Europe’s Number 1 City for Property Sees 28.5% Increase in Foreign Tourist Arrivals

United Kingdom

 

Voted Europe’s number 1 city for property by Price Waterhouse Coopers, Istanbul was one of the most active and prosperous global property markets in 2010. And with the latest official data revealing a 28.5% increase in tourist arrivals this January, all eyes remain fixed on the city where east meets west in 2011.
 
According to official figures from the Turkish Culture and Tourism Ministry Istanbul, the number of foreign tourist arrivals for January increased by 28.5% from 294,352 in January 2010 to 378,380 last month placing increased pressure on already saturated accommodation stock.
 
Due to its strategic location, Istanbul attracts visitors from all over the world with Germany topping the list in January, followed by Russia, Italy, Iran, Britain and the US. The economic powerhouse of Turkey, which has recorded strong economic growth rates averaging 7.5% over the last 5 years, can currently be accessed by three existing airports (Ataturk, Sabiha Gokcen and Karakoy) which have seen continued growth in passenger numbers and a new international airport, the largest in Turkey, is planned for the western suburbs.
 
Steven Worboys, MD of Istanbul property experts Experience International, comments,
 
“Istanbul presented some of the most successful property investment opportunities for our clients in 2010. We at Experience International identified the key fundamentals of limited supply and massive demand at play in the city and it comes as no surprise that Istanbul’s property potential has now been recognized by over 600 real estate experts in the recent Price Waterhouse Coopers survey.”
 
Demand for quality accommodation in the city both to meet increasing numbers of visitors and the influx of economic migrants shows no signs of abating with the market moving fast and new off-plan developments with secure rental returns proving particularly popular. Phase 1 of one residential development, The Hamptons, located in the burgeoning western suburb of Beylikdüzü was all but sold out within weeks of launch and only a handful of studio and 1 bedroom luxury apartments remain.
 
Being sold off-plan The Hamptons offers superb value for money with studio and 1 bedroom apartments available from £33,000 complete with a choice of views over the mighty Bosphrous or the city centre, communal swimming pool, gym, sauna, shops, parking and landscaped gardens. Built by one of the most established developers in Istanbul, The Hamptons is due for completion ahead of schedule in August 2011 enabling investors to start receiving their 7.5% rental guarantee (fixed for 2 years) in six months time.
 
With real estate experts predicting that property prices in Istanbul could double or even triple in 5 years time, significant capital appreciation can also be expected on buy to let investments such as The Hamptons. As Steven Worboys concludes,
 
“Istanbul should be on any savvy buy to let investors’ radar in 2011. Follow the experts and capitalise on the massive demand for quality housing in the city, low entry levels, up to 75% non-status finance and protected rental income – now is the right time to invest.”
 
For more information about investing in Istanbul and indeed the last units remaining at The Hamptons, contact the experts at Experience International on +44 (0) 207 321 5858 or visit www.experience-international.com.

A Perfectly Profitable Paradise – More reasons to invest in the Philippines

The Philippines

If you are thinking about investing in the Philippines you’ll be pleased to hear that the World Bank has ranked the Philippines as one of the world’s 10 most improved economies in facilitating trade and investment across borders.

 

The Philippines has improved 7 places in the last year alone from 68 to 61 in the World Bank’s rankings for trading across borders (out of 183 economies). It takes for example an average of 21 days in the Philippines to obtain a construction permit whilst the regional average stands at 45 days.

 

The government of the Philippines is continuing its effort to improve conditions for international investors. One such measure has been to draw up a ‘Magna Carta’ for investors, designed to protect the rights of people investing in the Philippines. According to the Department of Trade and Industry this bill is likely to be finalised and passed early next year.

 

The government is actively encouraging foreign investment in a variety of industries including energy, technology and tourism. Special TIEZA’s (Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority) have been created to provide incentives for international investors. Some of these include tax and duty free importation of capital investment, equipment and transportation.

 

It may come as a surprise to many that the Philippines is the third largest English speaking country in the world with a large expatriate community. This makes it an attractive location for both tourists and investors.

 

Millions of tourists continue to be attracted to the amazing beaches, world class dive spots, exotic volcanoes and of course the 7,000 plus islands. Tourist numbers are expected to grow to just over 3.8 million by 2012, representing an 8.4% growth rate from this year (Govt of Philippines).

