Five stories making global property headlines:
Hong Kong named global ultra-prime hotspot
Hong Kong is the world’s leading city for ultra-prime property, with 47 homes selling for more than $25m each over the past year. This was the highest number of transactions in that price bracket, according to a report by Knight Frank, ahead of New York and London. Bloomberg reported that the estate agent found that 153 ultra-prime properties in six cities sold for a combined total of $6.6bn in the past year, equivalent to a global average of $43m per home. Hong Kong had the highest average — $52.8m per property.
Modest growth forecast for Canadian market
House prices in Canada will grow modestly in 2019, although some cities will struggle, estate agents suggest. The Globe and Mail reported that real estate company Royal LePage expects national median sales prices to grow 1.2 per cent next year, while rival Re/Max forecasts gains of 1.7 per cent. Royal LePage predicts the highest increase, at 3 per cent, will be in Montreal, while prices in the Greater Toronto and Greater Vancouver areas are expected to rise by 1.3 and 0.6 per cent respectively. Calgary is among cities predicted to experience price drops.
UAE tenants agree lower rents
More than six out of 10 tenants in the United Arab Emirates negotiated a rent decrease on their home in the past year, according to a poll by real estate portal Dubizzle Property. The National reported that 62 per cent of 1,400 tenants surveyed in November had reduced their rent, with 18 per cent of respondents cutting more than 15 per cent off their yearly rental bill. Average apartment rental values have decreased by 11.7 per cent annually in Abu Dhabi.
Land value tax mooted for Scotland
There is a strong case for reform of land and property taxes in Scotland, where many remote areas are held in privately owned estates, according to new research covered by the Financial Times. A report by the University of Reading in southern England for the Scottish Land Commission suggests the introduction of a land value tax, which is levied on the underlying value of the land rather than the buildings on it and economists say is difficult to evade, might boost efforts to make it easier for communities to acquire land.
A princely sum for Bel Air
The second most expensive home to be publicly listed for sale in Bel Air has come to market, complete with a lift for four cars and a swimming pool flanked by Oscar-like statues. Forbes reported that other features of the $88m, eight-bedroom Los Angeles house, built by developer Ardie Tavangarian of Arya Group, include a roof-top deck, wine storage room, 40-foot fire pit, cinema, massage room, spa, sauna and art studio.
Photographs: Alamy, Dreamstime; Hilton & Hyland