Global house prices were generally on the way up last year, led by the US and Asia-Pacific, according to a survey of official house price statistics.
The Global Property Guide study collates house price information from 42 major housing markets and shows prices rose in 27 during 2013.
That still leaves 15 countries in the red with falling prices, although the rate of decrease has slowed in six.
House prices rose but at a slower rate in Sao Paulo, Brazil; Vienna, Austria, Hong Kong and Turkey.
Each of these places has positive house price growth which is decelerating.
House prices in all 20 major US cities increased, with Las Vegas showing the biggest inflation-adjusted year-on-year increase of 23.7%. Realtors are reporting continuing rising demand for homes.
Dubai is top performer
New Zealand saw prices up by 8.02% during the year, after rising 8.54% in 2012. Neighbouring Australia’s property market put in the best performance in four years, with house prices in the eight major cities up by 6.47%.
Around the Asia-Pacific rim, house prices in Taiwan surged by 14.46%, almost twice the increase of 7.72% in the previous year.
In Indonesia, homes in the 14 largest cities rose in value by 5.82% during 2013, well up on the increase of 2.27% in 2012.
Several Asian markets saw house prices nudge up, including Tokyo, with a 3.91% increase, Thailand (3.87%), and Hong Kong (3.3%).
House prices in the Middle East performed well. After a two year house price bonanza, Dubai saw house prices rocket by 21.52%, after increasing 21.64% in 2012, and 6.3% in 2011.
Europe is a game of two halves for property investors and home buyers.
In some places, prices are forging ahead, like Tallinn, Estonia, where the average price jumped 16.55% during 2013 – much higher than the 1.59% rise in the previous year.
Romania in free fall
In Vienna, Austria, home prices continued to go up for the sixth year in a row – this time by 7.51%.
Other well-performing European markets included Ireland, with prices up 6.18%, Turkey (5.73%), UK (4.88%), Riga, Latvia (4.64%), and Iceland (4.33%).
Some European markets also saw little house price movement. These countries included Sweden, with a 3.98% increase, Germany (3.69%), Switzerland (3.24%), Vilnius, Lithuania (2.41%), Kiev, Ukraine (1.63%), and Bulgaria (0.38%).
The rest of Europe is a different story. Romania was the world’s worst housing market during the year, with prices dropping by 10.43%, following more drops of 5.96% in 2012, 6.99% in 2011, 22.08% in 2010, and 24.22% in 2009.
In Greece, house prices were down 7.26%, better than the 13.77% drop in 2012, but still a poor performance.
Other depressed European markets included Zagreb, Croatia (-6.27%); Russia (-5.86%); Spain (-4.38%); Netherlands (-4.16%); Warsaw, Poland (-3.55%); and the Slovak Republic (-3.01%).