US & Asia leading global property boom

Real Estate

America and the Asia Pacific region led the property boom last year, according to official house prices from the Global Property Guide. The survey shows the US housing market posted its best performance since 2004 with the national home price index jumping 9.4 per cent in 2013. Asian housing markets also continued to head higher while in Australia the housing market booked its best performance in four years. The survey reports Aussie house prices across the nation’s eight capital cities rose 6.5 per cent over last year, broadly in line with gains across regional markets. 
 
Across the Asia Pacific region, Australia has since been ranked the second most attractive property market in the Asia-Pacific, being trumped only by China. CBRE’s inaugural Asia Pacific Investor Intentions Survey reports 18 per cent of investors surveyed preferred Australia for property investment while 28 per cent rank China as the best. Delving closer into both markets, potential investors placed Sydney and Melbourne third and fourth following Tokyo and Shanghai. 
 
Commentary
 
Macquarie Group Limited (ASX:MQG) Global Head of Economics, Richard Gibbs gives his outlook for the property sector in 2014:

"What we need to see in the property sector is actually more construction of course or dwelling investment because that’s what really what contributes to activity. Price changes, in relation to established house prices and off-the-plan and the like, don’t do much for activity, but do a lot for the headlines of course. I think we’ll probably see a little bit more price gain on the house price side but we do expect to see some more substantial response on the construction side which will be very positive for the Australian economy.”  
 
To watch more of the interview click here
 
Australian auction results
 
Sydney recorded an 81 per cent clearance rate from 686 properties for auction 
Melbourne posted a 73 per cent clearance rate from 976 properties for auction
Brisbane booked a 64 per cent clearance rate from 78 properties for auction
Adelaide saw a 62 per cent clearance rate from 45 properties for auction
 
Commercial property sector
 
Property developer Stockland (ASX:SGP) has secured a strategic 19.9 per cent stake in industrial property investor Australand Property Group (ASX:ALZ)
 
Real estate investor Folkestone Limited (ASX:FLK) has inked a deal to buy The Station Oxley shopping centre in Queensland for its new real estate income fund. 
 
Property developer Watpac Limited (ASX:WTP) has won a $47 million contract to build stage one of the new Mater Private Hospital Springfield west of Brisbane. 
 
Retail giant Westfield Group (ASX:WDC) has entered into agreement to sell three of its UK shopping centres for more than $1 billion (£597 million) as it progresses its restructure.