Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Spanish Property - A Eurozone Investment That Won’t Break The Bank

The Kyero Q3 Spanish House Price Index has just been released and it isn’t good news…

In fact it is another blow for those owners and developers who have Spanish property on their hands and need to sell. This is because over the last 12 months, the average asking price of Spanish property has again plummeted from €267K to €244k.

Yet another 8.5% reduction that rubs salt in the wounds of those hoping for some sign of an upturn in Spain.
The upturn certainly hasn’t arrived yet, however this has not stopped a large number of investors and buyers from the colder climbs of Europe rushing in to snap up properties on the Spanish Costas while they still can.
I can’t say I blame them either. If someone offered me a property in somewhere like Marbella with a 70% discount, I would be on the plane faster than you can say Easy Jet.

This is what is happening now in Spain and unlike some of the other struggling countries in Europe who are still feeling the effects of economic instability, Spain will always have its year round climate and the tourists who arrive every year for their holidays.

I was talking to one of my Irish friends Fergus over the weekend and when I asked how much it would be to buy a property with a sea view in Ireland he said, “How much? In these parts we offer to buy each other properties so that we can get change for the bus fare out of here.”

It is an interesting contrast with the mood in Spain where there has rarely been so much interest from investors. Of course Ireland is a very different kind of market to the one you will find in Spain and it doesn’t have the bonus of  year round sunshine and warm weather.

The real draw for those investors when it comes to Spanish property is not only the discounted prices, but also the lower risks involved. Any investor knows that buying property on the Spanish coast is as much a lifestyle choice as it is a long term investment.

Those investors also know that at such low prices and big discounts, the outside risk that economic volatility will take its toll in Spain is mitigated. Yes Spain is still in a recession and yes its house prices continue to fall, however they can only fall so far.

In the long term, London aside, Spanish property at a 70% discount is still the number one choice in the struggling EU.

Do you think Spanish property is a good investment? Please leave your comments below. 

Kind regards
Brett Williams 
Property Expert

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Istanbul Property - A Safe Haven Emerging Market

Istanbul Property - A Safe Haven Emerging Market

The IMF is predicting that the global recovery is going to be held back by the huge floppy eared elephant we call the EU, so where does this leave property investors? The answer has to be Istanbul property.

Did you ever read the book about the family of mice and their stock of cheese? I first read the story back in 2007 when we were last facing some testing times and I like to keep it as a source of inspiration whenever times are tough.

The story is about four mice who live in a maze and they are quite happy living on the cheese they find in in their own little corner, so happy in fact that they begin to get a little lazy and depend heavily on it.
They go to the same place and do the same things every day regular as clockwork.

That is until one day when mother mouse goes to the spot where they always find their cheese only to find that it isn’t there anymore. The cheese had been moved.

Panic stricken she goes back to the family and tells them the bad news. Unfortunately even after looking hard they are unable to find any cheese. The next day the family check again…

Still no cheese and after some days they start to go hungry.

The mouse family driven by hunger eventually decide to get out of their comfort zone and go and try to find what they need in another part of the maze. Fortunately they find it and live happily.

The moral of the tale is that sometimes you need to change direction and find whatever it is you are looking for some place else. Sometimes there is no point in hanging around waiting for things to change.

I thought this story could be used perfectly to describe the dilemma being faced by property investors. Many will be frustrated and disillusioned with trying to find growth in EU property markets.

At the moment it simply isn’t there, so it is time to look beyond the borders and find safe havens that still provide a high return on investment like Istanbul.

Istanbul property prices have increased by 11.87% between August 2011 and August 2012 with smaller properties 51-75 sqm seeing an increase of 13.16% in this period. Housing stocks have also fallen nearly 3% from their peak in March.

Add to this an economy that is actually forecast to grow by more than 3% this year in contrast to a 0.4% contraction of the UK economy and it is easy to see where you can find the best property investment Europe.

If I were a smart mouse, I know where I would be heading with my money.

Are you struggling to find a good property market to invest in? Please leave your comments below:

Kind regards
Kabir M Qureshi 
Managing Director

The Big Funds Continue To Invest In Distressed Florida Property

The Big Funds Continue To Invest In Distressed Florida Property

Warren Buffet thinks single family homes in Florida are cheap and now a major investment firm has decided they are now such good value they are prepared to invest a cool $150 million in 1,200 repossessed and foreclosed property in South Florida.

As I have been telling for months on this blog, Florida property is extremely attractive to investors right now. A combination of high rental yields, heavily discounted prices and a market that finally seems to be following a sustainable path towards recovery is what has attracted the attention of many of the big investors in the USA

The group of Mexican partners at Vulcan group are pretty clear about why they want to invest in South Florida homes. Their CEO Inaki Negrete said in a press release, “We’re buying properties once valued at $200,000 or more for $75,000 and making them available within six weeks for a reasonable $1,500-a-month rent.”

Buffett one of the world’s greatest investors saw the potential we have been telling you about right back at the beginning of the year and this latest investment only reinforces the idea that Florida property is an extremely good long term bet – certainly in contrast to most property markets in Europe at the moment.

