%; Iceland, 21%; Russia, 20%; and Slovakia, 15.3%.
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