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Singapore, China Lead Global Home-Price Gains, Knight Frank Says

Oct. 25 (Bloomberg) -- Singapore and China led the world in home-price appreciation in the second quarter amid accelerating economic growth in both countries, according to real estate consultant Knight Frank LLP.

Home prices in Singapore gained 37 percent from a year earlier, according to a statement today by London-based company. In mainland China, based on the cities of Beijing and Shanghai, prices rose 36.8 percent, Knight Frank said.

“Each quarter we are presented with further evidence that the impact of the global recession on the world’s housing markets is diminishing,” Liam Bailey, head of residential research at Knight Frank, said in the statement. “There is a sense that the headline-grabbing, double-digit price changes that almost became the norm in 2008 and 2009 are lessening in scale and number.”

The government of Singapore in August restricted financing and raised duties on some home sales to cool the market, and the Chinese government is trying to damp prices by boosting interest rates. The International Monetary Fund estimates that Singapore’s economy may swell 15 percent this year. China’s gross domestic product grew 10.3 percent in the second quarter.

Prices rose in 69 percent of the markets tracked by Knight Frank this year through June, up from 19 percent a year earlier. Home prices in the Asia-Pacific region increased 14 percent, the most of any area, the company said.

Hong Kong prices rose 24.9 percent in the second quarter, the third-biggest advance in the Knight Frank Global House Price Index. Latvia was fourth with an 18.5 percent gain, and Australia was fifth with an 18.4 percent increase.

U.S., Canada

Prices in the U.S. gained 4.2 percent and Canada home prices rose 13.5 percent, according to Knight Frank.

The worst-performing country was Estonia, where prices plunged 31.5 percent. Ireland had the second-biggest drop, at 17 percent.

“House prices in Ireland now stand at the same point they did at the end of 2002 due principally to a significant overhang of supply and lending constraints,” Bailey said. The rate of decline in Ireland “appears to be slowing,” he said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Brian Louis in Chicago at blouis1@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kara Wetzel at kwetzel@bloomberg.net.

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