Negrete added; “The residential home market in South Florida is definitely on the rise” and the fund is so optimistic about their investment that they expect to liquidate it in 2017, with a 100 percent increase in the values of the properties in its portfolio, plus an annual rental cap rate above 14 percent.”

For most smaller investors it may not be possible to invest on the scale of the large investment funds, however I think this latest move by Vulcan should alert investors that time is running out when it comes to some of the larger gains as property values steadily increase.

Only last month, a Reuters poll forecast that house prices would rise 2.5 percent next in Florida next year, up from 1.8 percent on their July poll. We also learned in August that month, that the average price of a Miami Condo rose 9.1% to $404,927 from $371,205 a year earlier.

On top of this, average rents are climbing 4.4% annually according to the latest data.

It is not often that we see rising rents and prices happening in one state, yet this is what is happening now as a result of tight lending conditions and the influx of foreign cash buyers from Canada and Brazil as well as the big fund managers.

Is it time to invest in Florida property? You bet it is. Please leave your comments below:

Kind Regards
Brett Williams
Property Expert

Why More Arabs Are Investing In Turkish Property

Why More Arabs Are Investing In Turkish Property

An old property investor friend of mine said to me the other day, “Turkey is pretty interesting at the moment isnt it.” I told him that is a bit of an understatement.

Like many other UK investors, this particular investor is not actively looking to buy abroad at the moment, however European investors are not the main target for Turkish developers, it is the growing influx of investors they are welcoming from the Gulf.

It may surprise you to hear that the Middle East accounts for just 10 per cent of foreign direct investment in Turkey each year. This may already be about to change as Turkey seeks closer ties with its Middle Eastern neighbours.

There are some obvious economic benefits for Turkey in being nestled between Europe and Asia. If one side slows down it can always rely on the other to boost trade. Turkey’s economy continues to grow even though most European countries have gone into reverse and Turkey’s remarkable economic performance in recent years is no accident.

As a result, investors from the Gulf states are increasingly eyeing Turkish real estate as a good long term bet. It has been well documented that Istanbul has seen increasing interest from investors from the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Yemen – all of whom can invest in Turkish property following the reciprocity law change this year.

The country is actively encouraging more investment from its near neighbours and their arrival has been part of the reason why the Turkish property boom has managed to sustain itself to the point where average prices have already risen over 10% since January 2012.

The new Turkish property law only came into effect in May and already the FT reported this month that Agaoglu, a construction group developing the site in Istanbul has received $400m from Gulf investors before it was even launched.

The development in the centre of Istanbul’s business district will include 5,000 apartments in what is claimed to be the biggest real estate project in the Turkey’s history at nearly £1.5bn.

For both investors from Arab states and Turkey itself, the benefits of closer ties means that, on the one hand, Gulf investors can feel confident to invest in property in cities such as Istanbul at prices that are still well below those to be found in Western Europe. While on the other Turkey’s property developers get to tap into the obvious wealth that is accumulating from the trade in energy.

People have been calling Istanbul the “new London” for most of the past 12 months and it is likely that many Middle Eastern investors will find Istanbul a more attractive proposition. Turkey is much closer to home and so is the culture.

So when it comes to catching the next wave of growth in Turkey, investors will need to act fast to beat the influx of investors who will inevitably find Istanbul property – as my friend would say – ‘pretty interesting.’

Do you find Istanbul property interesting? Please leave your comments below:

Kind Regards
Angelina GoreProperty Expert

Escape Eurozone Uncertainty In This High Growth Market

Escape Eurozone Uncertainty In This High Growth Market

I flew into Istanbul this week and it was nice to feel the heat again after a disappointing summer in the UK. I soon discovered that the weather is not the only thing that is hot about Istanbul at the moment.

One of the best things about investing in property is that no matter what is happening in one part of the world, you can always rely on the fact that there will be somewhere where you can enjoy a different season.

In Turkey at the moment it is hot, so we can see very clearly that when it comes to the investment cycle, cities like Istanbul are still enjoying their summer while much of the EU is still stuck in the winter.

Dare we say that the Istanbul property market is booming at the moment? We don’t hear the word boom so much these days as it suggests a bubble is forming, yet I didn’t get that impression from my trip to Istanbul.

Yes it is true that you can see a frenzy of building activity as developers try to keep up with exceptional demand. However a great deal of this new demand has come as a result of the country opening its doors to Gulf investors by easing restrictions on investment. There is no sign yet that their appetite for Turkish property is satisfied, in fact it looks like they are only just on their starters.

It is estimated that property sales to foreign investors could top $10 billion in Turkey in the medium term alone.

Many of the developers we see building new apartments in Istanbul are no doubt encouraged by the most recent Knight Frank Global House Price Index which put Turkey property prices as the third fastest growing in the world this year.

They were beaten only by Brazil which is undergoing its own economic miracle and Austria which has also seen some surprising surges in property prices. Where Turkey is concerned however, you not only have a property market supported by a growing economy, you also have low prices in comparison to EU countries.