 

As Steven Worboys, MD of Philippines property experts, Experience International, comments,

 

“International investors are more confident than ever in choosing the Philippines as their investment destination. One of the most popular locations has been Mactan Island in Cebu province which provides a fantastic opportunity to benefit from the rising tourist numbers, rich natural biodiversity and wide range of resources this island has to offer.”

 

One property development which has received particular investor interest is the 5* Blue Coral Resort & Spa, frontline residences on Mactan Island. With first class facilities overlooking the crystal clear waters of the Bohol Straits, the newly released hotel suites, studios, 2 bed apartments and 2 bed luxury pool villas start from $83,500 with an impressive 21% guaranteed annual income. In addition 60% non-status finance is available and the resort will be managed by a world-leading tour operator guaranteeing 80% occupancy.

 

For more information about investing in the perfectly profitable paradise which is the Philippines in 2011 and indeed the Blue Coral Resort & Spa contact the experts at Experience International on +44 (0) 207 321 5858 or visit www.experience-international.com

Calabria ready for take-off in 2011 as Ryanair flights return

Italy

Holiday makers and homeowners alike will welcome news that low-cost airline, Ryanair, is set to reintroduce the popular London to Calabria route from March 2011.

Operating thrice weekly flights (Monday, Wednesday and Friday) from March and adding an additional Sunday flight from 1st April, Ryanair will fly the direct route from London Stansted to Lamezia Terme International in the heart of the popular southern region of Calabria.
The return of the Ryanair route, in addition to the introduction of the new Monarch route this summer from London Gatwick to Lamezia Terme, is testament to the popularity of Calabria both as a tourist and second property destination. 
The latest operating data from the Calabrian airport reveals a 16% increase in passenger numbers, from just over 1.6 million in 2009 to 1.9 million in 2010 with presence of Ryanair expected to boost traffic further in 2011.
Anticipating this demand, plans are underway for the expansion and improvement of facilities at Lamezia Terme including 500 additional parking spaces, construction of a new dedicated “Low Cost Airlines” terminal, new office tower with restaurant and exhibition space, a new airport hotel – Aerotel, and a new reception hall.
As Calabrian property expert and MD of Experience International, Steven Worboys, comments,
“The investment into Lamezia Terme aiport and commitment to new routes from Ryanair and Monarch are encouraging signs for Calabria. Only 3 hours from the UK, the region is a true international property hotspot offering everything that second home owners desire yet prices still remain affordable.”
The strengthening of the Pound against the Euro is also driving the market forward with interest in off-plan developments in particular increasing due to their attractive price points. Napitia Hills for example has been selling strongly with buyers keen to secure the 1 and 2 bedroom apartments and 3 bedroom townhouses with panoramic sea views at pre-release prices.
This low density development, perched at the most elevated point of the traditional Calabrian town of Pizzo and just 45 minutes from Lamezia Terme airport, offers the exclusive units from only €75,582 with landscaped gardens, BBQ area and swimming pools on site.
For more information on the new flights to Calabria and indeed Napitia Hills please contact the experts at Experience International on +44 (0) 207 321 5858 or visit www.experience-international.com.

Liverpool student housing stock under pressure as university applications soar

United Kingdom

 

