Brazilian economy set for US$3 billion boost as World Cup countdown begins

Brazilian economy set for US$3 billion boost as World Cup countdown begins

Brazil

With only 15 days until the 2014 FIFA World Cup kicks off, it’s all eyes on the largest country in Latin America, Brazil.

According to the Brazilian government some 3.7 million World Cup visitors are expected, generating an impressive US$3 billion boost for the economy. Raising its estimate of the number of overseas ticket holders attending the World Cup by 66% to 500,000, the impact of foreign tourists, who are forecast to spend the most, will be felt in particular.

Taking into consideration the average spending of tourists at last year’s FIFA Confederations Cup, Brazil’s Ministry of Tourism estimates that direct World Cup tourists will attend an average of four games, spending almost US$2,500 each, not including airfares.

Andrew Thompson, Group Sales Manager of leading Brazilian property developer Ritz Property, who himself is attending a number of World Cup games, comments;

“With the slight slowdown in the Brazilian economy seen in recent months, the US$3 billion forecasted income generated by the World Cup will be most welcome. Direct spending of some US$1.83 billion by visitors is expected with another US$1.19 billion set to be spent on other events and festivities linked to the FIFA World Cup.

“The revenue won’t all be from foreign visitors though, domestic spending, especially from the ever-growing Brazilian middle class is forecast to be significant. You only have to look at the consumer market where sales of TVs on Walmart’s Brazilian site have surged by 35% since the Brazilian soccer team was announced earlier this month!”

The positive effects of travel and tourism on the Brazilian economy in 2014 are also echoed by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC). In the WTTC’s Travel & Tourism Economic Impact 2014 – Brazil report, the total contribution of Travel & Tourism to Brazil was BRL443.7 billion, some 9.2% of GDP in 2013. This is forecast to rise by 5.2% in 2014 and by 4.1% per annum to BRL696.6 billion by 2024.

Indeed with reduction of unemployment one of President Dilma Rouseff’s priorities, the WTTC’s report prediction that the number of jobs directly supported by Travel & Tourism will rise by 2.8% in 2014 and a further 1.9% to 3,787,000 by 2024 is yet more welcome news.

So with the Brazilian economy set to score a billion dollar hat trick this year, isn’t it time that you considered investing in this thriving market? Offering double digit capital appreciation and generous rental income, investing in real estate in the booming North East of Brazil is a shrewd move.

One example of hot property for sale in the North east city of Natal is Ritz Property’s Costa Azul in the upmarket district of Petropólis. Here two and three bedroom luxury apartments offer breathtaking views towards the Potengi River, the Atlantic Ocean and the Fort of the Three Wise Men, and are fitted with contemporary décor and stylish appliances. A bar, pool, gymnasium and spa complete the luxurious experience and provide Costa Azul residents with a private retreat.

Prices start from R$411,488 / £111,000. To find out more, contact Ritz Property today on +44 207 183 7565 or visit www.ritzproperty.com

