House prices recorded an average increase of 8.7% in late 2004/early 2005 worldwide, shows data of the International Real Estate Federation (FIABCI) and ResearchWorldwide.
According to the survey, which monitors 23 countries on a monthly basis, South Africa at 27.8%, Hong Kong 21.6%, Spain 17.2%, New Zealand 16.4% and France 16.0% top the house price annual percentage change list at present. China, Norway, United States, United Kingdom and Sweden complete the top 10 rankings.
Japan and Germany are at the bottom of the ranking with a registered drop in house prices.
For the sake of comparison, Bulgaria recorded an average increase of 31% for a 12-month period (Q4 2003 - Q4 2004).
Ignoring calls for "bursting bubbles" the man-in-the-street continues to demand residential property to buy not only in Bulgaria, says Deyan Kavrakov, President of FIABCI-Bulgaria and CEO of ADIS Ltd., Bulgaria's leading full service real estate company.
Investing in "bricks and mortar" continues to be more attractive than securities and bonds, he adds.
Experts define a deal as speculative when its return on investment outperforms those in mature markets (8-10%) and is at least 30-40 % and more.
There is no bubble on Bulgaria's property market, but due to its stage of development there may be inadequate prices in some segments, Kavrakov comments.
Prices are expected to slow down around 2007, followed by one year of "wait and see" and - as the experience of Central European countries shows - the market starts its own development, positive in most cases, according to him.
Kavrakov forecasts the price increase of residential property to be a double-digit figure in percentage in 2005, but considerably smaller than the previous year.