In recent years, there has undoubtedly been a significant shift in investment attitudes within the UK, with a growing number now prepared to buy property in emerging markets.
With Bulgaria attracting a huge amount of interest from investors keen on making the most of the forthcoming accession to the European Union, it is perhaps unsurprising that it has almost stolen the thunder from some of the more traditional investment choices.
Regularly compared to Spain in the 1980s, Bulgaria certainly has huge potential for growth, helped by the fact that it now has an enviable reputation not only for the beauty of the Black Sea resorts but also for its stunning ski slopes.
Nonetheless, France should not be ignored, according to property developer Trisha Mason, not least because it is a much more stable market.
“Fashion has pointed to such countries as Bulgaria or Romania where the entry price is a lot lower but where there is no clear exit strategy,” wrote Ms Mason in an article for 999 Today.
“Whilst such emerging markets may be interesting for a good value holiday home, for the property investor they could be a cause of concern,” she suggested.
Many investors would dispute the claim, and there are certainly numerous case studies of individuals making huge gains on their investments in Bulgaria.
At the same time, however, it is undeniable that France represents the safer bet at the moment and it is certainly a choice that boasts several advantages over its European rivals.
Primarily, according to Ms Mason, France has a stable market and also has a proven track record. Property investors, while notoriously keen on speculating, also like to see evidence of former growth and France can certainly illustrate this.
Last year, the country enjoyed capital growth of around 15 per cent, while experts are predicting a further nine to 11 per cent growth this year. While some areas in Bulgaria are likely to see growth well in excess of this figure, the unpredictability of the market means that the risk factor is fairly high.
Ms Mason has also pointed to the fact that France has extremely good rental investment potential, because of its status as a leading country for tourism. When investors consider the fact that there is continuously high demand for property in France, it is difficult to argue with the fact that it remains a European hotspot.
A further advantage of France is the leaseback scheme, which has been supported by Assetz managing director Stuart Law. It was originally conceived in an attempt to boost tourism and construction in the country and it has developed into a favourite investment policy for many from the UK in particular.
As recapped by Ms Mason, the French government will refund the VAT of 19.6 per cent after the contract is signed, while investors also have the advantage of being able to rely on the rental company to look after the property in terms of cleaning and maintenance.
With freehold property available as well, France certainly offers an impressive range of options for investors and there is no doubting its status as a leading European investment choice.
At the same time, savvy property investors will be keeping a close eye on Bulgaria and other emerging markets, with most analysts expecting significant growth within the next decade.
Source: Assetz News