Industry NewsMarkets & Economy

Global housing shows signs of strength

Prices up from a year ago in 19 of 36 countries surveyed

Housing prices were up during the first quarter in 19 of 36 countries included in a survey of official house-price statistics compiled by online property research site Global Property Guide.Global Property Guide calculates changes in real home prices after adjusting for inflation. While home prices in North America remained weak, "massive recoveries" under way in Hong Kong (up 27 percent from a year ago), Singapore (up 24 percent) and Taiwan (up 18 percent) could signal that a bubble is forming in Asia, the report warned.Analysts have expressed concern about the rapid price appreciation in Hong Kong, "and there is a lot of very un-Hong Kong-like outrage at 'speculators,' " the report said.In Europe, strong recoveries were underway in Finland (up 11 percent from a year ago), Norway (8 percent) and the United Kingdom (5 percent). Home prices in London were up nearly 16 percent from a year ago, the report said.Norway's recovery has been spurred by "a massive stimu...