The average asking price for a luxury apartment in Istanbul for example has more than doubled in 7 years from £1,244 to £2,800. Yet this still compares well to prices in EU cities with prices still only a fifth of those you will see in London or Hong Kong.

So while property markets in the Europe continue to be held back by a lack of available finance, shrinking job markets and low consumer confidence it is good to know that I can still escape to Istanbul for a decent summer.

Are you seeing any positive moves in property prices elsewhere in the world? Please leave your comments below.

Kind Regards
Kabir M Qureshi
Managing Director

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Is Now A Good Time To Invest In Spanish Property?

Is Now A Good Time To Invest In Spanish Property?

According to the latest statistics September’s fall in Spanish property prices was similar to the one seen in August (Source: IMIE General Index). QB highlight that this represents a fall of 32.9% since December 2007.

However despite this latest gloomy news, Don Stevens, Managing Director of
QB commented, “I would like to allay some of those fears about investing in Spanish property and say that now is quite possibly the best time to take a leap and invest, while others who are less brave are just happy to watch from the sidelines.

Now this is not to say that I am expecting a sudden increase in Spanish property prices and a reversal of the destructive declines in value we have seen since 2007. It just isn’t going to happen in the short term.

In the long term however, investing at today’s prices means that investors are likely to see the value of their investment grow when the market recovers and they can also benefit from 100% finance and other incentives put forward by developers to tempt buyers.”

According to QB , if investors are considering Spain at the moment, they might be wondering if this market has further to fall. There are of course no guarantees that there will not be further falls through the autumn and winter months, however as soon as the oversupply of property has been absorbed it is a safe bet that stability will return.

Ratings agency Standard and Poors have just dealt Spain another heavy blow by downgrading its bonds by another two notches to BBB- which is just above a junk-debt ratings.

Stevens added, “The property market in Spain is literally on its knees. Sellers are willing to accept the cheeky offers they would not have even considered back in the boom years. This is the case even in popular resorts like Marbella where developers are offering properties at 70% below launch prices with 100% finance.

This makes Spanish property less of a risk than it has ever been. Investors can use very little of their own money and benefit from falling prices and the falling Euro. Even if the Euro plummets or the worst happens and Spain leaves the Euro, (and this is unlikely) the value of mortgage debt will also be reduced.

Overseas mortgage specialist, Conti saw a 33% rise in enquiries from people looking to invest in a home abroad in September, with Spain still featuring in the list of hot spots. According to
QB, this goes some way to confirming that there are plenty of people who are still willing to take a leap and risk investing in Spanish property.

Notes to the editor:

QB is a leading property investment company that specialises in finding positive cash flow investment properties worldwide. Their aim is to provide their clients with properties that offer the unique combination of strong growth returns and cash flow positive income.

Investing in positive cash flow property significantly reduces the risk because the property will pay for itself regardless of market conditions, employment status or other financial commitments.

QB provides complete support before, during and after a sale, including finding tenants, financial assistance, viewing trips and currency services. Colordarcy are proud members of the ‘Association of International Property Professionals’ (AIPP), and abide by its code of conduct, one established to protect the buyer, by ensuring members follow professional guidelines and procedures.

QB ( investment property portfolio includes some of the best properties for sale in Brazil, Florida, Turkey and the United Kingdom.

For more information, supporting pictures or logo artwork, please contact:

Brett Williams
PR Manager
Tel: +44 (0) 8454 636 856

Monday, 15 October 2012

Property Hotspots: Cashing In On Festival and Event Rentals

Property Hotspots: Cashing In On Festival and Event Rentals

Our series on finding property hotspots has explored a variety of different ways in which an area can become ‘hot’ and a key attractor of tenants, such as being located near major transport links, large employers or universities. Here’s a new idea to consider – the benefits of cashing in on owning property near festival or event sites.

Many people think of the festival season as kicking off in the summer, when large popular music festivals, such as Glastonbury or Reading, take place. But there are actually a large number of festivals and annual events taking place throughout the calendar year, spanning interests such as literature, music, art, gardening, racing and sailing, in many areas of the UK. Think Cheltenham Festival, Edinburgh International Festival, Goodwood, Chelsea Flower Show, Wimbledon, The Proms, Isle of Wight Festival or Henley Regatta.

Accommodation near each of the venues, especially the large events, is often in demand in the run-up to the events, when organisers are setting up, to during the festivals, when stall holders, attendees and the media are at the events and need somewhere to stay for short or long periods of time. With many of the events only running for a short period, it may seem unlikely that you can make much money from renting property, but actually there are benefits to be had.

In prime locations, the cost of renting a property for a week is substantial. A week of a house rental to coincide with a major music festival can command prices of £5,000, £6,000 or more, depending on the size and exact location. The closer to the venues, the better, but even those close to good direct transport links can be valuable too.

If you have holiday investment rental properties and are located near a festival then you may already be cashing in on the benefits of your location. For those looking to invest in new properties, areas around such events are well worth considering, if the figures add up for you.
To discover whether any of your properties could be festival hotspots, or areas which you could consider buying in, here are some useful links to explore: