Top of the Props: Foreign buyers still in love with American dream

Top of the Props: Foreign buyers still in love with American dream

World
  • Enquiries for US property up 51pc
  • Demand rises for property in Portugal and Italy
  • Europe makes up three of top five countries
  • Turkey re-enters top five destinations

Overseas investors are still in live with the American dream, TheMoveChannel.com’s new Top of the Props report reveals.

Foreign buyers appeared to have woken up earlier this year, as demand for US property plummeted to an all-time low in February 2015. America’s share of enquiries halved month-on-month, as rising prices, the strong dollar and low inventory left the country less attractive than Europe’s ultra-affordable destinations. It was only the second time since July 2013 that the USA was the not the most popular country on TheMoveChannel.com, but Spain continued to dominate for another two months, holding the number one slot in the Top of the Props chart through to April 2015.

In May, though, investors went back to America. In real terms, US property enquiries on TheMoveChannel.com jumped 51 per cent month-on-month, as the country’s share of activity on the portal rose from 5.78 per cent to 8.49 per cent.

European appeal

Spain slipped into second place, its share of enquiries falling from 9.72 per cent to 6.66 per cent. France’s share of enquiries also decreased, as the country fell from sixth place to 10th in the Top of the Props chart.

Europe, though, remains a key driver of activity on TheMoveChannel.com: Spain, Portugal, Italy continue to make up three of the top five destinations.

Indeed, Portugal and Italy held onto their positions during a period of fluctuating interest, with both increasing their share of enquiries month-on-month: Portugal’s stake rose from 5.63 per cent to 6.41 per cent, while Italy’s increased from 3.4 per cent to 3.85 per cent.

Portugal has emerged as one of Europe’s most popular markets in the past six months, thanks to the weak euro and signs of recovering prices across all regions. In real terms, enquiries for Portuguese property climbed 4 per cent in May 2015. Italy also saw enquiries increase 5 per cent in real terms, as both countries establish themselves as attractive, regardless of investors’ attentions switching between America and Spain.

Thailand and Turkey tussle for top spot

After a year of instability, Thailand returned to the Top 10 in February 2015, before rising into the top five, where it remained for two months. Thailand tumbled out of the top five in May 2015, though, as the country faces competition from Turkey for the coveted fourth spot.

Turkey’s share of enquiries more than doubled to 4.26 per cent in May, as prices and foreign sales continued to climb, particularly in the thriving Istanbul market. Indeed, Turkey has been a permanent fixture in TheMoveChannel.com’s Top of the Props chart in recent years. The country fell to 10th place in February 2015, but buyers did not stay away for long: Turkey climbed one place in April 2015, before rising five places to knock Thailand from fourth.

Thailand’s share of enquiries, though, only decreased from 4.61 per cent to 3.61 per cent, placing it above popular favourites Brazil, Canada, France and even the UAE, which returned to the Top 10 in May for the second time this year.

TheMoveChannel.com Director Dan Johnson comments: “The American Dream is not over for foreign buyers. The country’s rising house prices and recovering economy has seen domestic US buyers return to the property ladder in greater numbers, but overseas investors remain active in key hotspots. Florida remains a central part of the USA’s appeal to international buyers, but Detroit is increasingly the market of choice: demand for property in Michigan overtook the Sunshine State in May 2015 for the first time since October 2014.

“Despite the rise in US interest, neither Spain nor the USA are overly dominant: demand continues to be spread across a wide range of countries on TheMoveChannel.com, as investors remain open-minded about which markets can offer the best returns. With Portugal and Italy both enjoying rising interest, though, Europe is set to drive activity for many months to come.”

Click here to see the top 40 property destinations on TheMoveChannel.com in May 2015.

 

— ENDS —

 

Notes to Editors

About Lead Galaxy and TheMoveChannel.com

Founded in 1999, www.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.

TheMoveChannel.com is one of more than a dozen international property sites operated under the Lead Galaxy brand. Lead Galaxy provides online marketing solutions to thousands of property companies worldwide, focusing on portal listings, email marketing, qualified leads, paid search and social media advertising.

The business is headquartered at 24 Jack’s Place, Corbet Place, Shoreditch, London, E1 6NN.

