The struggling UK sales market has propelled the nation ten places down the global house price index list, Knight Frank has revealed, and has been overtaken by a list of countries unknown previously for their perky housing markets.
Though home prices fell in Latvia in the second part of 2007 by as much as 65 percent, and the economy was close to collapse, things have turned around since 2010, largely thanks to international aid and a government residency permit program, agents said.
“More than any other sector, housing went through a shock in 2008 and 2009 that gave everyone a good lesson,” said Aldis Riekstins, the head of customer services with Latio, a real estate company with offices in Latvia.
A 2010 change to immigration policy enabled any non-European Union buyer of a home costing at least 143,000 euros, about $162,000, in a large city, or 72,000 euros, about $81,000, elsewhere, to apply for a five-year residency permit in Latvia. But in the fall of 2014, the minimum price for a property in the residency permit program was raised to 250,000 euros, about $283,000, in any part of the country.
The pound rose to its highest rate against the euro since November 2007 on Thursday, climbing to €1.4350 at one point.
The euro fell against both the pound and the dollar as markets assessed potential interest rate moves over the next few months.
The European Central Bank is expected to maintain its loose monetary policy for some time to come.
However, markets are now waiting for rate rises in the UK and US.
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