Andalucia attracts the most Spanish house hunters

Andalucia attracts the most Spanish house hunters

Spain
Andalucia attracts the most buyers of Spanish property, according to new research from TheMoveChannel.com. The portal´s infographic, which compares activity in the last 12 months with two years ago, reveals that Andalucia has overtaken Valencia as the number one place to buy property in Spain.
Andalucia accounted for one in three property enquiries in the 12 months between February 2013 and January 2014, an increase from the previous At a Glance infographic, which saw the region receive 30.84 per cent of enquiries between February 2011 and January 2012. Two years ago, the Community of Valencia dominated enquiries, with a 32.24 per cent share of activity. Now, the region accounts for one in four enquiries (25.41 per cent).
Murcia remains the third most popular area of Spain among house hunters, with its share of enquiries actually increasing over two years from 19.04 per cent to 20.28 per cent.
Together, the three regions show that the buyers still have a clear favourite corner of the country: even though they now prefer the south coast of Spain to the west, buyers are mostly interested in property in the Costa del Sol, Costa Blanca, Costa Calida and Costa de la Luz.
Buyers are also increasingly keen to seek sun and sand away from mainland Spain: the Canary Islands account for 9.48 per cent of enquiries, up from 7.35 per cent to years ago, making them the fourth most popular region of Spain. The Balearic Islands, on the other hand, have seen their share of enquiries fall from 5.13 per cent to 3.59 per cent.
Some things do not change: international buyers still prefer real estate closer to the coast, with even high profile inland areas such as Madrid accounting for just 0.26 per cent of enquiries. Nonetheless, buyer interest is spreading across Spain: apart from six regions, every area of Spain has seen enquiries increase since 2012.
The Valencian Community Valencia continued to dominate property searches, accounting for four of the 10 most looked-for locations, ahead of Andalucia´s three. While Denia and Xabia led the region´s popularity in 2012, though, now Valencia´s appeal is driven by Torrevieja and Benidorm. Torrevieja is the most sought-after city in Spain, attracting 3.15 per cent of searches, ahead of third place Benidorm (1.79 per cent) and seventh place Denia (1.46 per cent). Estepona was the second most sought-after location, while Marbella was the target of the fourth highest number of searches (2.26 per cent).
Catalonia, Castile and León and Murcia all made it into the top 10 searched-for locations, with El Raso enjoying the biggest rise in searches. The city accounted for no searches whatsoever two years ago, but now makes up 1.51 per cent of searches on TheMoveChannel.com, as buyers look all over the Costa Blanca for bargains.
The infographic also records search behaviour from property buyers on Google. Over the past two years, internet searches for “property in Spain” have multiplied by an average of eight times. Buyers now prefer to search for “property in Spain” rather than “Spanish property”, although the latter also saw the number of searches rise by an average of 50 per cent. “Houses for sale in Spain” remain the most searched-for type of property.
Editor Ivan Radford:
“What a difference two years makes. Our second in a series of “Two Years On” infographics shows that buyers of Spanish property remain committed to the Costas, but are starting to look further south. Interestingly, Andalucia, which received the highest number of enquiries, is also the area of Spain with the most property listings on TheMoveChannel.com. The average price of a two-bed apartment in Valencia is cheaper, at £104,240 compared to £278,111 in Andalucia, which suggests that quality is perhaps being prioritised over value, with Estepona and Marbella some of the most popular places to buy.
“With the majority of regions all enjoying rising numbers of enquiries and Google searches for ‘property in Spain’ soaring 800 per cent, TheMoveChannel.com´s infographic paints a brighter picture of a property market compared to two years ago, where low prices are attracting more buyers – and a hint of a widespread recovery may be beginning to appear.”
Click here to see the full infographic.
 
 
Notes to Editors
Founded in 1999, TheMoveChannel.com is the leading independent website for international property, with more than 800,000 listings in over 100 countries around the world, marketed on behalf of agents, developers and private owners.
The website address ishttp://www.TheMoveChannel.com and the office address is 24 Jack’s Place, Corbet Place, Spitalfields, London, E1 6NN.
Contact Dan Johnson on 0207 952 7650 for further information.
Lettings agents charging £210m in tenant fees each year

Lettings agents charging £210m in tenant fees each year

United Kingdom

Following yesterday’s vote by MPs to reject a ban on letting agent fees to tenants and the government’s announcement regarding greater transparency of fees, research by the UK’s largest online letting agent sheds light on just how urgently the reform is needed, including how £210 million is charged by agents to tenants in fees each year.

Last month Upad asked 740 tenants who had recently moved about their experiences. They found that a third rated high street lettings agents as either ‘poor’ or ‘terrible’ and only a third rated their experience ‘good’.
On average, those tenants surveyed had been charged £210 in “admin” fees. With over 1 million tenancies created in the UK each year, tenants are being charged at least £210 million in “admin” fees. Many agents charge further renewal fees on the anniversary of the tenancy.

The research also revealed that half of all tenants were not made aware of the costs of letting before they viewed a property and that 70% had not met their landlord before moving in.

The importance of today’s announcements was further highlighted by the research’s additional findings, which revealed that 29% of tenants think getting rid of the administration, reservation and contract writing fees charged by agents is the No.1 element they would change about renting. A further 19% said the cost of renting was the most important issue. The third most important issue, highlighted by some 17% of respondents, was ‘poor agents’.

“Our research shows that the high fees charged by letting agents to tenants are seen by many of today’s ‘generation rent’ as unacceptable, particularly given the already high costs of paying rent and providing deposits upfront.” says James Davis, founder and CEO of.

