The next real estate implosion could begin in Hong Kong, according to a new study from UBS.
The investment’s firm’s Global Real Estate Bubble Index says homes in the Asian territory are the most overvalued in the world—and at the highest risk for collapse.
The good news for U.S. homeowners is UBS says it doesn’t believe any major city in America is presently in a bubble risk. However, it did note “major imbalances” in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York.
Chicago was the only U.S. metropolitan area that was rated as undervalued.
The story’s less optimistic for homeowners in Munich, Toronto, and Vancouver. UBS says the bubble risk in those cities is nearly as high as it is in Hong Kong, where citizens need to work 22 years to afford a 646-square-foot home. Amsterdam and London are also at risk of a bubble. Overall, housing prices in major cities have increased 35% in the past five years, the study says.
And in some areas, it’s much worse.
“[San Francisco] real house prices have increased by 80% in the last six years,” the report noted. “Price growth has accelerated again in recent quarters, up 12% in the past 12 months. Though city inhabitants enjoy the greatest income growth among residents of the US cities in the study … affordability has worsened in both the ownership and rental markets.”
Cracks seem to be appearing as well. UBS notes that home prices have started to decline in half of last year’s bubble risk cities. It’s much too early to determine the extent of any possible bubble’s collapse, though, at this point.