Macau's property prices have climbed back to pre-global crisis levels, and may go up by as much as 20% this year as well.

Luxury apartment values have risen by as much as 80% from their selling prices during the global crisis, which prompted the government to introduce cooling measures. However, the high prices will probably convince many buyers to go for more affordable units.

The figure is predicted by Hong Kong real estate firm Midland Holdings; global property broker Jones Lang LaSalle expects a more conservative hike of 10%.

The property market's recovery, as well as the forecast for higher prices, is largely due to low interest rates, an undersupply of new housing, and the region's booming casino industry, which has surpassed Las Vegas as the biggest in the world.

The percentage of locals among house buyers in general has also risen. In 2010, only 10% of property buyers in Macau were foreign, compared to 35% in 2007 and 2008.

Source: Bloomberg