The company, which lets over 1,000 properties a month and enables landlords to manage their properties directly, offers the services of a traditional high street lettings agent but at a fraction of the cost for both tenants and landlords.

Note: Amendment to the Consumer Rights Bill voted on yesterday in parliament and tabled by Labour follows last year’s OFT reports into the lettings industry which examined nearly 4,000 complaints by landlords and tenants about letting agents. Some 30% of these complaints were about fees and charges while 23% were complaints about poor service from agents.

Links:
OFT Report: http://www.oft.gov.uk/shared_oft/markets-work/lettings/oft1479.pdf

Notes to editors
Upad has taken the traditional high street lettings agent model and deconstructed it. Like the dating and travel categories before it, Upad empowers the customer with all the tools and support they need to self-manage their properties. Upad.co.uk offers immediate cost savings over using a traditional agent and offers landlords the largest online property distribution platform, ensuring extensive exposure for their properties – thereby maximising tenant leads. Tenants find a great choice of properties from professional landlords, and are treated openly and fairly throughout.

In September 2013, Upad reached its 6,000th transacted landlord and continues to grow exponentially every quarter as it drives true change in the lettings market.

Positive Portugal: Buyer confidence up as new property show announced

Positive Portugal: Buyer confidence up as new property show announced

United Kingdom

The newly released RICS/Ci Portuguese Housing Market Survey has recorded a positive rise in buyer confidence in the Portuguese housing market, as well as property sales in the country, showing that Brits are again looking to European shores when buying property overseas.

  • Growing interest in Portuguese property from prospective buyers; rise in number of properties sold (RICS/Ci Portuguese Housing Market Survey)
  • The Overseas Property Show Friday 16th to Monday 19th May 2014 at National Motorcycle Museum, Birmingham
  • Tony and Belle Birkbeck, from Epsom, Surrey, recognise benefits of visiting show and bought in Portugal

The Survey, which covers estate agents and developers who operate in the Portuguese residential sales market, highlighted a growing interest from buyers in property for sale in the country, with increasing numbers of new buyer enquiries. Not only this, but the survey also revealed that there had been a moderate rise in the numbers of properties sold in the country as well as steady activity in the lettings market.   Having been party to the downturn in the global housing market, these are all positive signs that the industry is again on the up, reflected also in the announcement of a new property show in the UK, focussing on the options available to buy in key overseas markets including Portugal.

The Overseas Property Show, taking place from 16th – 19th May at the National Motorcycle Museum, Birmingham will give people the chance to find out about the types of properties being offered on foreign shores and will see a host of overseas property experts on hand to answer any questions about purchasing property overseas.   The show will provide important assistance on every aspect associated with buying outside of the UK, from currency to mortgages to legal requirements, providing advice for those considering purchasing as an investment option, holiday home or even for relocation reasons.

Chris White, Director of The Overseas Property Show, explains,   “The fact that prices remain affordable in many overseas markets, yet with increasing buyer confidence, means that now is a fantastic time to look at buying that dream home abroad. We hope that through The Overseas Property Show, those considering making such a purchase, for whatever reason – be it personal or financial – will feel empowered through the knowledge that they gain after talking to our experts. Our aim is to make the process easy and stress-free, and the Property Show educational and fun!”

Covering the popular markets of Portugal, Spain, Italy and Florida in the US, The Overseas Property Show will also offer visitors the chance to learn about the types of apartments and villas available in the locations covered and the property bargains on offer, starting at as little as €79,000.

Tony and Belle Birkbeck, from Epsom in Surrey, know only too well the benefits of visiting a property show, having purchased their perfect overseas home after visiting an exhibition in London last year. The couple bought a holiday home in Portugal after holidaying there for many years and deciding they wanted their own bolt-hole in the sun to escape to for rest and relaxation.   Tony explains how a visit to a property show helped them to make their dream a reality,

“I wasn’t really thinking about buying a holiday home but watching ‘A Place in the Sun’ with my wife got the cogs turning. Out of the blue I got an email regarding a property show in London and as I happened to be in London when the show was on we set off to see what is was all about.

“We ended up buying through Ideal Homes International who were incredibly helpful. From meeting the staff from at the show who started our journey of finding the perfect property, the whole of the team has shown a professional and accommodating manner throughout. We are over the moon with our new home!”

