Architecture
News and information on the latest architectural delight to enter the real estate market worldwide. Read our latest news and articles on what is happening with odd and strange looking architecture from around the world.

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Fancy an ex-Soviet barracks apartment in Sofia? Well look no further because the Bulgarian Military has just announced it is to sell a total of 10,300ha and 11,000 buildings this autumn. Although most of the properties are located in Sofia, they would be spread all over Bulgaria in Plovdiv, Bourgas, Varna, Stara Zagora, Veliko Turnovo and Blagoevgrad.

The first set of 243 assets are to be sold in September in a move to generate revenue to buy new apartments for the modernisation of the Bulgarian army to meet EU and NATO standards.

There are three future options the army envisage; Some would be sold, others would have their ownership retained by the defence ministry with build rights sold in exchange for the ministry’s ownership of some property and the last option would be for the ministry to engage in some property development itself.

Due to a shortage of logistic property on the market, the favourite properties are warehouses.

Read more on the Sofia Echo
Ministry of Defence, Bulgaria Official Site

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India’s ‘crunch-proof’ property market brought to London by Navyroof.com

As house prices in London and surrounding areas are in freefall, some selling for over £50,000 less than originally purchased, London property investors are looking to India for profitability where Merrill Lynch has predicted a 700 per cent increase in property prices by 2015.

A seminar at the City Hotel, Brick Lane, London, at 7pm on September 17th will give London property investors valuable information on how they can benefit from investing in India’s thriving property sector.

It is hosted by Navyroof.com – the company that brings investment opportunities from the most up-and-coming areas of India to the UK.

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Springfield Apartments and Mantri Flora, Bangalore
Bangalore Skyline

India’s property market was on a high not so long ago. Property investors were flocking to new developments to cash in on a promising future. The new middle class had available funds to help them buy their first homes and everything seemed rosy. Even when the first sign of the global credit crunch appeared, India still powered on.

The market started to pick up back in 2005, when the Indian government eased overseas investment stipulations to make the market more friendly for all. Coupled with India’s economic boom, it made for a fantastic combination until…

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jakarta-skyline | credits:aditchandra
Jakarta Skyline

Property stocks are hot property in Indonesia right now as reported by Reuters last weekend. Investors can get huge reduced gifting stakes in retail hotel complexes, commercial development and housing projects.

Some of these gifting (schemes) are reduced with a 70% discount against the property’s own selling price. While share prices have skydived in the country, reflecting a market crash, property stocks still provide investors with ways to make profits.

This strategy seems to pay off well right now as homes are sold like there is no tomorrow.

gum-shopping-arcade-moscow-russia | credit:EffervescingGUM Shopping Arcade: Moscow’s most exclusive shopping mall

Mercer have just released their new list on the cost of living in cities around the world. If you remember, we blogged about their list last year in the Mercer Global Cost of Living Survey.

There have been some interesting changes although the top position for most expensive city in the world has once again been awarded to Moscow. If this is too much of an expensive market for you, you can always escape to Asuncion in Paraguay as the cheapest. The top ten places on the Mercer survey are clearly dominated by European and Asian cities.

The major blame to the changes and shifts in the rankings can obviously be attributed to the weakening of the US dollar. In total, the survey covers 143 cities across six continents, measuring the comparative costs of entertainment, household goods, housing, food, transport, clothing and more (200 each).

Ras Al Khaimah is one of the emirates of the United Arab Emirates in the northern part of the Arabian Peninsula, bordering Oman. It is ruled by Sheikh Saqr bin Mohammad al-Qassimi and has a population of about 250,000 inhabitants.

The city itself as at 2007 had a population of 191,753 and has two main sections, Old Ras Al Khaimah and Nakheel (no relation to the property developer), which lie on either side of the creek which flows through Ras Al Khaimah.

RAK may be small, but it has big plans and is pumping money into several ambitious property projects – 31 real estate developments are underway or at the planning stage.

island for sale

Fancy your own private island in Fiji? Now’s your chance. New Zealand estate agents, Bayleys Realty Group have three to choose from – all at less than £3 million each. Two of the Islands are in Fiji, the third in Marlborough sounds, NZ. Toberua Island sits two kilometres east of Fiji’s main island of Viti Levu, comes with 1.62ha of land and a 15-bure resort operation that has attracted a number of celebrity visitors recently. The island, with resort, is for sale for $3.9 million plus 12.5 per cent Fijian value added tax.

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The real estate market in Panama is booming and one of the most “happening” areas is the luxury condominium sector. Despite attempts by the Panamanian government to slow down development, the skyline is bursting with new developments. Demand is high, partly because Panama is one of the largest free trade areas in the world, second only to Hong Kong. Panama is also a major banking centre due to “relaxed” banking laws.

There are some doubts as to the long term viability of this market, which is largely populated by “flippers,” property investors who buy and hopefully sell on a condo before construction is even complete.

Estate agents are obviously keen to encourage this practice as it means earning several commissions on the same piece of property and are trying their hardest to push prices over $5,000 per square meter. So far, the highest achieved has been $4,000. As little as 2 years ago, the record price was Less than a quarter at $1,000.

But the fear is, that when the time comes, there will be no actual “residents,” for these condos. Only time will tell as to how well grounded these fears are, and for the time being, Panama is still attracting many foreign flippers.

Here is a look at some of the upcoming condo developments in Panama City.

Element Boutique Condominiums

A 32-story high-rise featuring 100 luxury condominiums.