It's easy to get caught up in real estate news and trends and values in our own little hamlets, but the world of real estate is vast, and what's going on in other countries might just surprise you.
Did you know the U.S. doesn't have the hottest real estate market in the world? There are actually nine other countries ahead of us.
Read on for our latest round of Did You Know--Real Estate Around The World Edition.
1. Europe is hot. "House prices are picking up globally," said The Economist. "In Britain, prices increased at their fastest rate in three years in October (2013), fuelling fears of a housing bubble (and pop). Homes in Germany are rising at the fastest rate since reunification, although housing is still undervalued against both rents and income."
2. It's not just established markets that are experiencing a boom. Knight Frank, a London-based real estate consultancy, "released the latest reading of its Global House Price Index, showing that residential prices are now 4% higher than their previous peak in 2008 and 12.7% higher than their 2009 low. The index's strong performance has been assisted not just by headline grabbing price rises but also in a number of emerging markets. Taiwan, Indonesia, Turkey and Brazil recorded price growth of 15.4%, 13.5%, 12.5% and 11.9% respectively."
3. The hottest real estate market in the world right now? Dubai followed by China and Hong Kong. The United States? We're No. 10, we're No. 10! You can see the rest of the list here.
4. Homeownership is a goal of most Americans. But not in Switzerland, where "only about a third of the people own homes and those who do only make the purchase once they can comfortably afford it," said the BBC.
5. Does size matter? In some factions, it's all about keeping it small - as in the carbon footprint and the floorplan size. Mother Nature Network highlighted this 312 square-foot Toronto House that "has garnered cult-like interest... celebrity Ellen DeGeneres has expressed interest in one day owning the tiny home."
6. In Moscow, where the average price per square foot is $2,400 and "multimillion dollar luxury properties, sought out by the city's growing upper class, are in constant demand with luxury two bedroom" places going for more than $2 million, 80 percent of buyers pay cash!
7. Want to know what you've got in store in the bathroom if you buy a foreign property? Check out the Toilet Guru (yes, there is actually a Toilet Guru) and tour the accommodations of Bulgaria, Trinidad, and Egypt. We'll spare you the pictures.
8. Yes, San Francisco is expensive. But Hong Kong takes the price-per-square-foot cake. The average size of a "billionaire property," says Forbes, is 5,200 square feet. That works out to a tad over $57 million.
9. You think New York City is dense? Be happy you don't live here. "In Singapore, more than 5 million people live in just 272 square miles - New York City's five boroughs, by contrast, comprise about 303 square miles and are home to more than 8.3 million people," said the BBC. "About a quarter of Singaporeans live in so-called shoebox homes that are less than 550 square feet." Despite the cramped space, Singapore "has the highest rate of ownership" in the world at an incredible 93 percent.
10. Yes, we have some weird homes in America. Like New York's million-dollar mushroom house or one in Minnesota made "almost entirely of polyurethane foam." But we've got nothing on the rest of the world, where "creativity" is often the name of the game in home design.