Mapped: How Global Housing Prices Have Changed Since 2010

How Global Housing Prices Have Changed Since 2010

In many countries around the world, it seems like house prices have been constantly climbing.

Houses fulfill a rare mix of necessity, utility, sentimentality, and for many, also act as a primary investment to build wealth. And it’s that last angle, combined with increasing demand in many countries, that is driving housing prices skyward.

Using data from the Bank of International Settlements, Ehsan Soltani has ranked the change in real residential property prices for 57 countries from 2010 to 2022.

ℹ️ Real prices assess the value of a good after adjusting for inflation. This is expressed in constant values relative to a base year, in this case, 2010. Nominal prices do not adjust for inflation.

In the dataset of 57 countries, 80% have seen increases in housing prices in the last 12 years.

Real Price GrowthNominal Price Growth
Advanced economies39%77%
Emerging market economies18%92%

Advanced economies, or the most developed countries in the world, have seen the highest increases. But across all measured countries, the real price of housing has increased nearly 30% on average since 2010.

Countries with Increased Housing Prices (2010‒2022)

Leading the group of 45 countries with increased housing prices is Iceland, with local real prices more than doubling since 2010.

Other countries with a 85% or higher increases in housing prices include Estonia, New Zealand, Chile, Turkey, Canada, and Luxembourg. As emerging market economies, Turkey and Chile are the outliers in this group of mostly advanced economies.

Many other emerging market economies also saw housing prices increase. In India and Malaysia, housing prices are up by 59%. Likewise, the Philippines (50%) and Colombia (40%) also saw real prices increase faster than the global average.

However, not all countries logged big housing price increases. Some countries in Europe, including France, Belgium, and Croatia, and Asia, including China, and Singapore, all saw less than 20% growth in real prices.

Countries with Decreased Housing Prices (2010‒2022)

Some countries bucked the global trend and actually saw real housing prices fall over the last twelve years:

Russia, Greece, and Italy saw the largest contractions in prices, all with housing price drops of more than 20%.

But these cases also allow us to see inflation in action. In Russia for example, despite real housing prices contracting by 33%, nominal prices (which don’t account for inflation) are up more than 50%. In South Africa, where real prices have fallen 5%, nominal prices are up 72%.

Is Your Country in a Housing Bubble?

From the housing prices of countries listed above, the data can point to the emergence of potential housing bubbles in Iceland, New Zealand, and Canada.

However, bubbles are usually only fully identified and measured after they have burst (or have started to). Otherwise, if their inflated values hold through sudden changes in market conditions, they can simply point to more accurately-priced demand.

There are a variety of reasons that can lead to housing price growth. Some of them are listed below, taken from a speech delivered by the deputy governor of the Bank of Canada back in 2015:

MacroeconomicRising disposable incomes, lower long-term interest rates.
DemographicPopulation growth, increased migration, and shifts in family structure.
Credit conditionsBroader access to and more efficient funding of mortgage credit.
Other factorsImprovements to macro-policy framework, international investment, and regulatory and tax changes.

And specific local factors also play a part in many markets. In Iceland for example, tourism growth and the surge in short-term rentals have also contributed to the housing crisis.

Meanwhile, in the U.S., restricted housing supply is one of the factors pushing prices up.

When you factor in successive interest rate hikes to combat inflation and rising mortgage rates, the housing market remains at the forefront of discussion more so than ever. The question is, what comes next for the world’s housing prices?

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