With the latest figures released from UCAS revealing a 2.5% increase in applicants for university places for the 2011/12 academic year, the last before the tuition fee cap increase, concerns over the pressure sure to be placed on already stretched student housing stock in Liverpool, home to some of the top universities in the country, is mounting.
Liverpool is one of the most established centres in the UK for higher education, with leading institutions including The University of Liverpool, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool Hope University and The Liverpool University of Performing Arts.
The combined student population currently stands at 53,000, almost 12% of the city’s total population, with students from over 100 countries in the world enrolled.
Demand from this student population for housing is steadily rising with the Knight Frank Student Report 2010 revealing that Liverpool has seen the highest growth in terms of higher education student accommodation along with Leeds and Bristol, 13% increase in rental growth between the 2008/9 and 2009/10 academic years.
But as Steven Worboys, MD of student accommodation investment experts Experience International, comments, there is a supply shortage, 
“Across the country as a whole there is a significant shortage of high-quality student accommodation and Liverpool is no different. The surge in applicants for the 2011/12 academic year, especially from overseas students (7.9% increase in EU applicants and 5% for non-EU residents) who expect a high standard of accommodation is driving forward the student buy-to-let market, presenting investment opportunities which are low risk, hassle free and high yielding.”
In response to this demand a number of strategically located buildings located near the city centre are being refurbished into high specification, modern student housing units. One such project is Bold Street, the fourth residential development from Liverpool’s leading student management company with over 10 years’ experience.
Located in the heart of the City, only a few minutes walk to Liverpool John Moores and Liverpool Community College campuses and less than 400m from Liverpool Lime Street station, Bold Street will comprise high specification fully modernised student pods with state of the art facilities including a fully equipped gymnasium.
All pods include a flat screen TV, wash basins as standard and internet connection. In addition there will be a media and computer room with printing facilities and a key fob security entry system. Communal areas will include lounges with 52” flat screen TVs, fully fitted kitchens with appliances and dining areas and modern bathrooms and shower.
Ready for the start of the 2011/12 academic year, Bold Street offers 9.53% net annual yield with the management company guaranteeing the income in year 1. With a purchase price of just £43,500 this student development is proving highly popular and is selling fast.
For more information about investing in student accommodation or indeed purchasing a unit at Bold Street contact the experts at Experience International on +44 (0) 207 321 5858 or visit www.experience-international.com
 

New direct flights set to boost the Paris of South America in 2011

World

 The “Paris of South America”, Buenos Aires, is set to receive a boost this year as a new daily non-stop service from London, operated by British Airways, will commence from March 27th.

 

Previously BA flights to the capital of Argentina involved a connection in Sao Paulo but due to passenger demand a new direct flight will be introduced making it even easier to reach South America’s second largest metropolitan area.

 

In the decade since the economic crisis of 2001, Argentina has worked hard to establish economic prosperity, boasting five straight years of 9% GDP growth through 2007 and impressive GDP of 8% for 2010.

 

The nation’s booming economy, primarily based on agricultural and natural resource exports, manufacturing and telecommunications has attracted significant levels of foreign direct investment. Labelled by the Financial Times as “China’s New Investment Frontier”, Argentina has seen levels of Chinese investment go from millions to US$ 2.45 billion in the last decade. 

 

In addition the tourism sector is also rapidly expanding; the Argentine Ministry of Tourism expected more than 5 million foreigners to visit the country in 2010, 15.5% more than in 2009, generating revenue of US$470 billion.

 

This increase in tourism numbers is in turn having a positive effect on Argentina’s housing market. Identified as a “future high growth luxury residential market” by the Knight Frank Global Property Wealth Survey 2010 and one of the “most favourable destinations” for hotel investment in 2011 by Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels, the South American hotspot of Argentina offers a wealth of opportunity both for domestic and international property buyers.

 

Demand for high quality accommodation around Buenos Aires is particularly high with country clubs proving popular both as retreats for city workers but also permanent residences in their own right. Offering the best of both worlds, country clubs such as the 5* Camino Real Polo & Country Club located just 35 minutes from Buenos Aires, allow residents to enjoy the true Argentinian countryside, first class on-site amenities and easy access to the city for work.

 

As Steven Worboys, MD of Experience International, who is exclusively marketing the hotel suites available at Camino Real, comments,

 

“Investing in aparthotels remains a popular choice for investors due to the high returns available and hassle free management. Combining this booming asset class with a growing economy such as Argentina is surely a recipe for success!”

 

Hotel suites at the 5*Las Rosas hotel at Camino Real are selling fast. Set within the 770 acre Polo & Country Club, lake view hotel suites are available from £87,500 with up to 18.8% projected NET rental yield. 60% 10 year non- status developer finance is also available along with two weeks annual stay with free polo lessons.

 

For more information on investing in Argentina and the Las Rosas aparthotel contact the experts at Experience International on +44 (0) 207 321 5858 or visit www.experience-international.com

Philippines prepares for prosperity in 2011

The Philippines

 

As we leave behind the ferocious year of the Tiger and embrace the more restful year of the Rabbit, the Philippines is busy preparing itself for prosperity in 2011.
 
