The figures of Global Property showed house price rises in 32 countries and declines in 13 countries.
The five strongest housing markets in the survey for the full year 2016 were: China (+21.34%), Iceland (+12.53%), Romania (+11.01%), Canada (+10.66%), and New Zealand (+9.47%).
The biggest year-on-year house-price declines were in Montenegro (-12.95%), Russia (-9.27%), Qatar (-5.69%), Brazil (-5.51%), and Mongolia (-4.85%).
China tops Asia as best performer in the price survey
China was the strongest housing market anywhere around the globe for 2016, boosted by an earlier economic stimulus, while the Japanese and Hong Kong markets also rose impressively.
Vietnam, the fourth strongest market in Asia according to the survey, posted modest house price growth in 2016.
House prices in China surged after measures to support the housing market were introduced by the government. In Shanghai, the price index of second-hand houses rose by 21.34% in 2016, a sharp improvement from a rise of 9.31% a year earlier and the highest annual rise since 2007.
During the fourth quarter of 2016, house prices in Shanghai rose by 1.48%.
However, house price rises in other Chinese cities were more subdued. In Beijing, for instance, the price index for second-hand residential buildings rose by just 5.49% in 2016 from a year earlier, significantly lower than the double-digit price increases seen in Shanghai.
House prices in Beijing increased 1.28% quarter-on-quarter in the fourth quarter of 2016.
The housing market in Japan also rose strongly in 2016, despite a weak economy. In Tokyo, the average price of existing condominiums rose by 9.32% in 2016 from a year earlier, a sharp improvement from a meagre growth of 1.01% in the previous year.
Residential property prices in the capital city increased 1.16% quarter-on-quarter in the fourth quarter of 2016.
Residential property prices in Hong Kong rose by 6.4% in 2016, after rising only 0.11% in 2015. During quarter four of 2016, house prices rose by 2.88%.
The housing market in Vietnam also gained momentum in 2016, with property prices rising by 2.89% for the year, following weak performances in recent years.
However, Vietnamese house prices declined 0.23% quarter-on-quarter in the fourth quarter of 2016, which could signal weaker growth on the horizon for 2017.
The upward momentum of the Vietnam housing market in 2016 was fuelled by increased construction, strong foreign sector exports and the recent introduction of changes to the housing laws that allow foreigners and overseas Vietnamese to legally own, sell and transfer real properties.
The Vietnamese economy expanded by 6.2% in 2016, slightly down from a growth rate of 6.7% in 2015, but still one of the fastest rates in the ASEAN region, which was entirely attributable to expanded foreign sector manufacturing in the country.
Property prices in Vietnam rose by 2.89% in 2016, after rising 0.86% in 2015 and 1.32% in 2014, and experiencing annual declines of 1.24% in 2013, 6.42% in 2012, 2.91% in 2011, and 1.76% in 2010.