It’s been more than a decade since the great housing bubble of the 2000s burst, helping precipitate the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. In some markets, there are now signs that a new bubble has now emerged.
The UBS Global Real Estate Bubble Index 2018 from UBS Global Wealth Management’s chief investment office points to a significant overvaluation of housing markets in most major developed market financial centers.
The report points to Hong Kong, followed by Munich, Toronto, Vancouver, London and Amsterdam as the five markets most at risk. U.S. markets San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago and New York all cracked the top 20 as well.
But UBS is cautioning that today’s bubble may not hold the same dangers as the one a decade ago.
“Although many financial centers remain at risk of a housing bubble, we should not compare today’s situation with pre-crisis conditions,” Mark Haefele, chief investment officer at UBS Global Wealth Management, said in a statement. “Nevertheless, investors should remain selective within housing markets in bubble risk territory such as Hong Kong, Toronto, and London.”
“The median total return on housing in the most important developed market financial centers was 10% annually over the past five years, accounting for an imputed rental income and book profits from rising prices,” added Claudio Saputelli, head of real estate at UBS Global Wealth Management’s chief investment office. “How appealing returns will be in the next few years is questionable. We recommend caution when buying residential real estate in most of the biggest developed market cities.”
The following gallery provides a glimpse at the top 20 markets in the report along with some key stats measuring affordability and how those metrics compare with the previous peak.