A survey of house prices in a dozen advanced countries shows prices rose fastest in Australia in 2010, increasing by 9.4 percent for the year.
That’s less than the 15.9 percent year-on-year the Aussies saw during the first quarter of 2010, and possible upward movement in interest rates will probably dampen the rate of increase, as will the expiration of Australia’s First Home Owners Grant in January.
Adrienne Warren, an analyst at Canada’s Scotiabank, expects a slowdown in housing sales and price appreciation next year, with the Australian Reserve Bank tightening policy and short-term rates rising by an additional 75 basis points by the end of 2011.
''While Australia's close trade ties with Asia and resource wealth will continue to underpin a solid pace of domestic activity, higher interest rates will worsen already strained affordability,'' Warren told The Sydney Morning Herald.
Warren credits low unemployment and a tight supply with putting Australia ahead of France, Sweden, Switzerland and Britain in housing price increases.
The Scotiabank survey found that housing prices dropped in the U.S., Spain, Japan and Canada.
In November, a RP Data-Rismark survey found Australia's median dwelling price fell between $410,000-$460,000 and for cities in all regions.
The Christian Science Monitor reports that a study of 20 U.S .cities shows that house prices fell in all 20 in October.
Atlanta was hit the hardest. Overall, house prices fell by 1.3 percent in the month.
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