Ideal Homes International will be one of the companies represented at The Overseas Property Show and tickets for the event are free. Open into the evening, from 10.30am until 7.00pm (6.00pm on the Monday), there is plenty of opportunity to visit the show, which is being held in the Museum’s ‘Bracebridge Suite’.

To reserve free tickets for The Overseas Property Show, call 0800 133 7644 or email info@theoverseaspropertyshow.com or for more information, visit www.theoverseaspropertyshow.com 

Relax to the max in Latin America with wellness tourism on the rise

Relax to the max in Latin America with wellness tourism on the rise

Belize

Latin America is set to steam ahead in the coming years with its share of the ‘wellness’ tourism industry, according to new figures released by the Global Wellness Tourism Congress (GWTC), part of the Global Wellness Institute (GWI).

  • Latin American wellness tourism to grow by 13.4% annually (Global Wellness Tourism Congress)
  • Region’s market share predicted to reach $42billion
  • Baymen Resort and Spa in Belize is a luxury hotel focussed on relaxation and rejuvenation 

The figures, from the ‘Global Wellness Tourism Economy Report’ which monitors the growth of this increasing sector, reveal that Latin America (a region that covers Mexico/the Caribbean and Central and South America) is on the up, with a notable 13.4% annual growth predicted until 2017. These figures put Latin America behind only the Middle East in terms of wellness tourism growth, outperforming the long-established regions of the US and Germany, on track to record just 5% annual growth, as well as the predicted global average of 9.9%.

 

Wellness tourism is described as ‘all travel associated with enhancing one´s personal well-being’ and can encompass aspects such as spas, retreats, fitness facilities, yoga and beauty. It is a large part of the travel industry, currently taking up one in every seven tourist dollars, and sure to be a sector to watch for continued future growth as people work longer hours and focus their free time increasingly on relaxation and rejuvenation.

 

Taking Latin America’s market share to a predicted $42billion, one resort that is certain to enhance this figure is The Baymen Resort and Spa in the Cayo region of Belize. This luxurious rainforest resort has ‘wellness’ at its heart and features a sumptuous spa with infinity pool and hot tub, fed by stunning natural Maya spring pools and waterfall.

 

The Baymen’s eco-credentials are also central to its feeling of wellbeing, with the majority of the lodge sitting amongst the rainforest canopy, and an infinity pool that appears to float like a tablet of water suspended in mid-air, allowing guests to feel as though they are truly part of nature, making it easy to unwind.

 

Wolf Worster, MD of Wolf Wörster Associates, Inc, the global property consultancy specialising in the sale and rental of ultra-luxury villas in some of the world’s most sought-after locations, who are marketing The Baymen, explains,

 

“With the everyday stresses of modern life getting increasingly intense, it is no surprise that wellness tourism is on the up and with a great deal to offer the discerning traveller searching for true relaxation, it is easy to see why Latin America’s slice of this market is growing too. Belize is one location that is rich in ‘wellness’ attributes – a warm and sunny climate, a wealth of natural features, amazing wildlife – and it is these factors combined with the development’s focus on luxurious relaxation and revitalisation that make The Baymen the perfect wellness retreat.”

 

With a choice of deluxe suites or two-bed suites available, each individual residence encompasses the notion of old world colonial charm, with four-poster beds, the highest quality finishes, stunning bathrooms with indoor and outdoor shower areas, and a large outside deck, all utilising natural materials of the highest specification.

 

Investing in a property at The Baymen provides above-average potential to benefit from the growing wellness tourism market, but also the opportunity to use the hotel, or Belize Ocean Club (one of the other properties in the Wolf Wörster Associates, Inc collection) for 30 days personal use annually.

 

To find out more about The Baymen Lodge and Spa, visit www.thebaymen.com or contact Wolf Wörster Associates, Inc on free-phone 0808 169 6526 or  info@thebaymen.com

 

To discover Belize Ocean Club, which is part of the 30 days personal use, visit www.belizeoceanclub.com

The Future’s Bright for Brazil’s City of the Sun

The Future’s Bright for Brazil’s City of the Sun

Brazil

Basking in more than 3,000 hours of sunshine each year, it is easy to see how Rio Grande do Norte’s capital city, Natal, has rightfully earned the title of ‘City of the Sun’. This city in North East Brazil has a tropical climate with year-round temperatures sitting comfortably between 22°C and 31°C. However Natal also boasts a wealth of attractions that make the city one of the Brazil’s top tourist destinations and on top of South America’s ‘must visit’ list.

