10 places where housing is soaring

The U.S. real estate market might still be a mess, but in other parts of the world home prices are getting downright frothy. These countries saw the greatest jump in housing prices during the past year.

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Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Annual increase: 20.1%

Uber-rich Mainland Chinese business owners have been flocking to Hong Kong, and it's not just because it's the world's business and trade center. It also has some of the world's most sought-after real estate.

While demand is relatively high, supply is tight, given that this densely populated region spans only about 426 square miles. That explains why prices have risen faster than other country in the world in the past year. It also helps that borrowing costs to pay for these super-expensive homes is at record lows. Since December 2008, the base interest rate has hovered at a two-decade low of 0.5%.

But Hong Kong's government has been trying to quiet the real estate party, as part of its ongoing effort to fight inflation. In November, officials took its toughest steps by imposing an additional transaction fee of up to 15% on properties that are resold within two years. They have also required higher down payments for high-end home purchases.

Pricing data is from Knight Frank Global House Price Index


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Last updated April 28 2011: 12:31 PM ET
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