Second-tier Chinese city records highest housing price growth in the world

A strong year for Asia-Pacific as Chinese and Indian cities command hefty price gains

The old imperial section of Xi’an stands in stark contrast to its modern skyline. ebenart/Shutterstock

Mainstream housing prices in the tier 2 Chinese city of Xi’An leapt 20 percent in the year through the third quarter of 2018, the latest update of Knight Frank’s Global Residential Cities Index showed.

The Shaanxi provincial capital bested property price gains in 149 cities around the world, including second placer Ahmedabad, which registered an annual growth of 19.6 percent, and third placer Budapest (19 percent).

It was overall a strong third quarter for Asia-Pacific, the best-performing region in the world with a 6.2 percent gain during the period. Other Indian cities appear in the top 10, with prices in Hyderabad having gained 18.6 percent (fourth place); Bengaluru, 18.3 percent (fifth); and Surat, 13.2 percent (ninth).

Hong Kong housing prices grew 15.8 percent, enough for a seventh-place ranking globally.

Headwinds threaten this period of growth, however. “While the Asia-Pacific region continues to lead the world in residential price growth this quarter, its pole position is looking more at risk following the introduction of cooling measures, rising interest rates, and waning buyer sentiment,” said Nicholas Holt, head of research for Knight Frank Asia Pacific.

“A combination of these factors will likely lead to slowing growth momentum as we head into 2019.”

Growing evidence of this weakening may already be seen in Australia, where Sydney and Melbourne saw prices dwindle 4.4 percent and 1.5 percent, respectively.

Hobart remained an outlier, standing at eleventh place worldwide with an annual growth of 13 percent.