  • Wealth of attractions make Natal increasingly popular tourist destination
  • Rental prospects high in city with FIFA World Cup 2014 on the horizon
  • Opening of new international airport on 22nd May set to boost investment appeal 

Whilst being well known for its small town-feel, the city’s expansive 1,172 hectare Dunas State Ecological Park is Brazil’s second largest urban park and provides ample opportunities for tours of the natural vegetation and wildlife, as well as for jogging and exercise. Natal also holds a Guinness World Record for the world’s biggest cashew tree, with a circumference of 500 metres and covering an area of 7,300 – 8,400 square metres!

 

Often also referred to as ‘City of the Dunes’, Natal’s famous natural landmarks also extend to its white sanded beaches, with the most popular being Ponta Negra (or ‘black tip’) where tourists and locals alike enjoy Caipirinhas on the beach while they gaze on the traditional jangadas, local fishing boats that brighten up the horizon with their brilliantly coloured sails.

 

It is these dunes that have lent their name to the recently developed Estadio das Dunas that will host 42,000 people as part of the much-anticipated 2014 FIFA World Cup this summer. With the second match of the tournament kicking off on 13th June at the brand new Natal stadium, a global audience will be watching Natal with more interest and anticipation than ever before.

 

Andrew Thompson, Group Sales Director of leading Brazilian property developer, Ritz Property, explains,

 

“With the Brazilian Tourism Ministry forecasting that the 2014 FIFA World Cup will bring over 62 billion Reais to the country’s economy, and four major games scheduled to be played in Natal itself, the City is firmly set to take its slice of this prosperous pie, making now the ideal time to invest in property.

 

“Natal offers the chance to purchase land as well as bricks and mortar at a more affordable rate than São Paulo or the ever popular Rio de Janiero, yet with huge potential gains in terms of growth and rental prospects.It is also set to open its new  Greater Natal International Airport on May 22nd which will take the old airport capacity of 2.6million passengers a year to 6.2million passengers a year – an excellent indicator that the City is on the up and ready for business, always encouraging for property prospects.”

 

Ritz Property is quietly building a substantial and diverse portfolio and a good example of an excellent investment option in Natal is Costa Azul in the exclusive neighbourhood of Petrópolis. This new, bold and exclusive three tower design has 168 two and three bedroom luxury apartments, and offers breathtaking views towards the Potengi River, the Atlantic Ocean and the Fort of the Three Wise Men. All apartments are equipped with modern appliances, stylish contemporary decor, high speed internet and satellite smart TVs, whilst daily laundry and cleaning services ensure an effortless living experience. A bar, pool, gymnasium and spa complete the luxurious experience and provide Costa Azul residents with a private retreat for work, pleasure or play.

 

Prices from R$411,488 / £110,000. To find out more, please contact Ritz Property today on +44 207 183 7565 or visit www.ritzproperty.com

Budget gets Britain building while record property prices get buyers buying

Budget gets Britain building while record property prices get buyers buying

United Kingdom

In light of the news that average property asking prices in the UK have risen to a record high of £255,962 in March, according to Rightmove, the Chancellor’s 2014 budget announcement last week was eagerly awaited by all those with a stake in the UK’s property market.

Record price rises
The Rightmove data shows a month-on-month increase of 1.6% in the average asking price for properties within England and Wales, which represents a rise of 6.8% when compared with prices this time last year. Across the wider UK, figures from Halifax reported an average property price of £179,872 in February – 7.9% higher than a year earlier.

While the figures mean that many buyers have been priced out of the market and decided to rent instead, savvy investors have stepped in as buy-to-let landlords, choosing prime city centre investment properties for their high yields and excellent potential for capital growth. Buy-to-let investment properties are increasingly popular with both domestic and foreign investors, despite Chancellor Osborne’s Autumn Statement commitment last year that foreign investors in the UK property market will be subject to capital gains tax.

A cautious budget
The Chancellor reconfirmed the capital gains tax levy in his March 2014 budget announcement, as part of a cautious raft of measures designed to create an environment conducive to steady long-term growth in the UK’s property sector. The emphasis was on preventing the formation of a housing bubble.

