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Israel tops best performing housing market list

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Israel's property market recorded the biggest growth of all the countries surveyed globally according to a new report.

The Knight Frank Global Price Index showed Israel growing by 10.9% over the 12 month period ending Q1 2009, followed by the Czech Republic at 9.9%. The worst performers were Latvia, Dubai and Singapore who recorded falls in average prices of, respectively, 36%, 32% and 23%.

Australia has also taken a tumble on the global scale, dropping in ranking from 12th in the March quarter of 2008, down to 34th this year in Knight Frank's global house price index. The change came after house prices fell 6.7% in the first quarter of 2009 from a year earlier, and down 2.2% from the previous quarter. The index accounts for only established detached housing, however.

"Weak house prices (in Australia) reflect the lagged effort of higher interest rates earlier in the cycle, the peak of 7.25% still in place as recently as August 2008," said Matt Whitby, national director of research for Knight Frank Australia.

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