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OPM’s News Round-Up – Our Hottest Picks – Dubai for Christmas Anyone? Chilean Luxury Bubble & Britain’s Richest Woman

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UAE – Dubai

We already reported on how UAE’s thriving aviation industry is helping the region keep out of trouble, and now apparently it’s even flown in to revive those flat lining property markets. Rental specialists, Campaya, just cited Dubai as this holiday season’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 so much for a white Christmas.

Ireland

Ireland can’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.

Chile

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.

Canada

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 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.

China

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 properties 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.

UK Housing

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 (£400m) will be targeted to encourage building of affordable housing, creating jobs, and jumpstarting the stalled economy.

Property Investing

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 Britains richest woman. The 40-year old singer-songwriter, and wife of pharma mogul Ernesto Bertarelli, is worth an estimated  £8 billion. She’s a philanthropist, ex-beauty queen, and can be seen shuttling between her £8m chalet in Gstaad, a £10m chateau in Lake Geneva, and a modest dwelling in Knightsbridge. Yes, the rich really do have it all.

Photo Credits: Luc V. de Zeeuw via Flickr

Les Calvert is the owner of overseaspropertymall.com and many other property and travel related websites. Les writes news and articles on the overseas property market for leading websites, trade magazines and newspapers.