Albania property seems to be coming back with a vengeance and, it has to be said, rightly so. During the boom we were recommending Albania is a strong and safe place to invest in property on a long-term basis, and anyone who followed our advice will have been far less unhappy about their choice than most westerners who invested in property during the boom.
Unlike the so-called "hot" emerging markets being tipped for short term growth the Albanian property market did not crash. Prices just stopped growing, mostly because of the drop in foreign demand. Meanwhile the strong economic fundamentals that made us tip Albania meant domestic demand remained constant and the market was able to sustain itself in good health.
Since the late 80's Albania's economic record has been very impressive indeed, but especially since 2002. Between 2002 and 2007 a series of economic and fiscal reforms successfully brought a quarter of the poorest in the population out of poverty, which then led to the World Bank upping Albania to a middle income country in 2007.
This meant Albania became eligible to apply for loans from the World Bank and other sources for infrastructure development as oppose to relying on grants. Throughout 2008 Albania used loans to develop its infrastructure. The improvements made such as the Kosovo highway link, and expansion of the port at Durress are arguably why the Albanian economy has fared so well against the crisis.
Now it seems that Albania is coming out the other side of its rough patch. According to the Central Bank residential property prices grew by 10.3% in the first three quarters of 2011 compared to the same period last year. Developers are reporting rapid growth in foreign demand, not least because Albania is still on track for EU membership in 2014.