Extreme property landscape



The Asian property market is known for it extreme peaks and troughs. Talk about bursting bubbles is nothing new.

1996

Regional governments move to slow speculation and increase the supply of housing after home prices hit record levels, spurred in large part by investors looking for quick profits. Hong Kong prices hit US$1,000 (Dh3,673) a square foot; values in Singapore are up 440 per cent from 1986.

1997

Asian economic markets collapse, an event brought on by bad bank loans and rampant speculative currency trading.

1998

Hong Kong home prices fall more than 44 per cent from 1997 levels.

1998

"Maybe the lessons we learn from this crisis will help us avoid, or at least cope better, with the next one,"the economist Paul Krugman says in Fortune magazine

2000

After billions are invested in a slew of internet companies, the dot-com bubble bursts, sending ripples through the global economy. Home prices in Asia continue to slide.

2003

An outbreak of the serious strain of pneumonia known as SARS devastates Asian tourism and sends regional economies reeling. Hong Kong home prices are down 70 per cent from peak.

2006

With interest rates low, investors begin buying property in Hong Kong and Singapore. But prices are still far below record levels. Singapore houses are still 37 per cent lower than in 1996.

2008

Bad bank loans and unregulated speculative trading by investors looking for quick profits lead to the collapse of the US housing sector.

2009

Investors start to buy up property in Hong Kong and Singapore, sending prices soaring. Many of the buyers are from mainland China looking to move their money out of the country.

2010

Asian governments move to restrict speculation and increase supplies of property as fears mount that property bubbles are forming in many cities. The measures have little effect as prices continue to rise.

* Kevin Brass

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