MADISON, N.J. – Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC today released a snapshot look on several international housing markets. The information was provided by local Coldwell Banker® affiliates in featured markets based on their views of recent housing trends for five diverse European cities.

“As a premier international real estate company, Coldwell Banker Real Estate has the pulse on various global markets,” said Budge Huskey, president and chief executive officer for Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. “Our buyers and sellers are increasingly pursuing opportunities beyond traditional national boundaries, and so we consider it prudent to effectively showcase important housing markets around the globe.”

A LOOK AT SELECT REAL ESTATE MARKETS

·         Barcelona – On the road to economic recovery. After six consecutive years of price reductions, Barcelona is now experiencing price stability, especially in the luxury segment.  The 7,893 first-quarter unit sales reflects an increase of 14 percent over the previous quarter, also marking the first quarter in eight years that both sales and price increased at the same time.
·         Berlin’s average time on market to sell is eight to nine months. Berlin is experiencing record lows in inventory, below 2 percent on average and 1.5 percent in most central areas of the city, due to the strong economy, low interest rates and an increase in population. With the population forecasted to increase by 7.2 percent by 2030, the market is facing a significant shortage of supply with only 6,500 new residential units being built per year compared to the projected need of 11,000 annually. Berlin is largely a rental market, yet the homeownership rate has increased to approximately 15 percent largely due to an influx of first-time buyers.
·         Bucharest – The largest city in Romania is seeing a surge in new home construction with nearly 1,500 completed in the first quarter of 2014, compared to 900 in the first quarter of 2013. This level of individual and state building in the first quarter of 2014 is similar to those figures experienced during the economic boom period. Overall, real estate transactions are up eight percent through the first quarter of 2014 compared to the previous year.
·         Malta, one of the world’s smallest and most densely populated countries, has been relatively stable although there has been a cultural shift towards renting via long term leases as apartments are being built to replace older homes. Like many markets, 2014 has brought renewed strength to the housing market beginning to erase a 40 percent combined price drop from 2008-2013 when banks stopped all developmental loans.  Prior to 2008, Malta experienced annual price increases of 10-15 percent.
·         Rome is seeing positive signs after seven years of real estate sales contraction.  In the first quarter of 2014, 6,579 properties were sold in Rome, which was a 0.6 percent increase year-over-year, while pricing decreased over previous quarters.

LOOKING DEEPER: FOREIGN BUYERS

Barcelona. The majority of foreign buyers coming into Barcelona are from the United Kingdom (14 percent overall), followed by France (11 percent), Russia (9 percent), Germany (8 percent), Belgium (7 percent), Switzerland (6 percent) and the United States (3 percent).

Bucharest. American buyers make up less than one percent. The majority of foreign buyers come from Spain, Hungary, Austria, Germany, U.K., Israel, Turkey and China.

Berlin. Berlin, especially West Berlin, has traditionally been very popular among Russian buyers and this trend continues in today’s market. Italians are the second largest group of foreign buyers with a noticeable increase from southern Europeans led by Italy, Greece and France.

Malta. Foreign buyers are mostly European (10 percent overall) with a small percentage of Americans on the island (0.3 percent). Other noticeable foreign buyers are coming from Asia (3 percent), Russia (2 percent) and Africa (0.7 percent).

Rome. The majority of foreign buyers are from Russia (12 percent overall), followed by the U.K. (10 percent), Germany (9 percent), France (8 percent), U.S. (7 percent), and China (5 percent).

LOOKING DEEPER: PRICES

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