Home prices around the world logged record growth last year as the global economy advanced further along the path of recovery.
The latest figures from property consultancy Knight Frank indicate that global housing prices enjoyed record growth in 2013, rising by their largest margin in nearly two decades.
Knight Frank's Global House Price Index saw an increase of 8.4 per cent last year, for its biggest gain since 1995. The 2013 figure compares very favourably to 2012, when the index logged a 4.6 per cent increase.
A total of 39 countries logged positive annual growth in housing prices last year, as compared to 27 countries in 2012.
The Middle East and East Asia were host to the biggest increases in mainstream housing prices. Dubai took the lead, with a stunning 35 per cent increase in home prices. Despite this remarkable performance last year, Knight Frank analysts point out that Dubai's housing prices still have ample room for growth, and remain 25 per cent beneath their peak in 2008.
Mainland China and Taiwan took second and third place, with increases in housing prices of 28 per cent and 15 per cent respectively. The Chinese government's efforts to clamp down on its domestic real estate market appear to have achieved only limited effect, although Knight Frank's figure may be skewed by its reliance on data from the country's two mega cities of Beijing and Shanghai.
Other emerging markets also saw robust gains in housing prices despite tepid economic conditions. Turkey came in fifth place with growth of 13.8 per cent, followed by Brazil in sixth place with a gain of 12.7 per cent. Indonesia and Colombia tied for seventh place with growth of 11.5 per cent.
The United States was the only major developed economy to feature amongst the top 10 countries for housing price growth last year, taking ninth place with growth of 11.3 per cent.
Australia and New Zealand also featured prominently on the list, at 13th and 15th place respectively with gains in housing prices of 9.3 per cent and 9.2 per cent.
At the bottom end of the index in 2013 were Ukraine, Croatia and Greece, with declines in home prices of 26 per cent, 14 per cent and 9 per cent, as a result of political upheaval or economic malaise.