The budget announcement included a number of other elements designed to assure the stable future of Britain’s housing market. The equity loans part of the Help to Buy Scheme, which government figures suggest has been responsible for the purchase of homes by 15,000 buyers since April 2013, was extended to 2020.

The Chancellor stated that a further 120,000 new homes would be built as a result of the extension of the Help to Buy Scheme – in addition to the 74,000 already scheduled to be built by March 2016. The budget also provided £500 million of additional funding to address the 15,000 housing units that have been stalled due to financing issues, helping to unlock the projects and get them moving again.

Getting Britain Building
The push to Get Britain Building is certainly timely, as demand across the UK property market continues to outstrip supply. This is one of the main drivers behind this spring’s record price rises. Leading property investment specialists Property Frontiers have been at the forefront of the initiative to increase Britain’s housing stock for some years. Chief Executive Ray Withers comments,

“The UK’s cities desperately need new, high quality housing developments in order to cope with expanding urban populations. Thriving economic hubs such as  Liverpool,  Birmingham  and  Bradford  continue to attract increasing numbers of young professionals and their families, resulting in a keen shortage of appropriate accommodation. Property Frontiers is proud to be offering high-end, new-build apartments to investors in all three of these fantastic locations.”

Property Frontiers’ investment opportunity in Birmingham is exactly the kind of development that the budget’s measures have been designed to promote. The studio, one and two bedroom apartments will be available from £95,000, with a pre-launch discount of 10% for those purchasing before 1 April 2014. Projected realistic yields of 9%, with developer underwrites available, mean that the properties are already proving extremely popular. Withers continues,

“It’s an exciting time for the UK housing market and the cautionary measures in the Chancellor’s budget are extremely welcome. Nobody wants to return to a boom and bust cycle; a stable fiscal background that enables investors to achieve high yields is the perfect environment.”

For more information on high yielding buy-to-let opportunities in BirminghamBradford and Liverpool,contact Property Frontiers today on +44 1865 202 700 or visit www.propertyfrontiers.com.

Top of the Props: Buyers go back to Greece

Top of the Props: Buyers go back to Greece

Greece

Buyers are going back to Greece, according to new research from TheMoveChannel.com. The portal´s latest Top of the Props report reveals that demand for Greek property has increased, taking the country back into the site´s 10 most popular destinations for the first time in seven months.

  • Greece in top 10 countries for first time in 7 months
  • Greek share of property enquiries trebled in Q1 2014
  • Confidence in Europe on the up
  • Italy in top 5 countries for first time in 7 months

Greece accounted for 1.84 per cent of enquiries in March 2014, taking the country back up to 10th in the Top of the Props chart. This is just the second time that Greece has appeared in the top 10 in the last 18 months, as buyers return to the country, attracted by low real estate prices.

Buyers went back to Italy too, with the country climbing four places to enter TheMoveChannel.com´s top five for the first time since August 2013. Italian property received 3.08 per cent of enquiries on the site, enough to leapfrog buyer favourite Brazil, which fell to seventh place.

This is the first time Brazil has ranked outside of the top five destinations on the site since October 2013. Indeed, Brazil has established itself as a major market for investors in the last year, thanks to its strong housing market and the promise of the upcoming FIFA World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympics. Now, though, buyers appear to be returning from South America to the eurozone, as confidence on the continent increases.

The USA remains the most popular property market in the world, accounting for 15.66 per cent of all enquiries on TheMoveChannel.com. The rest of the top five, though, is made up of European destinations, as Italy joins second place France, third place Spain and fourth place Portugal.

Interest is also still strong in The Bahamas, which has enjoyed a strong first quarter in 2014. The country soared to a record sixth place in January and, despite sliding into 12th in February, reclaimed its position in the top 10 last month, establishing the Caribbean market´s ongoing popularity as more than just a flash in the plan.

While America has dominated international property demand throughout the first three months of 2014, TheMoveChannel.com´s Top of the Props has seen several big changes. Political unrest has deterred investors in Thailand property, causing the country to fall from 8th place in January to 12th in March. In Europe, France has overtaken Spain to become the new most popular property destination, accompanied by a rebound in demand for Portuguese real estate.