According to the Philippines property investment experts at Experience International, the ‘Pearl of the Orient’ presents strong fundamentals for success with a robust economy, increasing levels of foreign direct investment, booming tourism and a thriving property market and will play a key role in Asia’s exit from the global recession. 
 
As Steven Worboys, MD of Experience International, comments: “The Philippines holds a great deal of potential, with a wealth of natural resources, a dynamic and progressive business outlook and a population committed to future prosperity, 2011 is set to be a fortuitous year for this Asian nation.”
 
The Philippines’ economy has remained robust over the last 12 months with 6.7% GDP growth reported in Q3 2010 and 7.7% growth year-on-year (National Economic and Development Authority). Indeed the international credit ratings agency, Standard & Poor’s upgrade of the nation’s long-term foreign currency credit rating by one notch to BB was a “statement of confidence on the country’s bright prospects moving forward” said the Governor of the Central Bank of the Philippines.
 
Confidence in the economy remains on display through the ever increasing levels of foreign direct investment for example the new IBM outsourcing centre in Manila which opened this month. The Philippines has now overtaken India as the call centre capital of the world with revenues of $12 – $13 billion expected in 2011 rising to $100 billion by 2020.
 
Another sector which is significantly boosting economic performance is the tourism industry. The tropical paradise that is the Philippines attracts visitors from all over the world but it is becoming increasingly popular with the British. From January to July 2010 visitors from the UK posted an amazing 11% growth rate leading to expectations of over 100,000 British visitors by the year’s end (Philippines Department of Tourism, 2010).
 
Responding to demand from not only the multi-national companies opening offices in the Philippines but also the increasing numbers of tourists to the islands seeking accommodation, the Philippines property market is experiencing an upswing.
 
Property management group CB Richard Ellis Philippines recently heralded the strength of the real estate sector remarking that “foreign Investors are showing increased confidence in the real estate market due to favourable macro-economic factors such as 8% growth, record remittances, a young and highly educated population, one of the best performing stock markets in Asia for 2010”.
 
And this is a view shared by the experts at Experience International who are seeing their project on the perfectly profitable paradise of Mactan Island selling out very rapidly.
 
The 5* Blue Coral Resort & Spa is a frontline development with first class facilities overlooking the crystal clear waters of the Bohol Straits. The newly released hotel suites, studios, 2 bed apartments and 2 bed luxury pool villas start from $83,500 with an impressive 21% guaranteed annual income. In addition 60% non-status finance is available and the resort will be managed by a world-leading tour operator guaranteeing 80% occupancy.
 
For more information on investing in the prosperous Philippines in 2011 and indeed the Blue Coral Resort & Spa contact the experts at Experience International on +44 (0) 207 321 5858 or visit www.experience-international.com.
 

London’s Hotel Market Continues on Road to Recovery with 8.5% Growth Recorded in Q2 2010

United Kingdom

 

London’s hotel market continues on the road to recovery post recession as the Deloitte Q2 2010 Hotel Market Outlook reports sustained growth in revPAR (revenue per available room).
 
An impressive 8.5% growth was recorded in Q2 2010, on par with the near double-digit growth of 9.6% seen in Q1 2010, with an average £102.27 generated per room per night.
 
Steven Worboys, MD of property investment experts Experience International, who are marketing rooms in phase 2 of the new West India Dock Road for which Holiday Inn has been selected to operate, comments,
 
“In line with growth in the UK economy (1.2% increase in GDP during Q2 2010), London’s hotel market is on the rise once again. The Capital continues to outperform major European cities including Madrid, Rome, Brussels, Berlin and Amsterdam with occupancy rates for Q2 reported at 82.7% and 80.3% forecast for 2010 as a whole.”
 
The positive start for the sector in the first half of 2010 is expected to continue with Deloitte predicting a 12.3% increase in revPAR in Q3 in part due to the Farnborough Air Show being held near London this July. Looking further ahead, in the run up to the London 2012 Summer Olympic Games, occupancy rates for 2011 are forecast at 77.7% and hotel prices set to double according to market intelligence company, Rubicon.
 
