06/07/2012 02:46 EDT | Updated 06/07/2012 02:55 EDT

The World's Hottest Housing Markets

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For all the talk in the media about Canada’s overheated housing market, and even growing fears about an all-out housing bubble, the country’s residential real estate market isn’t nearly as hot as some others around the world.

In fact, according to data from the Global Property Guide, Canada doesn’t even rank as one of the 20 hottest housing markets around the world right now.

With a year-on-year housing price increase of 2.82 per cent through the end of the first quarter of 2012, Canada’s house price growth didn’t even match that of some European countries, where a boiling credit crisis isn’t stopping some real estate markets from booming.


Austria, for instance, saw its house prices jump an average of 11 per cent, while Switzerland saw prices spike 5.5 per cent.

But not all these countries are starting off at the same high level as Canada’s real estate prices. Austria, for instance, is seeing a revival of its real estate market after a decade-long slump that began with a housing bust in the 1990s.

And while Switzerland’s market may be booming, affordability is still reportedly better there. According to recent estimates from The Economist, Switzerland’s real estate market is undervalued relative to what residents can afford. The same study found that Canada’s housing market is overvalued by at least 25 per cent.

Yet the real winners -- if an overheated housing market makes you a winner, that is -- are the BRICS, the economic powerhouses of the developing world. Brazil and India top the list of the world’s fastest-growing housing markets over the past year, while the Philippines and South Korea also made the top 10.

Here are the world’s 10 hottest housing markets, according to Global Property Guide. Percentages represent the increase in average house prices from the first quarter of 2011 to the first quarter of 2012.


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