Canada has also cemented its status as an investment hotspot, remaining in the top 10 alongside other sought-after countries such as Turkey. Greece´s property market, though, is enjoying an equally positive year. A steady growth in interest during Q1 2014 has seen the country climb from 18th place to 16th in February and then rise to 10th place in March 2014. Over the last three months, Greece´s share of activity on TheMoveChannel.com has trebled from 0.65 per cent to 1.84 per cent.

Italy has also returned to the top 10, climbing from 10th in January to fifth in March. Together, the pair highlight the irresistible appeal of low prices in familiar lifestyle destinations, but also growing confidence in the eurozone.

TheMoveChannel.com Accounts Director Naz Haghicomments:

“Buyers are returning to the eurozone thanks to a combination of low prices and improving sentiment. Greece and Italy have both enjoyed a consistent increase in enquiries during the first three months of 2014, a sign that this is not a one-off spike in interest. Argentina surged back to 11th place in March, for example, driven by attractive new launches in the area. Italy and Greece, though, have seen no new products or marketing activity in the last three months. Instead, we have noticed a significant growth in natural traffic for Italian and Greek property, as buyers both inside and outside of the EU search for the countries in Google, attracted by low prices and Greece´s Golden Visa.

“That improved sentiment have seen buyers toy with other old favourites, such as Bulgaria and Cyprus, but momentum remains with more traditional lifestyle destinations. With four out of the top five destinations on TheMoveChannel.com now made up of eurozone markets, confidence is certainly on the up.”

Click here to see the top 10 property destinations on TheMoveChannel.com in March 2014.

Notes to Editors
Founded in 1999, TheMoveChannel.com is the leading independent website for international property, with more than 800,000 listings in over 100 countries around the world, marketed on behalf of agents, developers and private owners.
The office address is 24 Jack’s Place, Corbet Place, Spitalfields, London, E1 6NN.
Contact Dan Johnson on 0207 952 7650 for further information.
Expat investors turn back to the UK, tempted by its buoyant buy-to-let market

Expat investors turn back to the UK, tempted by its buoyant buy-to-let market

United Kingdom

The UK buy-to-let market has been attracting an increasing amount of attention from investors both within the UK and overseas of late. Now, new data released by Lloyds Bank has revealed that even those Brits who’ve left the UK for a new life overseas have a strong appetite for investing in their former home’s buoyant buy-to-let sector.

Huge demand
Britain’s well-documented accommodation shortage has led to rapidly rising house prices and the substantial growth of the private rented sector, which accounts for some 3.9 million households across England and Wales, according to the CBRE Regional Letting Outlook.

Combined with the latest figures from the Move with Us rental index which show rental rises in nine of 11 regions in the UK in the third quarter of 2012, the buy-to-let market in Britain has rarely seemed more attractive – a fact which has not been lost on British expats.

Expat excitement

Although happy to remain overseas themselves, the newly released Lloyds Bank data shows that 38% of British expats who plan to buy a property within the next two years will be looking to rent it out as a means of income generation.

The research also showed that Britain topped the list of favoured countries when it came to where British expats are buying, with 25.8% choosing the UK. Richard Musty, Director, Lloyds Bank International Banking, explains,

“Confidence in the UK property market is very strong. Our recent Investor Sentiment Index in March showed that consumer sentiment for UK property had grown by 50 percentage points since March 2013, so it´s not a surprise that Brits abroad are looking back home.”

City focus
Within the UK, it is the cities that are attracting the most attention from buy-to-let investors, with urban areas such as BirminghamLiverpool andBradford leading the charge. Ray Withers, sector expert and Chief Executive of award-winning property investment company Property Frontiers, comments,

“There’s a huge amount of regeneration activity underway in some of Britain’s leading cities currently, which is having a significant increase on property prices and which will continue to do so over the coming years. Thus we are seeing cities such as Birmingham and Liverpool attracting buy-to-let investors – including a high number of expat investors – due to their strong rental potential and the longer-term attractions of capital growth.”

Investors’ choice
From off-plan buy-to-let opportunities such as Property Frontiers’ prime waterfront apartments in Liverpool (from £82,500 with 8.5% gross rental yield guaranteed in year one), to city centre dwellings such as their apartments in Birmingham (£104,500 with 7% NET annual return guaranteed), the range of buy-to-let investments available in the UK is impressive.