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Italy feeds the world as the Universal Expo in Milan gets underway

Italy feeds the world as the Universal Expo in Milan gets underway

Italy
  • Italian food exports hit record €34.3 billion (Coldiretti)
  • Le Marche flagged as latest Italian foodie holiday hotspot (Appassionata)
  • US taste for Italian wine exceeds €1.1 billion (Coldiretti)

The Universal Exposition is one of the most important global events for bringing countries together to share knowledge, innovation and traditions. It is due to the Universal Expo that Paris has the Eiffel Tower, that Brussels has the Atomium and that Seattle has the Space Needle.

The present day Universal Expo still maintains its focus on technological advancement, but with a more humanitarian bent. Expo Milano 2015, which is being hosted by Milan, Italy, from 1 May to 31 October, is focused on the use of technology and innovation to provide safe, healthy, sufficient food for the world’s entire population. Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life expects to welcome more than 20 million visitors from over 140 countries over the six months that it is running. Visitors will be able to engage in a variety of activities, from tastings of the world’s best dishes to explorations of gastronomic traditions to discussion of the best agri-foods for feeding the planet.

Italy is the natural choice for hosting such an important food-focused event. Its food exports circumnavigate the globe and its sparkling prosecco now outsells France’s champagne in volume terms. In 2014, Italy’s food exports hit record levels, with a value of €34.3 billion, according to Coldiretti’s analysis of data from national statistics agency ISTAT. The figure represents an increase of 2.4% over the previous year, with the Russian ban on numerous food imports more than counteracted by the American thirst for Italian wine, which totalled more than €1.1 billion worth during the year.

While two thirds of Italian food exports are destined for other European countries according to the Coldiretti analysis, demand is also high from the US market and the growing market in Asia. Wine, pasta and olive oil are the most prized Italian products, backed by a significant appetite for Italian cheese, fruit and vegetables.

Of course Italian food also draws huge numbers of tourists to Italy every year in search of the taste of authenticity. The latest foodie destination hotspot is Le Marche, where an abundance of truffles,

game and seafood have been delighting the local population’s palates for centuries. Dawn Cavanagh-Hobbs founder of Le Marche-based luxury fractional ownership business Appassionata, comments,

“People think of Italy’s food and picture the ultimate feast of pizza, pasta and ice cream. While Italy does offer all of these, there is such huge diversity across the country in terms of other dishes that you really have to immerse yourself in it in order to discover everything. Even after living here for years, I am still discovering incredible new recipes that use traditional techniques to make simple, fresh ingredients just come alive with flavour.”

Those looking to get up close and personal with Italian cuisine can base themselves at Appassionata’s Casa Tre Archi holiday home in the medieval hilltop town of Petritoli. The three storey townhouse provides its owners with five weeks’ exclusive usage per year, at a cost of £70,000 per fraction. With a roof terrace that is perfect for outdoor dining, the scents of local cafés and restaurants filling the air and views of crops waving gently in the breeze for miles and miles, it is hard to imagine a better base from which to explore the tastes of Italy.

For more information visit www.appassionata.com or contact the Appassionata team on +39 33154 13225.

Want to add value to your property? Be sure to keep a metro map handy!

Want to add value to your property? Be sure to keep a metro map handy!

United Kingdom
  • Proximity to tram stop increases home value by 4.6% (Nationwide)
  • Manchester Metrolink area house sales up 15% in 2014 (JMW Solicitors)
  • Contemporary apartments 150m from tram stop for just £127,000 (Property Frontiers)

It’s official – Manchester property owners are mad about the Metrolink. In fact, data from Nationwide has revealed that buyers in the city are prepared to pay 4.6% more on average for a home that is within 500 meters of a tram stop. This equates to a tram stop adding £8,300 to the value of a typical home.

Smart investments

The finding is great news for buy-to-let property investors savvy enough to do their homework on the location of the property that they are buying. Custom Quay, in the Salford Quays area of Greater Manchester, is a perfect example. The property is just 150 metres from the nearest tram stop, meaning that central Manchester is accessible in just 15 minutes. Such a quick connection adds instant appeal to a rental property, attracting commuters who want to live outside of the city centre but who need easy access to it for work.

Ray Withers, Chief Executive of leading property investment specialists Property Frontiers, comments,

“Having a Metrolink so close to a property is excellent news all round. For the investor, it makes their property a more valuable asset. It also means that demand from potential tenants is likely to be higher and that the property can command a higher yield as a result. It also makes properties easier to sell, should investors wish to do so.”

This is certainly the case in Manchester, where house sales in the Metrolink region rose by an average of 15% in 2014. In some regions, sales even doubled, according to law firm JMW Solicitors LLP. The company’s Andrew Garvie, head of Private Client, observes,

“It makes the home more attractive and easier to sell, coupled with sustainable house prices.”

