Owning a property abroad is still a cherished dream for large swathes of people.
The attractions include the chance to find a place in the sun in which to retire, to simply sample a different culture or to invest capital in a foreign home — earning rental income when you’re not using it and then selling when its value appreciates.
Here we take a look at five locations expected to prove global real estate hotspots in 2017.
London remains one of the world’s popular cities with tourists, second only behind Hong Kong. The UK capital is currently a whirlwind of construction, with large-scale projects such as Crossrail, Battersea Power Station and the Embassy Quarter, which will house the new US ambassador and staff.
Despite this, supply always struggles to keep up with demand in London, which serves only to push up property prices.
In addition, the weaker pound sparked by Brexit will make properties here more affordable and appealing to foreign investors.
The city’s numerous attractions include its countless green spaces, which make up 40 per cent of the city, its superb range of free museums and its extensive Underground network, which is appreciated more by visitors than it is by Londoners.
The country still attracts nearly 50 million visitors a year, drawn to its unmatched art cities and its laidback la dolce vita lifestyle.
Recent fiscal changes have also lowered taxes on property purchases here. Prices are slowly picking up after a couple of years of slow movement, but there are still bargains to be had, with some asking prices reduced by up to 20 per cent.
If it’s glitz and glamour you’re after, go househunting on the Amalfi Coast or Sardinia’s equally pricy Costa Smeralda. The bargains are to be had in the south, in regions such as Molise, Calabria, Puglia and Basilicata.
This island has long been an immensely popular destination for British sunseekers. Hardly surprising that they feel at home in this former British colony, whose cultural similarities to its former colonial power have seen it dubbed “Little England” in the Caribbean. In addition, the island is largely immune from the tropical storms that batter other parts of the region.
Most EU citizens do not need a visa to visit. And Brits can stay for up to six months at a time without seeking a permit if they buy a holiday home here and do not intend to take up work. There is a growing market for inland properties, but the smart money still invests in places on or very close to the beach.
International buyers remain attracted to homes in the US, even if they are switching focus to the less expensive end of the market. The forecast is for Stateside housing to enjoy a bullish 2017, thanks in part to interest from overseas investors such as the Chinese, whose stake in US property has now topped the US$300billion mark.
Numerous cities catch the foreign eye, of course, but the smart money for 2017 is tipped to head to New York, and specifically the Upper East Side of Manhattan.
The new Second Avenue subway, which has now been under construction for nearly a decade, is expected to see properties east of Lexington Avenue soar in value when work on it is finally complete.
The South-East Asian country is forecast to be the real estate star of the emerging markets, growing even more rapidly than fellow dark horse Mumbai.
Government reforms last year opened up the property market to foreign investors, allowing them and Vietnamese living abroad to buy and sell real estate assets for the first time. In addition, a new Metro line currently under construction in capital Ho Chi Minh City should further boost property prices.