Steven Worboys concludes,
 
“The outlook for London’s hotel market over the next few years is very promising. The London Plan has outlined the need for some 50,000 additional hotel rooms in the Capital by 2026 and global chains such as Holiday Inn, the leading brand of the largest hotel operator in the world by number of rooms, InterContinental Hotels Group, have already committed to meeting this demand through being appointed as the operator of new, high quality and strategically located hotels such as the Holiday Inn West India Dock Road.”
 
Available at 19% below the official independent RICS commercial valuation and offering 10.7% net yields by year 5, the Holiday Inn West India Dock Road, located adjacent to Westferry DLR, will offer high quality rooms and a number of executive suites. In addition guests can enjoy first class on-site facilities including the restaurant, café, bar, gym and 300 sqm of conference space.
 
Occupancy rates are forecasted conservatively at 70% in year 1, rising to 80% from year 2 onwards and revPAR is expected to reach £98 in year 5. Phase 1 sold out earlier this year within 4 weeks but investors can now purchase units in the newly released Phase 2 from £189,000 with non-status finance available.
 
For more information about investing in London’s thriving hotel market and the Holiday Inn West India Dock Road, call Experience International today on + 44 (0) 207 321 5858 or visit www.experience-international.com.
 
 

Turkey’s Exceptional Economic Performance Will Continue to Attract International Property Investors in 2011

Turkey

 

2010 has been a defining year for Turkey with the nation firmly establishing its presence on the global stage, boasting record tourism numbers and a booming real estate sector. But it is the exceptional economic performance of the land where east meets west that will continue to attract international property investors in 2011 according to experts.
As Steven Worboys, MD of the Turkish property experts at Experience International explains,  
“International real estate still remains one of the most popular investments available but many buyers have been stung in the past and are now more cautious, seeking out markets with secure economic fundamentals and developments with realistic returns. Turkey’s economic performance over the past 12 months speaks for itself with over 8% GDP growth expected for 2010 according the latest OECD report and remaining above 5% in 2011 and 2012.”
Praise for side-stepping some of the worst effects of the global recession has been laid at the door of Turkey’s banking system which was recently upgraded by international credit ratings agency Moody’s. In addition Fitch Ratings has raised its outlook on Turkey from “stable” to “positive” affirming them as “BB plus” further boosting investor confidence.
The Istanbul Stock Exchange (ISE), which currently ranks 6th most profitable in the world gaining 4.5% value in the first ten months of 2010 according to the World Federation of Exchanges, lists 19 property developers with a combined value of some 5.5 billion liras and it is the significant growth in this sector which is contributing to overall economic growth.
Turkish real estate has gone from strength to strength in 2010 with the construction sector posting an impressive 21.9% growth for Q2 2010. Both domestic and international demand for quality accommodation in cities such as Istanbul as well as along the Aegean and Mediterranean coasts seems to be insatiable with over 32,000 Britons already own property in Turkey according to the Turkish General Directorate of Land Registry.
Proposed new policy from the Ministry of Public Works and Housing to ease regulations on foreign nationals purchasing land in Turkey, predicted to come into force as early as 2011, could further boost the market, opening it up to increased levels of lucrative Middle East investment.
The economy is also set to receive a boost from tourism revenue with US$ 22.5 billion expected in 2010 rising to US$ 23.8 billion in 2011 according to the program of State Planning Organization (DPT).
As Steven Worboys comments,
“Turkey is now a serious global economic contender; with its robust V-shaped economy the nation bounced back quickly from recession and now is capitalising on its key fundamentals, enjoying a period of growth and prosperity.”

For more information about investing in Turkey, especially the economic powerhouse of Istanbul where off-plan property developments such as the superb Crystal Heights are seeing capital gains of up to 20% per annum and guaranteed rental yields of 7%, then contact the experts at Experience International on + 44 (0) 207 321 5858 or visit www.experience-international.com.