Metrolink Madness

Metrolink, which in 2013/14 transported some 29.2 million passengers along its seven lines according to the Department for Transport, was the UK’s first modern, street-running rail system, having opened in 1992. Today, it is an essential component of Greater Manchester’s transportation network, with three new lines having opened in 2014. Councillor Andrew Fender, Chairman of the TfGM Committee, comments,

“With three new tram lines opening in 2014, Metrolink is now connecting more people with more places than ever before – making it easy to get to employment and leisure opportunities across Greater Manchester.

“Metrolink offers excellent, direct links to the city and further afield, making the areas it passes through popular with homebuyers.”

Many of those buyers are purchasing their property not to live in it but as an investment and the Metrolink effect is an important consideration for those who want to maximise profits, such as buyers at Custom Quay, where a selection of one and two bedroom duplex apartments are available from £127,000. With plans in place for a further line to be added by 2019, which would bring the Trafford Centre into the network, it looks like the Metrolink’s impact on everything from yields to property value is here to stay.

For further details, visit www.propertyfrontiers.com or call the team on +44 1865 202 700.

Spain becomes the new EU buy-to-let hotspot in wake of surging demand for rental property

Spain becomes the new EU buy-to-let hotspot in wake of surging demand for rental property

Spain
  • Spanish rental sector doubles in size in 5 years (National Statistics Institute)
  • Yields of up to 7.6% available for long-term lets (Idealista)
  • Strong demand from both Spanish nationals and foreign residents (Kyero)

In Spain, as in many other countries, home ownership has historically been seen as preferable to renting a property, due to the security and investment that ownership provides. However, the economic events of the past decade have brought about a shift in the Spanish long-term rentals market, with increasing numbers of people opting to rent either as a lifestyle choice or due to an inability to get onto the housing ladder.

Martin Dell, Director of Kyero.com, the portal which lists property sales, holiday rentals and long-term rentals, explains,

“The past few years have seen a significant increase in the number of people in Spain looking to rent property on a long-term basis. Kyero’s long-term rentals site has experienced strong demand, from Spanish nationals and from foreign residents, while our sales site has received interest from investors looking to build up buy-to-let portfolios while property prices remain low.”

The promise of improving yields has prompted many investors to turn to Spain as the next buy-to-let destination of choice. Figures from Idealista reveal that yields have increased from 4.7% a year ago, to 5.3% currently. Popular tourist areas, such as Las Palmas de Gran Canaria offered returns of up to 6%. A modern, one bedroom apartment with sea view can be rented out for €700 per month, while a spacious three bedroom townhouse with sweeping views of the bay and port costs from as little as €145,000.

Nor is it just tourist areas that offer strong returns. The highest yielding area, according to the Idealista figures, is the Catalonian regional capital of Lleida, where returns have reached 7.6%. A two bedroom, three bathroom, high spec apartment with balcony there can be picked up for €207,800.

The news that Spanish rents rose for the first time in seven years in Q1 2015 is further piquing the interest of buy-to-let investors with their eye on solid returns. According to Fotocasa, the average price of rental accommodation rose by 2.8% during the first quarter of this year, to €6.96 per square metre per month.

Added to all of this is the surge in demand from tenants, with the size of the rental sector more than doubling from 7% just over five years ago to 16.6% in 2014, according to figures from the National Statistics Institute’s Continuous Household Survey.

While more than half of rented homes house foreign tenants, Spanish nationals are increasingly looking to rent due to the flexibility that doing so provides. Following nearly a decade of high unemployment, the Profile of the Tenant in 2014 study has revealed that labour mobility is the main reason that many opt to rent a property rather than purchase one.

The same study provides an interesting insight into the average tenant, who is aged between 35 and 44 years old, married and with a university education. They are professional tenants with families, looking to rent due to the freedom that this provides for employment purposes (22%), the ability to rent in a city other than where they ultimately intend to settle (16%) and the possibility of accessing homes that they could not afford to buy (15%).

This last point is particularly interesting to buy-to-let investors, as it emphasises the increasing focus of tenants on high spec properties with luxury features. Whether it is proximity to a beach, a stunning roof terrace or fabulous sea views, a property with something extra special will certainly attract heightened demand from potential tenants.

