After looking at housing downturns in London, Sydney, Dubai and Hong Kong in Part I in this 2-part series on “Good News about the Global Downturn?” we turn today to Part II and look at New York City, Dublin, Vancouver, Istanbul and Munich. The bottom line…house price reductions are a global phenomenon, not just a US reality.
The price of a Manhattan condominium in New York City during Q4 2018 fell below $1M for the first time in three years. This price drop represented a -5.8% fall from December 2017, according to Douglas Elliman Real Estate. Residential units priced at $5M+ dropped a whopping -22% from December 23018, the steepest drop in a decade, according to Stribling and Associates. Condominium inventories, according to StreetEasy, rose 15.4% during 2018 and federal changes in state tax and mortgage laws and property deductions propelled high earners to move their primary residences to lower-tax states. The reason? More than 8% of New York State residents will face higher taxes in 2018 due to the Tax Reform Act of 2018 as will 29% of the state’s highest earners, according to the Tax Policy Center.
Dublin, even in its most desirable districts including D2 and D4 postal codes, looked at just a -2.8% decrease in home prices during 2018, according to Knight Frank LLP. This decrease in home prices came after five years of home price growth once the market collapsed by some -56% since 2008. Mirroring the U.K. economy, Dublin is facing the uncertainties of Brexit, a weak pound and borrowing limits introduced in 2015 by the Irish Central Bank that first time buyers would now be responsible to put down at least 10% for a down payment on a home.
After home prices surged some +63% from December 2013 to December 2018, Vancouver looked at a -4.5% decline in home prices in January 2019 compared with January 2018…now -8% below June 2018 home prices, according to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver. In addition to China’s clamping down on outbound money going to countries for investment purposes, Canada has imposed its own 20% tax on foreign buyers as on strategy designed to cool its housing market. New tighter mortgage rules also make it more difficult for Canadian locals to afford homes.
Istanbul luxury home vales dropped 10.4% during 2018, according to Knight Frank. In the past two years, Turkey’s currency is down almost 41% against the US dollar due to tensions with the US, the Middle East and within Turkey itself. This sharp drop in the value of the country’s currency has essentially decimated Istanbul’s high-end housing market. Its mid-market housing prices are doing better by comparison due to the country’s expanding middle class, migration and more than available mortgage financing.
Munich is a stand-alone bright spot in the midst of this global downturn in housing prices. Home prices in Munich rose by +9% in 2018 and have doubled in the last 10 years. Why? Munich is home to global corporations such as Siemens, BMW and Allianz; Munich’s unemployment rate is at its lowest level in 20 years; and, Munich’s GDP repeatedly outpaces Germany’s GDP as a whole.