HARConnect

2015 Global Property Update

By Magda Vandenbussche

Worldwide, real estate will always be a good gauge of a country’s economic situation. While in the Unite States, and certainly in Houston, the economy is thriving and the housing market is performing better than ever, other parts of the world are still struggling. Europe still has not recovered from the crisis and is said to have fallen back into a recession. The job market is not recovering and entrepreneurs are shifting their investments to other parts of the world.

Today France is the fifth largest economy in the world, however it is about to lose that place to the United Kingdom. The property market in France has always been very desirable. Having a second home in France was on everybody’s bucket list. With the bad economy, the security problems and the “taxed habitation” on second homes going up as much as 20%, people are staying away from buying their dream home in France. Today, home prices have actually started to decline in France.

Spain is doing better. Although the economy hasn’t fully recovered, people are buying property. Mainly the British, but the French and Belgians as well, are snatching up properties in sunny locations for sunny prices. United Kingdom and U.S. buyers are returning to Italy and its dolce vita as both the pound and U.S. dollar strengthen. Russians are expected to show less interest in buying property in Italy due to the drop of the Ruble and the slowing economy in Russia.

Last month I visited Dubai. Again a lot of building is going on and new developments are being planned. Seven years ago most properties were acquired by investors, now the properties are bought by the end user. Many people are moving in and traffic is dense. Prices are expected to remain stable during 2015.

The Asian market, being very diverse, has some ups and downs with property prices in Singapore on a 20% decline and the property market in Sri Lanka also slowing down. The recent election of a new president in this country might bring changes to the market though.

One of the most important real estate markets in the world is London. The capital of Great Britain is still the biggest indicator for luxury property investment. Today, interest in prime central property remains strong with buyers coming from Brazil, Egypt and Qatar. Also Russians are still buying prime property and this despite the low Ruble against the British Pound.

An upcoming market for buying investment property is Cape Verde. These islands in the Atlantic Ocean, located in front of the North African coast was once a Portuguese colony. Now they are one of Africa’s most stable democracies. With still low property prices and plenty of white sandy beaches they are most sought after by investors. New hotels are being built as well as vacation homes. Many Europeans are vacationing in Cape Verde during the cold winter months.

And what are wealthy investors adding to their portfolios today? Vineyards! Now this is something I would invest in if I had the means. Not only because I love my glass of wine but because of the increasing global demand for wine. More and more people around the world have access to fine dining and wine. According to Knight Frank’s latest global vineyards index, values have been rising steadily in 2014 with winemaking regions in the U.S. and New Zealand leading the rankings.

2015 promises to be an exciting year in the world of global real estate so stay tuned in to see where this year takes us!

Guest author Magda Vandenbussche is a longtime member, instructor and supporter of the HAR International Advisory Group. Magda is currently living in Knokke Heist, Belgium and is a Personal Travel Planner for Worldwide Luxury Travel working with individuals and large groups.

Lori Carper

Lori Carper

Director of HAR Meetings & Events and HAR International

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