In the latest number crunching from Knight Frank‘s international property division, it seems that Hong Kong recorded the largest price rise in 2012, while Greece had the largest fall. They also found that South America experienced the strongest growth, an increase of 8.4% on average, said Kate Everett- Allen from Knight Frank.

Meanwhile property prices in Asia Pacific rose faster in 2012 than in 2011, increasing by 6.7% on average compared to 2.8% a year earlier

Overall, the results of the latest Knight Frank Global House Price Index suggest the rehabilitation of the world’s housing markets – following the global financial crisis – is still a ‘work in progress’. The overall picture is an improving one, albeit marginally so. 19 of the 20 countries which experienced price falls in 2012 were located in Europe, and Hong Kong leads the pack, where mainstream property prices rose on average by 23.6% in 2012.

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For several years the ‘yo-yo’ of the rankings, it seems that the Dubai market is finding its feet. Stalled developments are being resurrected, sales. volumes are rising and the level of market transparency is improving. Also, the US offers a chink of light. In 2012 US property prices grew by 7.3%,

In Europe, Turkey, Russia and Austria bucked the region’s wider trend of negative price growth, recording growth of 10.5%, 10.2% and 10.1% respectively in 2012.

However, Greece, Spain and the Netherlands languished in the bottom five rankings for the second consecutive quarter. Ireland, a long-term resident at the foot of the table looks to have broken free, recording a fall of 4.5% in 2012, compared to a 16.7% decline a year earlier.

Looking ahead, it seems that 2013 looks unlikely to deviate significantly from 2012’s script. The performance of the world’s mainstream housing markets will depend on finding some economic stimulus, relaxing lending criteria and instilling buyer confidence, Knight Frank’s international team have concluded.

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