Check out the world’s best—and worst—performing housing markets

The world’s best and worst housing markets

Atila Yumusakkaya | Moment Open | Getty Images

Property bubbles across Europe seem to growing again, even in countries that have only recently been burnt by a property boom. House prices in Ireland have gained 15 percent over the last 12 months, according to global estate agency Knight Frank. By contrast, U.S. homes have gained an anemic 4.8 percent.

CNBC takes a look at which countries across the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Middle East have seen the biggest gains in house prices over the last 12 months—and which have suffered the biggest losses. The data is predominately based on Knight Frank's "Global house price index," published this month. Some countries are yet to post third-quarter data, so have not been included.

—By CNBC's Katy Barnato on Tuesday 23 December 2014.

Up: Ireland: +15.0 percent

Dublin, Ireland.
Aidan Crawley | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Top-performer Ireland has enjoyed a remarkable turnaround, having languished at the bottom of Knight Frank's rankings for most of 2009 to 2012.

Irish house prices increased 15 percent in the 12 months to September this year—but remained 39 percent below their pre-crisis peak in 2007.

Investor appetite for property in Dublin, in particular, has rebounded since 2012. Letting activity in Dublin has also picked up strongly, according to Savills.

Up: Dubai, UAE: +12.5 percent

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The city-state in the Middle East's United Arab Emirates (UAE) posted double-digit growth in the year to September. But the headline figure disguised a sharp 5.2 percent decline recorded between June and September 2014.

Knight Frank attributed the quarterly decline—the first in four years—to a doubling in property transfer fees and the introduction of mortgage caps.

"In the near-term, there is little to indicate that residential transaction volumes in the luxury segment will stage a strong recovery," the estate agency said in its 2015 forecast.

Up: United Kingdom: +10.5 percent

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The U.K. looked set for another property boom at the start of the year and house prices gained 10.5 percent in the 12 months to September.

However, the market has since cooled. Knight Frank forecast that London's prime residential—defined as the top 5 percent of the housing market—would post zero growth in 2015, having averaged 7.9 percent over the last two years.

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Up: Estonia: +10.0 percent

Tallinn, Estonia
Nico Tondini | Getty Images

The housing boom in eastern Europe's tiny Estonia continued into the start of 2014, but slowed considerably during the year. House prices gained 10 percent over the 12-month period, but actually fell 1.1 percent between April and September.

Property prices in capital Tallinn have been boosted by Russians looking to invest outside their home country—a trend that may have accelerated this year due to the political and financial unrest in Russia.

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Up: Taiwan: +9.7% percent

Taipei, Taiwan
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House prices on the island state of Taiwan in East Asia appreciated by 9.7 percent in the 12 months to September 2014, according to Knight Frank.

The Global Property Guide website states that property prices have risen continuously in Taiwan since 2009. It estimates that an apartment in Taipei will set you back $7,112 per square meter, making the Taiwanese capital the 18th most expensive city in the world to buy a home.

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Down: China: -1.2 percent

Houses for sale at a real estate summit & trade fair in Beijing, China.
Zhang Peng | LightRocket | Getty Images

House prices in China, the world's most populous country, declined by 1.2 percent in the 12 months to September. The slowdown was particularly marked in the latter half of the period, during which prices declining by 3.6 percent.

In October, the sales price of new homes fell year-on-year in 67 out of 70 large or medium-sized cities in China, including Beijing and Shanghai. The worst-hit cities were Shenyang and Hangzhou, where Jack Ma's Alibaba was founded.

Down: Poland: -2.4 percent

A market in the center of Warsaw, Poland.
Franck Fife | AFP/Getty Images

Residential prices have fallen in Poland in line with a slowdown in economic growth in the former Soviet state. Property prices fell by 2.4 percent in the year to September 2014.

Global estate agency Savills forecast in September that rents in Poland's capital city, Warsaw, would fall over the next six months, with supply increasing.

Down: Spain: -2.7 percent

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Spain enjoyed an economic upturn in the 12 months to September. However, the country is still smarting from a ruinous property market collapse in the early 200's and the housing market is still in the doldrums with prices falling 2.7 percent.

The top end of the housing market outperformed however, with prime property in Madrid gaining 6.4 percent in the year to September, according to Knight Frank.

Down: Singapore: -3.3 percent

Roslan Rahman | AFP | Getty Images

Government interventions have hit home-buying in Singapore, as in Dubai. Prices fell by 3.3 percent in the year to September, with buyers deterred by an uptick in a property tax targeted at foreigners.

Knight Frank forecast transaction volumes would continue to fall over the next few months, as investors await the relaxation of the government's market-cooling measures.

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Down: Greece: -7.7 percent

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After a six-year recession, the Greek property market is still in the doldrums. Homes valuations fell by 7.7 percent in the year to September, although the rate of decrease waned.

In an effort to revive the market, the Greek government has offered residency to any investors from outside the European Union who purchase or rent a property in the country worth over 250,000 euros ($311,250).