With rental yields in the UK and other popular buy-to-let destinations beginning to be squeezed due to rising property prices, the combination of healthy yields, soaring demand and low purchase prices might just see Spain emerge as Europe’s next buy-to-let hotspot.

For further details on properties to rent and buy across Spain, visit www.kyero.com.

Welcome to Spain – holidays don’t get easier than this

Welcome to Spain – holidays don’t get easier than this

Spain
  • Spain tops Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index for first time (World Economic Forum)
  • Spanish visitor numbers up 4.4% on previous year (Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism)
  • Buying property in Spain is a ‘swift and easy process’ (Taylor Wimpey España)

There are some people for whom the idea of the perfect holiday involves exploring almost unchartered corners of the globe: following goat trails up remote mountains, or paddling a tiny canoe through a rainforest alive with the buzz of insects and the calls of colourful, exotic birds. Then there is the much larger group of tourists whose vacation demands are much simpler: they want somewhere warm to relax, with a nice pool, a beach nearby and a few good restaurant options for dinner.

While the first group of travellers are online trying to charter tiny propeller planes to take them to the back of beyond, following 20 hours of exhausting travel by plane, boat, bus and donkey, the second need look no further than the sunny shores of Spain, which has just been voted the world’s most tourist-friendly country.

It is the first time that Spain has topped the global biennial World Economic Forum Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index, having come fourth in 2013 and eighth in 2011. The Iberian country took top marks for its cultural resources and was ranked fourth globally both for supporting tourists’ online searches for entertainment and for infrastructure. Essentially, Spain is the very essence of an easy holiday in the sun.

Marc Pritchard, Sales and Marketing Director of leading Spanish homebuilder Taylor Wimpey España and resident of the Spanish island of Mallorca, comments,

“Spain is such a friendly country that it really deserves the top spot. It’s a wonderful place to visit and makes everything so easy, even for tourists who speak no more Spanish than a simple ‘gracias.’ Even buying property here is a swift and easy process compared to many other countries, so Spain is the ideal location for a second home.”

Second home ownership in Spain is extremely popular with buyers from the UK, Scandinavia and Belgium, as well as from other areas of Europe and beyond and, of course, owning a second home there makes the holiday booking process even easier. There’s no worrying about reading hotel reviews, trying to work out where the nearest beaches are or whether or not the villa you want to rent will be available. All that needs booking is a flight and away you go.

In keeping with all things easy, those looking for key-ready Spanish properties would do well to consider Cala Magrana III, at Porto Cristo, Mallorca. With two bedroom apartments available from €230,000, the complex enjoys close proximity to the sea, the marina of Porto Cristo and several excellent golf courses. Ground floor apartments feature spacious terraces and private gardens, while those on the top floor have wonderful roof terraces. The development is finished off with a sizeable swimming pool and richly scented communal gardens.

Certainly Spain’s charms are working for the masses. 16 million international tourists visited the country during the first four months of 2015, up 4.4% over the previous year, according to the Spanish Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism. Brits accounted for 3.3 million visitors, followed by the French at 2.6 million and Germans at 2.5 million. Regardless of their origin, all of these travellers have had the chance to enjoy the ease of visiting Spain and the chance to soak up some sunshine with barely a moment’s hassle.

For more information, please contact Taylor Wimpey España today on 08000 121 020 or visit www.taylorwimpeyspain.com. Those residing outside of the UK should call 0034 971 70 69 72.

Let’s look at Lisbon – investing in the Queen of the Sea

Let’s look at Lisbon – investing in the Queen of the Sea

Portugal
  • Portugal property prices up 1.81% in the year to March 2015 (INE)
  • Lisbon buy-to-let market ‘experiencing strong demand’ (Ideal Homes Portugal)
  • Yields of up to 6.41% on Lisbon apartments (Global Property Guide)

Lisbon is a city of many faces. Known as A Cidade das Sete Colinas (The City of Seven Hills), Rainha do Mar (Queen of the Sea) and A Cidade da Tolerância (The City of Tolerance), it is an intriguing destination that combines an old-world charm with a sleek modern offering. From the chic shopping streets of the Chiado to the vibrant nightlife of the Bairro Alto, it is a city with delights hidden around every corner.

Lisbon’s history as a port is an important part of the city’s heritage and still offers a bustling trade today, with cruise ships, pleasure boats and goods vessels docking in the Queen of the Sea’s harbour from all over the world. At present, the dockside is humming with boats participating in the Volvo Ocean Race, ready for the In-Port Race on 6 June 2015, with the leg to Lorient starting the following day.

