News: Traditional markets in decline

Thu, 17 Jan 08

Established property markets continue to be ignored in favour of emerging nations...

In its second annual Global Property Hot Spots roundup, currency specialist HiFX reveals an increase in enquiries over the past 3 years regarding less traditional overseas property destinations like Bulgaria and China, while interest in old favourites such as France and Spain has declined.

The report, based on an analysis of enquiries received by the firm, has found France and Spain to be consistently at the top of popular destinations for Brits buying abroad in recent years. However, the lead of these traditional holiday home countries is being lessened by new emerging markets where investors are vying for properties that will deliver quick growth.

Bulgaria interest doubles

Interest in Bulgaria in 2007 was double what it was in 2005, while enquiries relating to property in China increased from zero in 2005 to 3% in 2007, which is more than were received for more traditional destinations such as Portugal and Cyprus.

Over the last 10 years the Western world has enjoyed the biggest property boom in its history, creating a whole generation of potential property investors. Indeed, house prices have boomed in almost every developed market with the exception of Germany and Japan.

But with developed economy markets at their current high, investors are increasingly turning their attention away from the traditional markets like Spain and to the emerging markets, such as Eastern Europe and (new for 2008) even farther flung destinations such as Brazil, Egypt and, the canoeist's favourite, Panama!

Investors shunning Spain

According to the report, interest in Spain has decreased by 2% since 2006 and is 10% lower than in 2005. Interest in France remained steady from 2006 to 2007; however enquiries last year were down 7% compared to 2005.

Mark Bodega, Director at HiFX, says: "It's easy to see why investors in particular are turning their backs on Spain and examining new markets at an earlier stage in their growth cycle. In August 2007, the national median price for property sold to overseas buyers in Spain was approximately 250,000 euros. In Bulgaria the average price was closer to 60,000 euros.

"With an abundance of low cost airline routes, short flight times and the great weather, both countries will always be a favourite with British buyers and we expect them to remain so in 2008. However, overall, their lead is closing as the investor population continues to turn its attention to emerging markets in 2008."

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