NZ number two in global house prices -- and unaffordability

NZ number two in global house prices -- and unaffordability

New Zealand has ranked number two in a survey of the world's fastest rising property markets. But the report also ranked New Zealand number two for the least affordable property market.

Prices rose 14.2 percent in New Zealand in 2015, according to figures from global real estate agents Knight Frank.

Turkey topped the 2015 Global Price Index, rising 18.4 percent last year. That was despite terrorism and ongoing tension with Russia.

Knight Frank says Turkey is "increasingly viewed as a safe haven for Middle Eastern investors, is bridging East and West, whilst also seeing strong population growth."

The third strongest market was Sweden, with an annual increase of 12.3 percent.

Australia also saw double digit price growth, rising 10.7 percent.

The strong showing by both New Zealand and Australia meant that Australasia was the strongest performing region in the survey.

The Index increased 3 percent last year, up from 2.3 percent the year before.

The prices are based on government and central bank figures.

43 of the 55 nations in the survey recorded positive annual price growth.

That is up from 10 countries which saw prices rise in 2009 in the aftermath of the Lehman's collapse.

Housing affordability

New Zealand ranked number two in the "least affordable" rankings. Knight Frank says that was based on the latest data from the OECD, which measures house prices against incomes.

Belgium was the least affordable market, whilst home ownership is considered "most accessible" in South Korea and Japan.

"Housing affordability, or lack of it, is rising up policymakers' agendas worldwide," says Kate Everett-Allen, Knight Frank's head of international residential research.

The year ahead

Knight Frank says its outlook for the year ahead is "muted".

It is predicting the index's overall rate of growth to be weaker this year than in 2015, due to a "potentially dangerous cocktail" of low oil prices, a strong dollar and a continued slowdown in China.