I would like to buy a property overseas and have one million Euros to spend. Where would you suggest I buy that would offer me the best return on my investment?
In my opinion you should be considering investing in South Africa as the property industry here is still booming and on an upward spiral with international investors continuing to see the growth potential which the South African market offers them. However, it is always wonderful to have a pied a terre abroad and so for this I would recommend the following options: Lake Como in Northern Italy is not only for the rich and famous. But, be warned, if you have a home there you will be perceived to be part of the jet-set with the possibility of lunching with one of the many celebrities like George Clooney and Richard Branson who have homes there too!
While it is the stars that draw the paparazzis attention, it is the exquisite beauty of Lake Como and the reasonable property prices that draw investors there. One and two bedroom apartments with a view of the lake start from as low as 175,000 Euros and a four bedroomed penthouse is currently selling for just 490,000 Euros. Como is a good place for investors right now but this is sure to change in the near future with the regions popularity on the rise, so act fast! Property prices in Europe have been rising at a remarkable pace over the past five years and Spain has led the way, so stay away from Spanish villas. The least expensive properties in Europe belonged on average to Finland (but who wants to have a holiday home there), followed by Austria and Portugal with only a 7 percent rise in home prices. Portugal has a stable economy but due to its sluggish economic expansion, property prices have been kept down so you could really pick up a winner there.
The popular Algarve area with its consistent performance makes it a very attractive region for buy-to-let investors especially because Portugal is the first tier of popular destinations with British property investors. Interestingly, European countries which have not adopted the Euro have experienced stronger house prices year to year. Latvia took the lead in this trend with an incredible appreciation of 61.9 percent year to year until the first quarter of 2007. However, prices have been seen to be dropping in the second quarter of 2007 and due to the fact that Latvia plans to convert to the Euro currency in 2010, this could result in property prices dropping even more dramatically.
I must remind you that one of the most sought after areas to buy in locally at the moment is in Melrose or Rosebank in Johannesburg due to the urban development linked to the Gautrain.
Good luck and enjoy!