As well as sailing enthusiasts and tourists, Lisbon is increasingly on the radar of buy-to-let property investors, as Chris White, founding director of boutique estate agency Ideal Homes Portugal, reveals,

“Lisbon has long been overlooked for its potential as a rental property investment destination, but the combination of price reductions, heightened demand and competitive yields has led to a surge in investment in the city, particularly among those looking for long-term buy-to-let investments. Investors are looking for modern apartment properties that are perfect for professional tenants. The market is all about the added extras right now, with upscale buy-to-let properties experiencing strong demand.”

White cites the example of the Ávila 81 apartments, on Avenida Duque d’Ávila. Located in an upmarket borough of the city, just steps from the Saldanha and the Jardim do Arco do Cego, the high end apartments are close to transport links and schools, as well as a host of retail outlets, restaurants and other amenities. A typical four bedroom contemporary apartment in the development offers a host of attractive modern essentials, including a home automation system, under-floor heating in the bathrooms, HVAC system chiller, whirlpools, mirror defrosters, LED lighting, natural stone in the kitchens and bathrooms and a high gloss kitchen complete with AEG appliances. Security doors and intrusion alarms also come as standard and all for under €1 million – prices start at €986,250 for a four bedroom property (and at €560,000 for a two bed).

Many buyers see now as the perfect time to look at Lisbon’s property market. After years of falling prices, values finally began to increase again in 2014 and have risen by 1.81% in the year to March 2015 according to data from Statistics Portugal (INE), with an average current price of €1,011 per square metre. At the same time as prices are rising, the number of properties being built is falling. The Global Property Guide reports,

“Dwelling completions continue to plunge in 2014, with completions down by 54% y-o-y to 9,429 units.”

With fewer properties on the market as a result, one can reasonably expect that heightened demand will serve to push prices up further. At the same time, the Global Property Guide is reporting “moderate to good yields on Lisbon apartments, ranging up to 6.41%.”

The lowered prices and potential for healthy returns are drawing in property investors from around the globe. According to a market report from Jones Lang LaSalle, foreign investment in Portugal’s property market rose from 45% in 2012 to a staggering 70% in 2013. Portugal’s tax benefits to foreign buyers are the icing on the cake: the Non-Habitual Residents scheme and the Golden Residence Permit make it an attractive investment destination for buyers both inside and outside of Europe.

For further details call Ideal Homes Portugal on 0800 133 7644 or +351 289 513 434, email enquiries@idealhomesportugal.com or visit www.idealhomesportugal.com.

From the swinging 60’s to the present day: Celebrating 50 years of Barton Wyatt

From the swinging 60’s to the present day: Celebrating 50 years of Barton Wyatt

United Kingdom
  • 2015 sees Virginia Water’s leading estate agency turn 50
  • Average GU25 house price leaps from £10,000, in 1965 to £1,083,175in 2015
  • Property prices increased nearly 11,000% between 1965 and 2015.

Fifty years ago, in 1965, specialist estate agency Barton Wyatt first opened their doors to the public in Virginia Water. It was the start of a business venture that was to span five decades, helping thousands to find the home of their dreams in leafy, peaceful Surrey.

James Wyatt, Partner of this highly respected and multi award-winning Virginia Water business coincidentally also celebrates his 50th birthday this year, having been just a babe in arms when the business started trading from the High Street in Virginia Water in the peak of the swinging sixties.

The private estate in Virginia Water – well known as Wentworth was already starting to attract celebrities who liked the idea of having an out-of-town address for the weekends.  At that time, Diana Dors was often spotted cruising around Wentworth in her open-top azure blue Rolls with pimped-out white leather interior.

James Wyatt remembers,

“Wentworth has always been rather well-known for its lavish parties.  In the 60’s the growing celeb crowd wanted to make their mark and where better than hosting a ‘do’ in your Surrey pad a short drive from Carnaby Street!  Babycham and Vermouth were being liberally mixed with fashionable substances such as mescaline and LSD as the swinging 60’s melded into the 70’s and our village became recognised as a magnet for A-listers.”

In the 70’s the gaggle of notorious Wentworth celebs expanded.  Diana Dors was joined by chart topping musicians – a couple of Bee Gees, Elton John  and singer Chris Squire from Yes.

The other big-name celeb who James Wyatt remembers arriving in the 70s was England’s much loved Sir Bruce Forsythe, who still enjoys his property on the estate today.

