You may have come across several 'top ten' lists discussing the best places for real estate investments. And found a discrepancy between different lists - destination number one in the first list may not even figure in others! Of course, the sources conducting the survey/study would have set unique criteria to identify the investment hotspots.
The ground reality is that real estate investors look for exciting opportunities in emerging markets, where there is potential for high future returns, as well as developed markets that have remained safe investment havens through the recession. This top ten list identifies these gems:
1. Istanbul: This Turkish city was rated as a top city for real estate development and acquisition last year by PriceWaterHouseCoopers. The Eurozone turmoil is not expected to affect property in Istanbul and investment prospects are forecasted to be good. For the record, Istanbul's property market remained stable through the 2009 global financial crisis. FDI (foreign direct investment) in Istanbul property during 2011's second quarter was close to $200 million while property sales were estimated to be $781 million over the same period. What makes the city tick? It’s lively with about 15 million inhabitants and home to several cultural and historic sites.
2. Canada: From ski chalets and timber lodges to private cabins and a slew of holiday and other real estate properties for sale, Canada is an excellent investment destination. Unlike neighbour United States, Canada has a stable housing market, with home prices and sales continuing their strong momentum over the last decade. Eastern Canada remains popular with Brits thanks to its relative proximity (a 5-7 hour air journey).
3. Sao Paulo: An emerging real estate market, Brazil's biggest city Sao Paulo has enjoyed sustained economic growth, rapid population and income growth, and increased consumer spending. The 2016 Olympics and 2014 World Cup in Brazil are global-scale events that are expected to further thrust the city in the limelight. Many real estate development projects in collaboration with state municipalities will also present opportunities for overseas private investors.
4. Warsaw: Poland's HDI (human development index) has been robust since its communist days ended, and now, its capital city - Warsaw - is fast attracting the attention of global real estate investors. Warsaw is a growing business hub, its residential property market is undervalued and its commercial returns have witnessed an uptick.
5. Berlin: Germany's capital city, despite enjoying a high quality of living and a strong local economy, has undervalued residential property, presenting opportunities for real estate investors. Its steady commercial returns (capital values and income returns) and growing rents are other positives for buying property in Berlin.
6. Mauritius: A popular holiday destination, Mauritius is now open to foreign investors thanks to government initiatives. Besides the obvious beauty of this island and upcoming real estate development projects, including beachfront complexes, Brits can take advantages of the financial perks on offer. On purchase of apartments or villas for £310,000 or more in designated zones, you can become a Mauritian resident and enjoy lower business and personal taxes!
7. Hong Kong: The residential, retail and office sectors are growing at breakneck speed, with commercial property returns being too good to pass up.
8. Sofia: That the real estate market in Sofia, Bulgaria's capital city is recovering after depressed property prices across retail and residential sectors, with forecasts of stable future growth, are all promising signs for global investors.
9. Bucharest: A growing business hub, Bucharest has witnessed robust commercial growth in the warehouse and office sectors, making it an attractive investment proposition.
10. Budapest: Like Bucharest, Budapest's commercial sector is buzzing, and its residential property is also undervalued.
There are many more emerging real estate investment hotspots that promise attractive gains to investors with the means and risk appetite for purchasing overseas properties. But the ten listed above are chart-toppers in their own right.
Buying Investment property abroad
Written by Les Calvert