There are some locations that never seem to go out of style for long – the French Riviera, say, or Florida. Then there are victims of the market, like Spain or Italy, old favourites edged out by economic woes. Second homes can be vacation homes or a stepping stone to repatriation, retirement homes or rental prospects. Whatever the purpose, here’s where everyone’s trying to buy this year.
Argentina has a market characterized by sharp up and down swings. Right now, it’s in a down swing, meaning the opportunity for a real bargain that will appreciate quickly when the market comes back around. Apartments in Buenos Aires are the usual way to get into Argentine property, unless you’re in the mood to buy a ranch.
2: Istanbul, and Turkey
Turkey’s property market weathered the 2008 storm better than many of its neighbours. While about 25% was sliced off the values of housing in Istanbul in those years, prices recovered and then continued to rise at 10% – 15% a year, a rate of appreciation which continues. A standard house in the Turkish capital can still be a real bargain – and rental and resale prospects are good too. Turkey’s economy is growing at 4-5% and half the population is under 30, meaning that as the economy recovers those people will be looking for homes to buy and rent. It’s wise to focus on Istanbul rather than on the vacation properties on the coast, because these are typically supported only by foreigners and the tourist economy, less stable than Turkey’s main economy.
3: Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic is an internationally popular destination – it pulls in Europeans, but also purchasers and visitors from every corner of the globe. It sees big volumes of tourists every year, and is a top Caribbean choice for beginner investors. More and more foreigners are heading this way this year, and that’s partly because property prices are very affordable compared to the rest of then Caribbean.
One-bed new builds a few minutes from a beach can be had for $100, 000 (£60, 000) or thereabouts and the rental market is strong.
It’s symptomatic of Europe’s economic fortunes that Spain has begun to recover its status as the number one destination for British people. Some observers say it’s the best time in 20 years to buy a Spanish property, and it’s very much a tale of two markets: local Spanish markets are still wobbling and may yet fall still further, but expat-driven markets are finding their feet again as foreign buyers come to their rescue. Traditional areas like the Costa del Sol offer good buys for foreigners looking for a second home.
5: Medellin, Colombia
The market in Colombia’s capital, Medellin, has grown by 10% per year for the past six years and shows no sign of abating. The pound is relatively strong against the Colombian peso (so is the dollar, so Brits should expect some Norteamericano competition) and Medellin isn’t everybody’s idea of a South American capital. Looking more like a Central European capital, it has modern infrastructure and a thriving tourist trade as well as a buzzing real economy and plenty of night life. If you’re interested in South America, Medellin almost requires a look.