Real Estate Prices in Bulgaria up 22.6% in First Quarter

Real Estate Prices in Bulgaria up 22.6% in First Quarter

Global house prices are rising by 9.6 percent per year on an unweighted basis, compared to 9.63 percent a year ago, according to the Knight Frank global house price index.

Latvia still tops the global property price growth list, surging ahead at an annual 61.2 percent.

Estonia and Bulgaria take second and third place in the latest index, based on growth in the first quarter of 2007: there, prices are rising at 24.5 percent and 22.6 percent per year respectively.

The UK ranks ninth with growth of 12.6 percent, while Canada, Singapore, South Africa, Norway and Lithuania are also faring well, with each experiencing double-digit growth.

But house price inflation in the U.S. has dropped to 4.7 percent from 12.5 percent a year ago.

The U.S. market has been hard hit in recent months by a crisis in the sub-prime mortgage market.

Subprime loans, the riskiest part of the U.S. mortgage market, serve borrowers with poor credit histories at higher interest rates.

Default rates have risen in recent months amid falling prices and slower sales in the U.S. housing market.

Elsewhere, however, the picture is worse. House price growth is in negative territory in five other countries — Italy, Switzerland, Japan, Germany and Sweden — according to the Knight Frank figures.

The German market, however, is seeing something of a turnaround; while prices are now lower than they were 12 months ago, they have risen 1.8 percent on the last quarter of 2006.

Despite reports of a property downturn, the Spanish market is also bearing up, with annualised growth of 7.2 percent compared to 12 percent in the first three months of last year.

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