British Airways launches new flights to the French Alps

United Kingdom

 

National flag carrier British Airways has announced the launch of a new route for the 2010 / 11 winter season – London City Airport to Chambery, the gateway to the French Alps.
Starting on 18th December 2010, the BACityFlyer service will operate flights four times a week until March 2011 enabling Britons to visit the popular French ski destination for long weekends as well as traditional week long stays.
Ed Scott, French ski property expert at Experience International, comments,
“The new route operated by BA from London City to Chambery is sure to be warmly welcomed by skiers especially due to the frequency of flights which allow greater flexibility. Chambery is the gateway to the world class skiing of the French Alps with resorts such as Val d’Isere, Tignes and Saint-Martin-de-Belleville nearby.”
Nearly half a million Britons own property in France with the Alps one of the most popular destinations and this increased accessibility from the UK is also set to benefit those who own ski chalets in the region as well as holiday makers.
Just an hour from Chambery airport, the traditional Savoyard village of Saint-Martin-de-Belleville has seen tourism numbers steadily increasing over the last few years and now with the new BA flights the area, part of the famous Three Valleys domain, is set for a bumper season this winter.
Accommodation in Saint-Martin-de-Belleville, at an altitude of 1,450m, is in high demand year round with only 2,600 tourist beds available. There is an established second home market with approximately 1,460 holiday homes and a booming buy-to-let market. Leaseback developments such as the Chalet du Gypse, located at the foot of the slopes at the entrance of the Belleville Valley, are proving particular popular due to their affordability, guaranteed returns as well as personal usage.
One and two bedroom fully furnished ski-in ski-out apartments are available from €318,659 (including parking, excluding VAT) with superb onsite facilities including indoor swimming pool, Jacuzzi, sauna, Turkish bath, spa and gym area.

For more information about buying ski property in and around Chambery or indeed the last remaining units at Chalet du Gypse contact the experts at Experience International on +44 (0) 207 321 5858 or visit www.experience-international.com.

Brits swap 36 deg Fahrenheit for 36 deg Celcius as Egypt ranks Top Winter Sun Hotspot

Egypt

 

With the Met Office predicting snowfall and maximum temperatures of just 36˚Fahrenheit (2˚Celcius) by the end of the week, more and more Brits are looking to escape the cold snap and visit top winter sun hotspot- Egypt.
 
The mercury is rising fast in Egypt with temperatures of up to 36˚Celcius forecast for Sharm el Sheikh, the highly popular holiday resort located on the Sinai Peninsula. Airlines and tour operators are already seeing increasing numbers of Britons travelling to the north African nation, only 4 and a half hours by air, to soak up the sunshine and leave all the stresses of the Christmas run-up behind.
 
According to Egyptian Minister of Tourism, Zuheir Garana, an 18% increase in tourism to Egypt is expected with an impressive 14.5 million to visit by the end of 2010; a positive outlook which Steven Worboys, MD of the Egyptian property experts Experience International, supports,
 
“Egypt is certainly a destination to consider as the cold weather approaches. Ranked by The Guardian as one of the top 5 winter sun hotspots, it offers the perfect combination for individuals, couples and families alike with guaranteed sunshine, high temperatures, crystal clear waters along the Red Sea as well as a wide range of cultural and sporting activities to enjoy.” 
 
The country’s location outside of the troubled euro zone also makes Egypt highly appealing with American Express Global Foreign Exchange Services Currency Report reporting that the Egyptian pound was the 4th most popular currency sought between Jan – Sept 2010.
 
Situated on the Sinai Peninsula, the small fishing village of Sharm has developed to become one of the greatest attraction in Egypt for tourists from all over the world especially Britons who account for 1 million visitors annually. With its dramatic mountain landscape and wide variety of tourist attractions including warm deep-blue seas and world-class diving, excellent beaches, golf, quad biking in the desert, an equestrian centre, ice skating and a national park it’s not hard to see why Sharm is so popular.
 
And not only with holiday makers but those looking for a more permanent escape from the questionable British weather. The second home market in Sharm has boomed in recent years with properties in Naama Bay, the heart of Sharm, in very high demand.
 
Apartments in the aptly named Sunny Lakes development for example are selling quickly with investors keen to secure the limited number of luxury 2 bedroom apartments currently under construction from just £71.250. Completed to the highest European standard, the low density development is located just 15 minutes walk from the public beaches of Naama Bay and affords a wide range of superb on-site amenities including 9 swimming pools, shops, restaurants, cinema, supermarket, children’s playground and 24 security.
 

For more information about the winter sun hotspot of Egypt and Sunny Lakes contact the experts at Experience International on +44 (0) 207 321 5858 or visit www.experience-international.com.