While real estate has always been viewed as one of the best investment categories for long-term wealth generation, in 2019 we are approaching what appears to be, the end of a decade long housing market cycle in some of the major property markets around the world. While some markets are in further decline than others, the general trend is that buyers in top markets are facing record low returns on property investments because record low interest rates have kept property prices rising. This decade long runup in prices has rewarded investors with strong returns, however the consequence for new investment in established markets is now the challenge of finding adequate returns in what were past top performing property markets.
As a result, if you are a property investor facing unfavorable local market conditions, now might be a great time to explore the opportunity of expanding your real estate investment portfolio with some international property holdings in order to find opportunity where others see only challenges. In some cases you may need to consider the option of improving a property with renovations or even evaluate the option of a new build in a specific location to maximize your potential investment returns.
Here is a brief overview of six real estate markets around the world to get you started on researching options for international property investment.
Panama: In Panama, resale transactions have slowed, with indications that it will continue to be a buyer’s market throughout 2019 and maybe afterwards as well. The rental market has also declined, however Panama’s recent collaboration with China may fuel the economy towards the next stage of growth in the coming years. So, this is a market that can currently be viewed as repositioning itself for future growth opportunities.
Dominican Republic: Only few parts of the Dominican Republic can be trusted for profitable real estate investment returns like the capital Santo Domingo. The capital is known to attract a significant portion of the countries direct foreign investment which is a result of impressive tourism figures that have increased significantly by 4% from 2018. The most preferred investments in real estate in Dominican Republic has usually been properties that are under construction which are intended entirely for backing the business traveler market. You can invest in these developments and upscale them as furnished rental houses for travelers and cover the mortgage payments from rentals.
UAE: According to a recent CBRE Global Living Survey, properties in Abu Dhabi can get investors advanced average returns higher than Hong Kong, Singapore, London, Jeddah, Los Angeles, and Dublin. UAE is one of the most mature real estate markets in the Middle East owing to the consistent increase in expat population and bold property laws and liberal visa terms.
Mexico: Mexico might not appear to be an appealing choice for foreign real estate investors due to the well-known negative aspects of drug related issues in certain parts of the country, Mexico is actually is host to some surprisingly high return investments in real estate. Mexico comes in as a top tourist destination for Canadians and Americans as well as being a desirable retirement destination for many. The country’s middle class continues to grow, and local tourism is enjoying continued increases in many parts of the country. Top markets in Mexico include Playa del Carmen on the Riviera Maya and Puerto Vallarta on the Pacific coast. While this may not be a faint of heart investment location for all, there are many opportunities to consider for seasoned investors.
Turkey: It is true that the coup attempted in 2016, has kept plenty of foreign investors away, but Turkey’s real estate market is slowly evolving back into a more promising market for investment and property related returns. In the year 2018, Istanbul was amongst the 9th most visited city in the world, which indirectly suggests strong rental market opportunities. In addition to tourism growth, Turkey and Istanbul have sustained good economic growth. Apart from enjoying a fluid tourism industry with rental investment opportunities, one of the biggest selling points for Istanbul is that it has a very low entry cost for property investment.
Belize: The expat and tourism market, especially in the Belize Ambergris Caye areas look to continue to expand and outgrow the previous sales records of 2018. The fact that Belize is an undervalued Caribbean island, means that it could be a good choice for investment. In fact, the island often has some of the highest rental returns of other island in the Caribbean. For serious investors, Cayo should looked at as it is hard to find a reasonable rental apartment there.
Researching short and long-term real estate prospects in any particular place can be a harder for international markets, however you can generally determine expected fluctuations in property prices with a proper market evaluation. Finally, make sure to crosscheck all your data sources and consult with verified property agents in the local market before finalizing any investment decision.