During the 80’s the celebs moved on and city gents and international businessmen and women moved in. Today we like to think of the estate as demure and private, with a sedate pace of life. What happens behind huge imposing gates, stays behind the gates, where families enjoy privacy and tranquility in this beautiful part of Surrey.

Back in 1965, Barton Wyatt quickly established itself as the local, loyal and trustworthy estate agency and those qualities are as much present today as they were 50 years ago.  The great work that Wyatt Senior put into building this immense agency has been taken even further forward by his charming sons, James and Rupert.

Rupert Wyatt comments,

“I was born with estate agency coursing through my veins.  From the early years James and I were involved in the business.  Starting with good old fashioned leaflet dropping, which was so popular in the 80’s – not much fun on an estate where each house has a ridiculously long drive – thank goodness for my Raleigh chopper!”

The changes in running an estate agency over 50 years are remarkable, although the foundations that make a good estate agency haven’t altered as James explains,

“People buy from people; my father was a stickler for manners and keeping promises.  This is in our genes and I hope my children will be true to these Wyatt values.  The other thing that hasn’t changed is the increase in property prices.  Apart from the odd little blip, prices have continued to soar here for 50 years.”

While sticking with traditional values, Barton Wyatt is also embracing the contemporary touches that have enabled the company to thrive as the information age progresses. This year sees the implementation of a giant touch screen window display.  Gone are the days of static printed property details – the next generation screen really makes the office ‘open all hours.’  Viewing property details, making an enquiry and asking for advice are at the tips of customers’ fingers, 24/7.

Estate agency brochures are also blending the old with the new. Customers love them but they have evolved from simple paper prints to glossy, high quality publications. On occasion for particularly luxurious properties, Barton Wyatt even includes a watchable video within the brochure.

Of course, the style of houses has changed considerably over the years, with older style Tarrant properties slowly being replaced by Russianesque mansions and neo-Georgian piles, many with deep underground living areas to maximise house size.

The facilities at the prestigious Wentworth Club have also scaled up over the years – in 1965 there were two 18 hole courses, a handful of tennis courts and an outside swimming pool.  Today there are three 18 hole courses, 13 beautiful tennis courts and a wonderful indoor pool and spa with multi gym.  Even the coffee has (thankfully) improved with age – goodbye jar of instant, hello luxury ground coffee.

For more details on Barton Wyatt’s 50th year please contact them on 01344 843 000 or visit www.bartonwyatt.co.uk

Hooked on Health: Why wellness begins at home

Hooked on Health: Why wellness begins at home

Turkey
  • Wellness tourism economy to increase 9.1% annually until 2017 (Global Wellness Institute)
  • Middle East wellness tourism market rises by 39% in just one year (Spafinder Wellness 365)
  • Significant growth of wellness Tourism features being transferred to the home (Universal21)

According to the latest report from the Global Wellness Institute, the wellness tourism economy is worth $439 billion, accounting for an incredible 14% of all tourism spending worldwide in 2013. This figure is projected to increase by 9.1% annually until 2017, totalling a growth rate that is nearly 50% higher than that of overall global tourism.

A trend set to impact tourism on an international scale, wellness has indubitably started to influence property markets around the world, with health and wellbeing related facilities becoming key features in many homes.

Indeed with travel now an integral part of everyday life, this emerging demand to make healthy choices whilst on the go is growing, for both business and leisure travellers. And although the success of wellness tourism is affecting the global market, it is the Middle East and North and Sub-Saharan Africa which have seen the most growth. The 2015 Spafinder Wellness 365 report highlights this industry development, with the former region showing a 39% growth and the latter 57% from 2012 to 2013.

With many wellness travellers now choosing a destination for cultural experiences, as well as its ability to optimise their health, Turkey is a becoming a favourite location due to its modern-day dedication to wellbeing. A recent study by Euromonitor International indicates that this touristic trend is now developing within Turkey’s domestic population, with their findings suggesting that as income and education levels rise, so does the consciousness of Turkish consumers when it comes to their health and wellbeing.

Monica Anca, Director of Universal21, the leading property agency in Istanbul, Turkey, further explains how this change is being implemented, with features of wellness tourism entering the home,

“The World Health Organisation defines ‘wellness’ as an active process of becoming aware of and making choices toward a healthy and fulfilling life. There has been a definite shift in the tourism market towards wellbeing and the demand to provide services that do not only maintain a level of health, but also encourage and enrich such a lifestyle. Inevitably this trend is beginning to appear within the property market, with owners looking to benefit from similar features on a more day to day basis in their homes.

