World’s 20 best places to invest in property
The past few years have been sobering for global property. Falling house prices have torpedoed buy-to-let markets all over the world. But millions of Britons are still tempted by the dream of buying a property in the sun, spending their holidays there and converting it into a nice little earner in their old age. Sinking hard cash into an overseas property always comes with risks. Yet there are a number of destinations where investing now looks far more attractive than 12 months ago. Some markets that nosedived – for example, Spain – show signs of bottoming out, and offer good value again. In other parts of the world, such as the Caribbean, overseas buyers are being targeted with significant tax incentives. Here are 20 hot spots where investors in all price brackets can find good value in 2014.
Tourist numbers in Montenegro are expected to grow faster than in any other country in the world, according to the World Travel and Tourism Council. And a knock-on effect on the property market seems inevitable, says Aleksandar Kovacevic of Savills Montenegro. He forecasts a 10 per cent growth in house prices in 2014. With the property market still in its infancy, expect better value for money than in neighbouring Italy or Croatia.
On the market: Two-bedroom coastal villas with pools at Sea Breeze from £335,000
“The most positive sign is the return of the market for properties priced below £150,000, which more or less disappeared between 2008 and 2011,” says Linda Travella of Casa Travella. She tips Liguria as an area on the up. British buyers are looking to let out their second homes in Italy more than in the past, which puts a premium on properties close to tourist hot spots.
On the market: Three-bedroom apartment in a large villa overlooking a marina, £777,000 with Savills
“Mauritius is still quite a niche destination, but it has a strong rental market. What’s more, overseas buyers qualify for residency, along with associated tax benefits,” adds Charles Weston Baker of Savills. The island has gone from strength to strength in the past few years, with more and more high-quality golf courses to augment those idyllic sun-drenched beaches.
On the market: Two-bedroom apartment at the Anahita resort on the east coast, £450,000 with Savills
4-Zell am See, Austria
“Austria saw price rises of 10-15 per cent in 2013, with demand for high-quality developments far outstripping supply,” says Giles Gale of Mark Warner Property. The Austrian government is clamping down on illegal lettings, and there has been a surge in demand for properties that have the requisite holiday letting authorisation in place. The market still represents good value, but you must know where to look. On the market: Apartments at the Alpin See resort in Zell Am See from £300,000 with Mark Warner Property
“Contemporary villas in Marbella continue to be highly sought after,” says Ian Cunningham of Escape to Spain. The downturn in the Spanish property market has been well documented, and any green shoots of recovery are as flimsy as a flamenco dancer’s tassels. But it would be logical to expect the top end of the Spanish market to pick up more quickly than the country’s market as a whole.
On the market: Contemporary homes with sea views in a prime location, £3.3m with Escape to Spain
Panama might not have the same ring of romance as other Latin American destinations – except for hat-fanciers, perhaps. But it is looking like an increasingly sound bet for the enterprising investor in property. The country enjoys stable government and had a higher GDP growth rate than China in 2012. “There is a thriving entrepreneurial environment, and the tax-free zone of Colón is another huge draw,” says Charles Weston Baker of Savills International.
On the market: Beach duplex in a gated community at Coronado, £200,000 with Viviun