Only 8 countries saw house prices rise, adjusted for inflation, in 2008, out of 32 major property markets. And according to Global Property Guide, “downward price momentum significantly accelerated” in Q4, with 9 countries seeing 5% price falls. As the chart shows, Latvia, Ukraine and Hong Kong saw prices fall over 10% during the quarter.
Employment levels are a key driver for house prices, and so rising jobless figures suggest that any recovery in prices will be some years away. Realistically, therefore, this important source of chemical and polymer demand is unlikely to stage a quick V-shaped recovery back to the boom period of 2003-7.