Iceland is a world cup winner - when it comes to house price growth

by Housesimple on 7th July 2018

Iceland may have been knocked out in the group stages of the World Cup in Russia, but when it comes to making money on your property, the Nordic country is top of the pile which ranked the 32 participating countries by average house price growth over the past two years.

Property prices in Iceland, which has less than 400,000 inhabitants, have soared by an average 31% over the past two years, making it one of the hottest property markets in the world. Over the same two-year period, property prices in England have risen 3.3% a year, while in Russia, the host country, they have actually fallen 2.0% since 2016.

Although there are no Latin American countries left in the tournament, five out of seven of the strongest property markets of competing countries are in Central or South America; with Uruguay seeing average house prices rise 13.5% annually since 2016, and Panama (10.5%), Colombia (9.2%), Argentina (9.1%) and Mexico (6.9%) also registering impressive price gains.

Alongside Iceland, Uruguay and Panama, Egypt (11.5%) was the other country that has seen annual double-digit property price growth over the past two years. There have also been three other countries, alongside Russia, where property prices have fallen annually since 2016; Nigeria (-5.6%), Saudi Arabia (-5.4%) and Switzerland (-0.4%).

The follow table shows all 32 participating countries in the World Cup ranked  by average annual house price growth since 2016, from highest to lowest:

Country

Average annual house price growth since 2016

Iceland

15.5

Uruguay

13.5

Egypt

11.5

Panama

10.5

Columbia

9.2

Argentina

9.1

Mexico

6.9

Germany

6.6

Sweden

6.4

Australia

6.3

Serbia

6.1

Portugal

5.5

Japan

4.4

Poland

4.0

Denmark

4.0

Croatia

3.4

England

3.3

Spain

3.1

Belgium

2.7

Costa Rica

2.2

France

2.0

Peru

1.9

South Korea

1.3

Brazil

1.1

Morocco

0.9

Switzerland

-0.4

Russia

-2.0

Saudi Arabia

-5.4

Nigeria

-5.6

Iran, Tunisia & Senegal

No house growth figures

 

Sam Mitchell, CEO of HouseSimple, comments: “With the lack of new housing being built in Iceland following the financial crash, and fewer properties coming onto the market as homeowners rent on websites such as Airbnb, this has seen house prices boom on the island.

“Professional investors are always looking for new market opportunities and aren’t afraid to test these markets. Whether the amateur investor or second homeowner would feel comfortable investing in many of these countries though, is another story, as they’re unlikely to have the depth of knowledge of the local housing market in say Uruguay. It would be a risk, and the key to any property purchase is to always do your research before committing, especially if it’s a market you don’t know that well.”

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