Luxury houses aren’t such a hot investment

Angus Kidman 4 November 2016

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Real estate market growth has slowed for those living at the top end of town.

It's tough for average first homebuyers to even get a start in the Australian housing market, and their numbers are dropping as a result. If you're wealthy you'll have more choice, but new data shows your investment won't necessarily appreciate as rapidly as it once did.

The Knight Frank Prime Global Cities Index measures the change in price for the top 5% of the residential real estate market across the globe. In other words, it works out how quickly the value of harbourside mansions and expensive penthouses is changing. (Knight Frank does similar research around general real estate price trends worldwide.)

Based on the most recent report, luxury accommodation ain't what it used to be, especially as an investment. In the year to September 2016, the average annual price growth was 3.8%. The rate of growth declined in 18 of the 37 cities tracked by the study; the growth in the previous quarter had been 4.6%.

The two Australian cities in the survey bucked the trend, however. Melbourne prices went up 10.2% year on year, while Sydney was up 8.1% in the same period. Here's the full picture across the 37 cities covered:

I'm certainly not going to feel sorry for anyone living in multi-million dollar luxury. The lesson for us plebs is that while real estate remains a solid investment, buying big won't necessarily mean big returns, especially in the global picture. Best enjoy the spa if you can.

Angus Kidman's Findings column looks at new developments and research that help you save money, make wise decisions and enjoy your life more. It appears Monday through Friday on finder.com.au.

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