Vancouver Property Tops Global Cities Index


Prime property prices have moderated around the world but Vancouver in Canada continues to buck the trend with prices in the city up 26% year on year, the latest global index shows. Vancouver leads the Prime Global Cities Index for the fourth quarter in a row as a severe lack of supply is creating an upward pressure on prices.

Indeed there is little evidence that February’s increase in land transfer tax in Vancouver from 2% to 3% on all purchases above $2 million has dented sale volumes. Three other cities, Shanghai, Sydney and Melbourne also recorded double digit annual price growth in the year to March 2016, but the gap between this top tier and the remaining cities has widened.

Strong price growth in Sydney and Melbourne mean Australasia is the strongest performing world region while out of 35 cities, London has slipped to 23rd in the annual rankings with prime prices up 0.8% year on year. Hong Kong and Taipei occupy the bottom rankings with luxury prices dipping 6.4% and 7.6% respectively

The Index Report says that record low interest rates and cheap finance fuelled demand in Shanghai leading to price growth of 20% year on year, however, in March the government tightened mortgage lending rules which is likely to result in slower growth in the second quarter.

Overall prime property prices across the 35 cities in the index increased on average by 3.6% in the 12 months to March 2016. The index entered a period of steady growth in 2014, consistently recording annual growth of 3% to 4% in the subsequent seven quarters.

No city has recorded a double digit annual decline in prices since the second quarter of 2015. New York and Miami, where cash buyers now have to comply with new transparency rules above set price thresholds, continue to record steady price growth.

The report suggests that the more muted performance is as a result of a series of tax changes and a preceding period of exceptional growth. As of 01 April 2016 buy to let investors and second home buyers pay an extra 3% in stamp duty on any UK purchase.

Although prices in Paris dipped 3% in annual terms, prices stabilised over the last quarter as French buyers, having recognised value in their capital’s market, increased their market share.

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