“We have certainly noticed an increase in health and wellbeing related enquiries especially within the Middle Eastern market, as investors look to ensure that properties are able to meet this growing demand. Constantly striving to guarantee client satisfaction, we take all the needs and demands of potential buyers into account when choosing new projects and hope to continue leading the market with original and contemporary real estate facilities.

“We are certainly surprised at how many people are using Istanbul for health reasons including such treatments as hair transplants, eye laser treatment and a whole host of operations and treatments. It is certainly a booming market especially when you consider that the city of Istanbul provides medical services with fifty-five public hospitals, five University hospitals and one hundred and six private hospitals from which twenty-one are in the process of being accredited. It’s the city with most accredited private hospitals by JCI.”

Universal 21’s latest development, Diamond Residence, is one such example of a development where we have organised an array of health and wellbeing amenities that are often more associated with luxury resorts and spas, the innovative design of this modern property allows for exclusive features, including a vitamin bar, fitness centre, indoor swimming pool, massage room and a Turkish bath.

Diamond Residence is located in a quiet, relaxed area of Old Beylikdüzü, a district of Istanbul renowned for its green open spaces. Similar to many European cities in relation to high amount of green space per person, Beylikdüzü houses an abundance of nature, with trees lining roads and walkways in addition to a stunning botanical park. Research published in the journal of Environmental Science and Technology 2014, demonstrates that living near parks and green spaces in towns and cities boosts your mental well-being, making Beylikdüzü a perfect setting to enhance a lifestyle of proactive health and wellbeing.

For more information about Universal21, visit www.universal21.com or call 0203 287 8700.

At a Glance: Demand climbs for Christ Church property

At a Glance: Demand climbs for Christ Church property

World
  • Saint James most popular property destination in Barbados
  • Overseas demand rising for Christ Church
  • Hastings most sought-after location
  • One to watch: Brighton (Saint George) rising hotspot for 2015

Demand is climbing for property in Christ Church, TheMoveChannel.com’s new Barbados infographic reveals. The portal’s At a Glance report, which compares buyer activity in the past 12 months to two years ago, shows that the popularity of Christ Church is catching up with Saint James.

Saint James remains the number one destination for buyers of property in Barbados, accounting for 38.98 per cent of enquiries in the 12 months to April 2015 – up slightly from 38.83 per cent in the year to April 2013. Interest in Christ Church, though, is rising. The surfer hotspot accounted for 36.67 per cent of enquiries on TheMoveChannel.com, up from 30.06 per cent in 2013.

Christ Church is now the most sought after area on the island, as Hastings overtook Holetown in Saint James to top the list of searched for locations. Hastings now accounts for more than 1 in 10 Barbados searches on the site (11.02 per cent, up from 9.4 per cent two years ago).

Demand also stayed strong for Atlantic Shores, Silver Sands and Maxwell: Christ Church is now home to four of the top 10 most popular locations in Barbados on TheMoveChannel.com. Saint James, on the other hand, accounts for three of the top 10, including the resorts of Sandy Lane and Westmoreland. Holetown fell to fourth in the search rankings, as Atlantic Shores rose into third place. Brighton, in Saint George, is a rising hotspot on the island, becoming the second most searched for location (up from 55th place in April 2013).

Saint Peter, next to Saint James, saw its share of enquiries rise from 13.57 per cent to 14.73 per cent. Saint Philip, next to Christ Church, on the other hand, saw enquiries drop from 13.68 per cent to 8.22 per cent. Saint Lucy, Saint Andrew and Saint John continued to attract no enquiries at all.

The At a Glance infographic also charts buyer behaviour on Google. Internet searches for “property for sale in Barbados”, “Barbados property” and “property in Barbados” have all increased in the past two years. Most notable of all, though, are searches for “houses for sale in Barbados”, which became the most used keyword relating to Barbadian real estate between August and October 2014.

TheMoveChannel.com Director Dan Johnson comments: “The Barbados property market has always been fuelled by wealthy buyers, with prime property in Saint James attracting the most attention. The resilience of the luxury real estate sector during times of wider economic uncertainty has helped to support activity on the Platinum Coast in the past two years

“Christ Church, though, is rising in popularity, thanks to its appeal among surfers and holidaymakers, as well as its more affordable property prices. The rising interest among less wealthy buyers has helped to drive up searches on Google. The increasing interest in houses for sale in Barbados, though, which are searched for significantly more than apartments, highlights just how stable demand for prime property on the island remains.”