Since the Barker Review of Housing Supply report was issued over a decade ago, Britain has been building houses at an average rate of 95,000 homes per year fewer than projected need demanded. The result is that many young professionals and families have been priced out of the market, turning instead to the private rented sector to fulfil their accommodation requirements. With supply seemingly set to lag behind demand for years to come, it looks like the strength of the UK buy-to-let property asset class is unlikely to fade anytime soon.

Investors wishing to take advantage of a range of buy-to-let opportunities in the UK’s leading cities are invited to contact Property Frontiers or call +44 1865 202 700 for further details.

At a Glance: Demand soars for property across Portugal

At a Glance: Demand soars for property across Portugal

Portugal

Demand has soared for property across Portugal, according to new research from TheMoveChannel.com. The portal´s latest infographic compares Portugal´s property market now to two years ago and reveals that enquiries have surged by one-third on a national level, as interest returns outside of the Algarve.

Lisbon is now the most-searched property hotspot in Portugal, according to TheMoveChannel.com, accounting for 4.33 per cent of all Portugal searches on the site in the 12 months to February 2014, up from 3.61 per cent in the 12 months to February 2012. The Portuguese capital knocked Albufeira off the top search spot. The Faro town was the subject of 9.63 per cent searches in 2012´s At a Glance report, but its share has now dropped to 3.26 per cent, as buyers begin to look all over Portugal for real estate investments.

Indeed, the Algarve accounts for five of the 10 most searched-for Portuguese locations on TheMoveChannel.com, down from six two years ago. Leiria and Lisbon made up the remaining four locations in 2012, but Lisbon now makes up three of the remaining five, alongside Setubal and Braga – an indicator of how varied and widespread interest has become.

The Algarve still receives the majority (60 per cent) of enquiries, but its share has fallen from 62.59 per cent in 2012. Leiria also saw its number of enquiries dip 44 per cent and Viana do Castelo saw enquiries slide 20 per cent. Apart from these three, though, every district in Portugal saw enquiries increase in 2014 compared to 2012.
Lisbon led the way with a rise of 55 per cent in enquiries, taking its share to the third highest in the country. The district of Madeira has the second highest share of enquiries, attracting 12.49 per cent, up from third place.

Overall, enquiries for Portuguese real estate have soared 33 per cent across the last two years.

The At a Glance infographic also analyses the number of searches on Google for property in Portugal. Demand there has surged too. 39,000 searches for “property in Portugal” were logged between March and May 2013, 10 times the 3,600 recorded across the same period in 2011.

Portugal-related keywords that previously appeared in no Google searches also began to be used by online house-hunters. “Portuguese properties”, for example, was not searched for at all between March and May 2011 but appeared in 60 searches between March and May 2013.

Google searches for “property in Portugal” slowed to 3,780 between December 2013 and February 2014, but even with the seasonal decline in interest remained significantly higher than the same three months two years ago.

Editor Ivan Radford comments: “What a difference two years makes! In 2011, Portugal´s property market was hanging on by the Algarve. The Faro region was driving the majority of interest and activity, with Portugal´s lifestyle appeal continuing to attract bargain holiday home hunters.

“Now, though, Portugal´s property market is coming back to life. The 2012 At a Glance infographic showed activity centred on the Faro district, but the updated 2014 infographic sees activity spread out evenly across the whole map.

“Alongside lifestyle buyers, encouraged by growing economic confidence in Europe, the rise in interest has been driven by investors taking advantage of the country´s Golden Visa residency scheme. For these buyers, cities such as Lisbon are a priority rather than the coastal towns of the Algarve. The surge in demand for property in the capital may not have ended the dominance of the Algarve, but shows how much the national market has improved in 24 months, with all but three districts enjoying a rise in enquiries.

“Growth is present at all stages of the buying process: initial interest on Google has increased, engaged buyers searching by location on TheMoveChannel.com have also risen, and that interest has converted into more enquiries. After years of struggling, 2014 looks to be a good year for Portugal´s property market.”
Click here to see the full infographic.

Notes to Editors
Founded in 1999, TheMoveChannel.com is the leading independent website for international property, with more than 800,000 listings in over 100 countries around the world, marketed on behalf of agents, developers and private owners.

The website address is http://www.TheMoveChannel.com and the office address is 24 Jack’s Place, Corbet Place, Spitalfields, London, E1 6NN. Contact Dan Johnson on 0207 952 7650 for further information.