European countries record a rise in house prices

Britain was one of the few European countries to record a rise in house prices in 2009 according to a report, giving further impetus to signs of a sustained recovery in 2010.


The RICS European Housing Review 2010 show that UK house prices rose by 1 per cent in 2009, among only five countries to record growth, with the Nordic countries storming ahead with gains as high as 12 per cent in Norway.

Ireland, Spain and the central and eastern European countries experienced the worst declines with prices sinking between 27 per cent and 53 per cent, with little signs of a more positive outlook this year.

The report added that the level of supply overhang in Spain, Cyprus and Ireland, including both unsold holiday homes and primary residences, could bring these markets further problems.

The rest of Europe reported only moderate drops given low interest rate environments and a raft of government measures to prop up the ailing residential sectors.

Rising unemployment levels are also forecast to hit the housing market.