Investing, Market Updates

Top ten prime global cities for property price growth q1 2021

Globally, prime residential prices are rising at their fastest rate since Q4 2017.

Prime prices, defined as the top 5% of the housing market in value terms, increased 4.6% on average in the year to March 2021. Eleven cities registered double-digit priced growth up from just one a year ago. Low mortgage rates – record lows in some markets – tight stock levels and a desire for space post-lockdown have led to an uptick in demand.

Three Chinese cities – Shenzhen (+19%), Shanghai (+16%) and Guangzhou (+16%) – lead the index this quarter with improving economic sentiment and government investment in the Greater Bay Area of China behind the acceleration. Buyer enthusiasm has persisted despite a new round of curbs being introduced in January.

Vancouver and Seoul (both +15%) complete the top five rankings, here successive cooling measures have been deployed to reduce speculative activity in recent years but local appetite for
homebuying remains undeterred. Residential sales in Greater Vancouver increased 22% in 2020 year-on-year.

Auckland, the index’s previous frontrunner, has seen prime prices moderate. The slowdown from 18% to 8% is in part due to the base effect prime prices in Q1 2020 were notably higher than in Q4 2019 but also the introduction of a new capital gains tax (CGT) for non-primary residences which are bought as an investment and held for less than 10 years.

NumberCityRegion12 Month % Change
(Q1 2020 – Q1 2021)
3 Month % Change
(Q4 2020 – Q1 2021)
4VancouverNorth America15.2%6.3%
6St. PetersburgRussia13.4%2.5%
7Los AngelesNorth America12.6%2.2%
10MiamiNorth America10.2%2.4%
Source: The Knight Frank Prime Residential Cities Index

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