Estonia is being tipped as a potential property hotspot
Predicting the next big markets for overseas property buyers is becoming increasingly difficult as time moves on, as there are now few developed countries where British buyers have not started to pick up property and develop or improve it. With the increasing influence of low-cost airlines on how we decide on and take our holidays, along with the demise of the traditional package holiday, owning a holiday home is more and more the norm for the general public.
On top of this are the buyers who no longer trust the pensions markets or stocks and shares, and are using the overseas property markets as a way to invest and make money. If anything, this type of buyer is looking to get to the newest markets ahead of the crowd, and make their investments before the real growth starts.
These predictions are by no means a precise science, but they should hopefully give you something to consider when you are looking for your own place in the sun (or snow).
Although property in the North African state of Morocco has been available for foreigners to buy for a few years now, the developments are now starting to take shape and will be attracting tourists as well as investors in the near future. With the support of the well-liked King of Morocco, the developments feature golf and beach properties to rival much of what Spain has to offer, and flight times to the Mediterranean coast around three hours with low-cost airlines. Morocco is seen as a progressive and democratic nation with established legal and property processes, so with good legal advice, there should be no issues with buying there.
Billed as the closest Caribbean islands to mainland Europe, Cape Verde’s property market has seen some impressive growth over recent years, both in the amount of building that is happening and the tourist numbers visiting the island archipelago. A haven for watersports enthusiasts and beach bums alike, there are now direct flights from the UK to Cape Verde eliminating the need to go via Portugal. A range of beach, golf and eco resorts are being built for ‘residential tourism’, and tourism is set to continue to grow for some years to come.
Now becoming one of the most popular winter sun destinations, Egypt combines history and tradition with some fantastic modern resort developments that attract visitors from across the world. Weather is virtually guaranteed to be good for the whole year, and while there have been some security issues in the past, the Egyptian government recognizes the importance of the tourist market, and is taking all steps it can to protect visitors to the resorts. Some great developments are available in hotel complexes and golf resorts both around the Red Sea and in cities across the country.
The new kid on the block last year, Brazilian property is now becoming more popular and seen as a real investment opportunity. The numbers of tourists visiting Brazil from the US has risen sharply, and the Ministry of Tourism, founded only in 2005, is promoting the North-East coast heavily as a lifestyle destination. With celebrities like Brazilian football star Ronaldo and actor Antonio Banderas buying in the area, it is no wonder that many British investors are now looking to head out to find out what this part of South America has to offer.
While buying property in Canada has been on the cards for many years, in 2008 the market is set to open up further for the investment and the holiday home markets. There are now low-cost airlines flying to various regional airports, while investors can even get buy-to-let flats in oil towns where workers need good-quality accommodation. Skiing, golf and outdoor sports are all popular, while many people are attracted by the outdoorsy, family lifestyle Canada offers, even if it is only during the holidays that you get to enjoy it!
This may seem like a strange destination for a holiday home for anyone but the most hardened of gamblers, but for overseas property investors, Nevada’s desert city makes perfect sense. Not only are there some truly exciting real estate projects taking shape there, but as a destination for visitors Las Vegas has no seasons, and therefore can attract people who whole year round. Some of the properties available to buy are hotel suites which you then lease back to the hotel group on a profit-sharing basis. With hotel occupancy in Las Vegas often running at more than 90 per cent, the opportunity to make money buying property in Las Vegas is significant.
Often seen as the fastest-growing economy in the world, buying property in China will make some people nervous, but the leisure market has some opportunities to keep both investors and some holiday home owners interested. Asia is the fastest-growing golf market in the world, and huge developments around groups of golf courses are becoming increasingly popular. As part of the BRIC group of countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China) predicted to become the economic powerhouses of the world within the next few years, China’s property market expects huge growth, and with the prospect of further government controls on overseas property ownership, opportunities may be limited.
South America’s second-largest country, Argentina seems to have emerged from the economic and political uncertainty that has dogged its development in the past decade. As countries around it continue to grow, the property market in Argentina is beginning to flourish, and is no longer restricted to city investments and ranch estates. With new President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner elected with a huge majority in 2007, a wave of optimism has flowed through the country and helped to strengthen international relations, Property in Argentina could be a market to watch for 2008.
Favourite of American retirees seeking tax breaks, and now, of fugitive canoeists from the UK looking to miraculously come back to life, property in Panama has been gaining attention from the UK property press for some time now. The large numbers of multinational companies located in the city, along with the position at the hub of the trade world, make Panama’s property market an attractive emigration and investment destination. New properties are springing up all of the time, and there are now retirement developments appearing out in the countryside as well, giving an extra dimension to investing and living there. As for living in anonymity, you may be better now to lay your hat elsewhere…
Having been around as an investment destination for a couple of years now, some see the Baltic States as having had their day, but while some investors are getting their money out of Latvia now, Estonia remains popular and continues to grow. Low-cost flights offer the possibility of weekend breaks and short-term rentals to the tourist market, while the development of the capital Tallinn brings local people to the city as another rental market. Capital and rental return may not be as exciting as they were a couple of years ago, but buying property in Estonia can still make a good profit and its stability adds to confidence.