Five property stories making global headlines this week:
Canberra among Australia’s price pace-setters
Australia’s capital is predicted to join the Tasmanian city of Hobart in recording the country’s strongest growth in house prices in the next financial year. The Sydney Morning Herald covered a BIS Oxford Economics report, which suggested prices would rise by 5 per cent in 2018-19 and that the median price in Canberra would grow 10 per cent in the three years to June 2021.
Tough market hits UK’s largest agency group
Countrywide, the UK’s largest estate agency group, issued a fresh profit warning as a “subdued” market for home sales took its toll. The Financial Times reported that the group, whose brands include Hamptons International, John D Wood and Mann, has struggled as nervous sellers have held off on listing properties amid stalling price growth.
UAE cities become cheaper in global terms
Falling rental rates in comparison with other cities around the world have helped Abu Dhabi and Dubai drop down the global rankings for most expensive places to live. Dubai is now the 26th most expensive city for expats, down from 19th last year, according to The National’s coverage of annual research by Mercer, the consulting firm. Abu Dhabi’s 40th place, compared with 22nd in 2017, makes it cheaper than New York, London, Tokyo or Sydney. Other reasons to live there, as suggested by the Financial Times recently, include its tax regime.
Hong Kong leader defends vacancy tax
Hong Kong’s chief executive Carrie Lam said her priority was to serve the interests of the public as she defended government proposals to tax developers that hoard empty apartments, revealed the South China Morning Post. The vacancy tax is aimed at encouraging developers to release more residential units on to the market, boosting supply and cooling rocketing prices.
Rent-free living on offer in Seattle
Meanwhile, in the north-west US, landlords in Seattle are offering incentives such as up to two months’ free rent, $2,500 gift cards and Amazon Echo devices, to entice renters to move into properties. Vacancy rates in the city are at their highest levels since the recession: the Seattle Times reports that following a construction boom, a quarter of apartments in central Seattle stand empty.
Photographs: Getty Images/iStockphoto; Reuters