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Prestige Residence C Blok Tosmur / Alanya

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There is a real sense in the overseas property industry at the moment that the worst of the downturn is over. As data emerges to suggest that property markets around the world are either bottoming or nearing bottom, the keen overseas investors and lifestyle buyers, who have been waiting for this moment are now out there and looking at buying.

People are saying that the downturn has changed things; that people are now favouring the safety of established markets over the far-flung emerging ones. But I think that the established markets are hottest right now, because it is mainly lifestyle buyers that are active in the market and with the cash to buy.

This may just be because I am biased; I still believe that the best opportunities for property investment exist in the rapidly emerging markets. So, it is these markets that I will be giving mention to below (except no. 3). In my view these are the markets that can start making investors money in the near-future allowing them to decide themselves whether to invest for the short-term or the long-term.

Regular readers of mine should know that I have decided to mix it up on this occasion. I have my favourite markets, and then I have my absolute favourites that get most of the coverage. For this article I am breaking out on the strengths of my favourite markets, so prepare to be surprised.

1. Turkey: – Dalaman, Belek and Altinkum

Turkey has been one of the first markets to see massive growth in activity from the buyers that are currently active. Turkey is an emerging market, but it is still close to home (not far-flung) and is benefiting from the strength of the Euro. There are many who say Turkey is the next Spain in terms of a destination for British holidays and property purchases, and I agree with them.

Tourism to Turkey from around the world is growing rapidly, but from Britain it is growing especially quickly. The Association of British Travel Agents puts the growth at an average of 20% for the last few years. The nose-dive of Sterling against the Euro, — which has meant Spain is no longer a cheap place for Britain’s to holiday or buy property — has accelerated the growth of Turkey.

The fact that the Turkish Lira is currently comparatively weak against the Pound is also a factor driving growth in Turkish tourism, and making Turkey a popular choice among British property buyers.

Turkish visitor numbers were over 28million last year, and according to reports the target of 30million for this year is not unattainable, despite the downturn. This, combines with low property prices and a shortage of hotel units to give impressive rental yields on Turkish properties. On a high-quality 2 bedroom apartment in Istanbul a yield of 7% net is not unattainable, after the cost of professional (preferably reputed and local) management.

There are only certain places you are allowed to buy property in Turkey, and these also happen to be the areas that are most popular with holiday makers. There are however several areas that are particularly popular, and of those the three I think have the potential for the biggest short-term gains are: Dalaman, Belek (because of its proximity to the protected Olu Deniz), Alanya ( Turkish Riviera) and Altinkum (because of the new Marina). Again, all these places I have chosen because they offer low priced property and growing rental demand.

2:- Egypt – Hurghada

I have said it before and I will say it again, when Brits went to Spain every year, the sun was only half the reason. The other half of the reason was the fact that the exchange rate let them live like they were rich for a fortnight — or certainly a lot better off than they were.

Now that the Pound is almost level pegged with the Euro they can no longer do that in Spain. This is heralding the rise of destinations outside the Eurozone. As I mentioned Turkey has benefited from this, but Egypt has benefited by almost as much, especially Hurghada were living costs are incredibly low.

This has made Hurghada one of the fastest growing tourism destinations in the world.

An idea of just how cheaply you can holiday in Hurghada for, just how low the living costs are, is given away by the low price of property. There are currently developments on the market in Hurghada offering high quality apartments for under £15k off plan.

Some people are dubious when they see such low prices, but remember Goa? There was a massive stink in the press over Goa, but not because people weren’t getting their properties, because they were getting thrown out of them by the government.

As always I recommend that people do research at great length into any property they plan to buy overseas, especially if they are buying it off plan. This should include at least one trip to the development, checks into the developers’ financial status, the ownership of the land, the planning permission, and preferably several trips afterwards to make sure the designs submitted for planning permission are being adhered to.

If all these things are researched properly then the risk is minimised. Owners of high quality holiday apartments in Hurghada are currently achieving 12 weeks occupancy, at £150-£250 per week on studios, £250 – £350 per week on 2 bedroom apartments. Given the low prices of property (£10k studio, £40k 2 bedroom off plan), this is a gross yields of around 10%.

3. Canary Islands:  – Tenerife

The Canary Islands have proven themselves to be one of the most reliable property investment markets in the world. Even now, when Spanish property is in the Doldrums the reports suggest that quality properties in Tenerife and the Canary Islands are holding their value.

The Canary Islands are famed for their climate, which is warm all year round — the tagline is: the only place you can play golf in the sun on Christmas day. And that is another strength of the islands, the excellent golf courses and golf tourism reputation.

Because of those two things it is possible, no, quite easy to have a minimum 20 weeks occupancy in high quality properties in Tenerife. This makes 9% gross yields possible.

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