UAE – Dubai
We already reported on how UAEâ€™s thriving aviation industry is helping the region keep out of trouble, and now apparently itâ€™s even flown in to revive those flat lining property markets. Rental specialists, Campaya, just cited Dubai as this holiday seasonâ€™s go-to destination of choice, reporting a marked uptick in demand for rentals in the city. Thanks to the ongoing slump, prime realty is going for lowly prices. Other popular hotspots include, Egypt, the Caribbean, and Madeira â€“ so much for a white Christmas.
Ireland canâ€™t seem to catch any of that holiday cheer. House prices continued to fall at record rates, and are now 45% of what they were during the boom. Apartments were hit the hardest, while residential properties saw a 13.8% decline in equity. As foreclosures persist, prices are expected to dip even further.
The Chilean property market, however, is overflowing with joy. Rising incomes have bolstered demand for luxury living, and prospects look upbeat as more people turn to housing for security against an expectedly crisis-ridden 2012.
Brazilians in Florida
Chiles neighbour and long-time ally, Brazil, is using its good fortunes to lift spirits up north. Brazilians are rocking Miami and buying up a storm, paying cash for $200,000 luxury condos, rejoicing on the backs of a strong currency. Florida shines on, but one real (R$) misstep, and the floodgates could reopen.
In Canada, the mood remained upbeat. Alberta residents in particular took seriously to building, as housing starts in the province rose against national convention. The oil rich region attracted interest from all over as more Canadians moved to Alberta to benefit from its booming natural resource industry. As jobs here open up, migration is expected to rise, and demand for housing swell further.
Meanwhile, the construction frenzy in Montreal is said to die down as developers wake up to market realities. Experts believe new units will remain vacant as mortgage rates rise in 2013 â€“ right around the time these developments go on sale. The worsening global economic crisis is said to somewhat slow down the presently resilient national economy as a whole.
The Chinese might be able to offer some respite. Chinas nouveau rich has begun to invest heavily in assets abroad (to the tune of around $1.57m), buying large-ticket items in exchange for investor visas and quality living for their families. Education is a big draw for the Chinese, and most of the investment is concentrated in university and college towns. However, high processing costs, rigorous paperwork, and a strengthening Chinese economy could all bring a gradual decline in Chinese emigration.
London & the EU
Increased foreign interest in London realty got property prices soaring; non-UK parties now majorly own the City as it offers good investment prospects, generating greatest worldwide interest for its office properties. Political stability, and the propertiesâ€™ safe-haven status have got buyers flooding in; while private banks line up to service low-risk, wealthy foreigners. Holdings from the U.S, Asia, and the Middle East are on the rise, while E.U. members struggle. Also, as Spain and Italy are hit hard, Brits hurry to decide whether to sell or stay put. As the euro wavers, urgency mounts; France sticks out as a star investment.
The Tories came out with a new plan to make buying attractive for locals. Mortgages shall now be obtained by putting up a mere 5% in down payments. Additional funds (Â£400m) will be targeted to encourage building of affordable housing, creating jobs, and jumpstarting the stalled economy.
What else? Canada outshone competition again, and was named the no.1 most desirable investment destination. Selling points: continued capital gains, pristine vistas, and endless options. Hong Kong and Switzerland rounded off the top 3; meanwhile, Kenya made a surprising entry at number 9. Apparently, wildlife resorts and beachfronts trump regional conflicts and terrorist threats.
The Rich & Famous
The week ended as Kirsty Bertarelli took the honors for Britainâ€™ richest woman. The 40-year old singer-songwriter, and wife of pharma mogul Ernesto Bertarelli, is worth an estimated Â£8 billion. Sheâ€™s a philanthropist, ex-beauty queen, and can be seen shuttling between her Â£8m chalet in Gstaad, a Â£10m chateau in Lake Geneva, and a modest dwelling in Knightsbridge. Yes, the rich really do have it all.