International investment hot spots

Buying property is a huge step toward growth and financial security and is a great way to invest in your future.

All property buyers are looking for an opportunity where the return on the investment either keeps up with inflation or outstrips it in terms of growth. Property is an inflation-hedge and continues to be a solid asset class in which to invest.

While this can be said for property the world over, there are definitely certain areas where investment opportunities are more appealing. When asked to name three top property investment hotspots in the world, Vinnie Tracey, President of RE/MAX LLC, based in Denver, Colorado, USA who will be visiting South Africa during September, listed the US, Brazil and Spain.

Tracey says that property in parts of the US is a great investment right now. “We are seeing lots of foreign buyers coming in prompted by favourable exchange rates, low mortgage costs and great prices.” Most foreign buyers in the US feel, according to Tracey, that there is security with American real estate and good potential for future appreciation.

“Brazil,” he says, “has a housing market that is likely to grow in coming months and years due mostly to their overall economic growth and some government policies are promoting home ownership.

Tracey also notes that despite their economic problems, it’s possible to find real bargains on the Mediterranean coast of Spain where prices have fallen considerably, but the basic infrastructure and natural beauty remain unchanged. “Prices may fall a bit more, but they are roughly half of where they were just a couple years ago.  When the economic crisis is resolved, these properties will be great investments,” he says.

Tracey points to the website, which has approximately 650 000 international property listings from more than 60 countries across the globe, in over 30 languages and currencies. Website statistics show that most property searches are entered for locations in the Caribbean: Costa Rica, Belize, Bahamas, Virgin Islands, Aruba, and the like. Other popular search destinations include London, Paris, New York, Florida and California.

When asked for the best piece of property investment advice he could give investors considering the current global state of affairs, Tracey had this to say: “Investors make money on the purchase transaction, so I would recommend looking for those places that have the most attractive prices yet still offer the traditional values you always look for in real estate.  We continue to say that its location-location-location and that has never been truer.  Investors know this better than anyone else, but a property in a popular resort area or in a neighbourhood with good schools, efficient transportation and convenient shopping will always be more attractive to renters and future buyers. If an investor can find a property at a good price in a good location, they’re likely to do very well.”

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