Click here see the full Barbados At a Glance infographic.

 

— ENDS —

Notes to Editors

About Lead Galaxy and TheMoveChannel.com

Founded in 1999, www.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.

TheMoveChannel.com is one of more than a dozen international property sites operated under the Lead Galaxy brand. Lead Galaxy provides online marketing solutions to thousands of property companies worldwide, focusing on portal listings, email marketing, qualified leads, paid search and social media advertising.

The business is headquartered at 24 Jack’s Place, Corbet Place, Shoreditch, London, E1 6NN.

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Do you need comment or statistics for an international real estate article? Our experienced editorial team and management are happy to collate data, provide example properties, or offer insightful comment to support your publication.

Please contact Ivan Radford on ivan.radford@themovechannel.com or +44 (0)207 952 7221

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Hello Wembley! It’s time to take a fresh look at London’s iconic sporting heart

Hello Wembley! It’s time to take a fresh look at London’s iconic sporting heart

United Kingdom
  • The ‘cathedral of football’ set to host FA Cup Final this weekend
  • 90% of stunning Emerald Gardens apartments sold
  • Contemporary Wembley Park apartments available from £366,000

Think of Wembley and you’re probably picturing world-class football matches and concerts at The SSE Arena featuring a line-up of the latest stars yet there is so much more to 21st century Wembley than you might realise. Significant regeneration and a new contemporary accommodation offering from the team behind London Designer Outlet, is drawing some of the capital’s brightest and best to make this area of North West London their home.

Wembley is proud of its rich sporting heritage as the ‘capital of football and the heart of football’. On Saturday, 30th May, the iconic Wembley Stadium will once more have the honour of hosting the 2015 FA Cup Final between Arsenal and Aston Villa. This event will please passionate football fan Jakub Wrobel, who lives in Forum House, one of the Wembley Park apartment buildings.

Jakub has been to matches at the stadium on a number of occasions. “I got tickets for the match at the Olympics between USA and Brazil. It was an amazing atmosphere. I loved all the hype in the Stadium – and it was only a few minutes’ walk away. This has to be the best place in the world to live as a football fan.”

In addition to football, the modern-day Stadium hosts Rugby and American football, and the biggest names in music queue up to play on its career-defining stage. The coming weeks will see artists as diverse as the Foo Fighters, AC/DC and Ed Sheeran perform at the world-class venue.

Put aside the never-ending entertainment options of the Stadium and The SSE Arena which hosts a range diverse sporting and music events, family and comedy shows and you’ll find Wembley Park, the district surrounding the venues, is an incredibly popular and attractive place to live.

London Designer Outlet is a shoppers dream with a unique range of 70 aspirational and high street brands, 20 restaurants and coffee shops and a 9 screen cinema showing the latest releases. Arena Square, with its fountain and relaxed seating, has become a focal point of the area with the all-weather children’s playpark hugely popular with families.

As Jakub comments, “It’s amazing being so close to so many venues. It’s great. My window looks out over it all and you can really feel the atmosphere as crowds gather for the big events.”

Both road and rail transportation links are excellent and a range of central London destinations can be reached within just 15-20 minutes on the Underground, making it a commuter’s dream.

Wembley Park is fast earning itself a reputation as the place to live in London. James Saunders, of Wembley Park, comments,

“Demand for apartments at Emerald Gardens has been incredible with 90% of the properties already sold due to the excellent transport links to Central London. Wembley Park is one of London’s hottest property areas right now attracting everyone from young professional renters to first time buyers, second steppers and overseas buyers looking for an affordable London bolthole. The retail choices available at London Designer Outlet are fantastic and residents can also enjoy access to a huge array of restaurants, bars and cafés, as well as to events at the stadium and arena.”

Emerald Gardens, part of the exciting North West Village development at Wembley Park, comprise 427 apartments spread across seven buildings. Available units start at £366,000. Interiors focus on style and comfort, in line with the company’s ethos of providing inspirational homes to contemporary buyers. Almost every apartment has its own private balcony or terrace, while the development also enjoys almost an acre of tranquil gardens. Emerald Gardens is emblematic of all that modern-day Wembley Park has to offer, pairing innovation with style in this legendary part of London.

For further details, visit http://www.northwestvillage.com/ or call the Savills Sales team on +44 20 3151 8601.