Overseas Property against backdrop of Middle Eastern turmoil? What do property buyers look for?

March 1, 2011

We are currently witnessing unprecedented changes in the Middle East and North Africa, with uprisings against despotic leaders. Egypt and Tunisia, not seen as global economic powers, were one thing, but Libya, as an oil exporter, is quite another.

This, coupled with sovereign debt and economic  troubles in Europe, are refocusing and  rebalancing the places people chose to buy in.

The increasingly, interrelated nature of the banking systems around the world, influences access to funding, and shapes overseas property investment decisions. So what matters to investors at the moment?

Property type -New build vs off-plan

Given that many developed property markets, such as Spain, have high levels of property stock, the trend  is for buyers to seek out ready-built, properties and resale properties, with established facilities, to minimise risk.

Finance – mortgage type

Choosing the bank a buyer deals with, is increasingly important and needs to be considered alongside choosing the country to buy in. Banks with low exposure to weaker economies and bad debt, may offer keener mortgage rates for foreign national buyers.

The currency of the mortgage will be more of an important factor and buyers will think more carefully about whether they opt for a Euro, Swiss Franc, or local currency mortgage.

Access to information

Increasing access to overseas, property-related information, enabling checks on the reputation of developers, or agents and to monitor what’s happening in a chosen property market,  help buyers.

However, this may lead some novice, overseas property buyers to become overly confident, simply because they can access lots of information on-line. A good overseas property agent, can guide through the latest developments in a country and the local buying process.

More demanding overseas property buyers

Along with the economic downturn, news emanating from many overseas destinations of price drops (e.g. Spain – property prices are down on the Costa del Sol, 20% since 2005 according to the Bank of Spain) has helped shape buyer expectations.

Bargain-hunters are active, although many will realise the really cheap properties, or bank repossessions, are not all of “holiday home” quality, or in the right location. So headline prices will continue to stimulate interest, but the reality may not always match up to buyer expectations.

More Cost-conscious Overseas property buyers and owners

As Government budget cuts bite, many Overseas property buyers will continue to seek ways of keeping costs down. Alternatives to buying outright could become more popular. For example, we could see more people buying leaseback properties, which combine holiday home ownership, with hassle-free maintenance and income generation .  Examples of this are in Morocco

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Property Venture® is an award-winning, UK-based agency for overseas property who helps people buy investment property and holiday homes in Europe, more easily and safely than they can on their own, because we offer grounded common-sense advice.

The focus is mainly greater Europe: Poland property, UK investments, Spain property, Turkey property, Cyprus property

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