The 10 Most Valuable Real Estate Markets in The World

According to Knight Frank, about 40% of customers of real estate agencies who were interested in foreign housing, made profitable deals. So the interest in buying a “second home” and investing remains consistently high. What awaits the foreign property markets in 2021? How have the preferences of buyers and investors changed due to the pandemic? What does foreign housing mean for owners now?

Results of 2020

Analyzing 2020, the results of foreign housing sales depend on how the government of each particular country reacted to the pandemic: restrictive measures, support for industry, tourism promotion and other factors that contribute to the inflow of capital into the housing sector (for example, favorable mortgage rates, benefits for young families, and so on). It is also worth considering the adaptation of developers to this crisis: pricing and offering a product that corresponds to the current situation (increased security, new planning options), as well as installment payment options.

For example, many Asian markets have been recovering since February-March 2020. Already in February 2020, housing prices in China increased by 5.8%, and the state began to support the real estate sector, the income from which is 25% for the economy.

At the beginning of 2020, there was a slow growth in the Dubai real estate market. Nevertheless, rising demand in buying apartments in Dubai for expats kept rather high. Overcoming the COVID-19 crisis and the vaccination program in the UAE made investors feel confident in the property market. This situation helped the economy to recover quickly and increased the tourist flow to the country.

Contrary to expectations of the collapse of global housing markets due to the pandemic, according to price dynamics in the period from the third quarter of 2019 to the third quarter of 2020, there were a steady increase in prices for luxury property in many countries. Thus, in Zurich, the cost of real estate increased by 7.3%, in Vancouver — by 6.6%, in Los Angeles — by 6.2%, in Geneva — by 6.1%, in Miami — by 4.9%, in Vienna — by 1.5% and in Berlin — by 0.9%.

All this is due to several factors:

first, many developers and property agencies have adapted to the remote work, which allowed them to continue to effectively register the purchase and sale of foreign real estate during the pandemic;

secondly, developers focused on domestic demand (for example, throughout the summer, resort properties in the United States were popular with residents of large cities);

third, there is a boom in demand for programs for receiving a residence permit and citizenship through buying housing, which significantly supports the markets of countries such as Portugal, Spain, Greece, the Caribbean and Cyprus;

fourth, many people decided to improve the quality of life and make it safer due to the situation, which was helped by moving out of town or to the sea and increasing the area of housing.

Adapting developers to new conditions

According to a survey of 160 developers in 22 countries, four out of ten major developers are making changes to their projects in accordance with the current situation, while the others have decided to suspend construction projects. The survey was attended by developers from Austria, France, Belgium, Portugal, Germany, the United States, Australia, the United Kingdom, the UAE, as well as Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia and other countries.

Back to buying a property by the sea

The survey data suggests that we should not expect the market to be oversupplied with new housing offers. Moreover, there is a risk of their shortage, given that an impressive amount of deferred demand is realized after the opening of the borders. And there was a desire to buy a house by the sea or change an apartment to a more spacious one with a balcony, or a terrace and a sea view. Most of the housing units for permanent residence will be designed near green areas. However, developers are not going to leave the city, realizing that branded residences with infrastructure, service and all security conditions in large financial centers will remain popular.

Real estate market in Dubai during pandemic

For example, property prices in the UAE grown by 4.6% in the three months of 2021. But, despite the increase in the cost of real estate in Dubai, the demand for housing purchase remains at a consistently high level. The number of sales of ready-to-move apartments in Dubai jumped by 40%, and an increase of more than 200% was recorded for villas and townhouses in the UAE. 

Moreover, the Urban Master Plan 2040 development program affects the Dubai property market. According to this program, land plots for educational and medical institutions, public beaches will be increased by 25% to 400%, plots for hotels and tourist activities will be increased by 134%, and for commercial enterprises by 168 sq. km. Moreover, the world exhibition Dubai EXPO-2021 is expected to attract about 25 million visitors, of which 70% will be from abroad. The Urban Master Plan 2040 is aimed at developing and investing in properties in Dubai and the urban neighborhoods of Deira and Bur Dubai, Downtown and Business Bay, Dubai Marina and JBR, as well as Expo 2020 Center and Dubai Silicon Oasis Center.

What countries are worth visiting right now?

Many people are not afraid of quarantine after arriving in another country. Trips to buy real estate on attractive terms are already possible, since developers do not have the opportunity to sell real estate in full measure.

Without a residence permit, everyone can now visit Dubai, Maldives, Tanzania, Turkey and Cuba. According to Metropolitan Premium Properties, during April 2021, sales of residential property in Dubai increased by almost 17% compared to March of the same year. There are 30% more deals with buying off-plan real estate in Dubai, and only 9% more with ready-to-live housing. Such numbers with off-plan housing became maximum for the first time in 14 months, and the number of deals in the secondary housing market decreased by 0.92% for the first time in 11 months.

If the client has been dreaming about moving abroad for a long time or is thinking about life at sea due to the pandemic, there is an opportunity to fly to some countries and choose the right property, get a special permit to visit the UAE, for example, to buy flats in Dubai or Cyprus at the most attractive price.

Is it worth buying in 2021 and what?

There are three main points for buying a foreign home in 2021.

  1. Residential property for living and moving, for changing immigration status, for investment. If at the beginning of the pandemic, investors took a wait-and-see attitude and mainly followed the market, in the summer there were clear trends showing what will be popular in the coming years. First of all, this is housing units for receiving a residence permit and citizenship overseas.

Buying a villa or apartment on the beach in most countries is now more profitable than before. Some of customers took advantage of the situation and bought properties at a discount. After the opening of the borders, the deferred demand will be realized and the discounts will end, so for those who would like to fulfill their dream and buy a house in Dubai, France, Portugal, Cyprus on better terms, there will probably not be a better opportunity than in the first or second quarters of 2021. 

A total of 4,832 real estate deals in Dubai worth almost 11 billion dirhams (about $ 2.3 billion) were fixed in April 2021. Also, 60% of all property deals were for secondary housing, and 40% were for construction in progress. Such a stable growth is associated with a relatively low level of property prices in Dubai and a high return on investment in the UAE. In Dubai, when renting out a property, the owner can expect an income of 5% to 10%, and in some cases up to 13% of the return on investment.

For investment, it is promising to buy apartments in major financial centers and European capitals (Berlin, Frankfurt, Vienna, London, Lisbon). In London, an apartment in a new two-bedroom house can be bought from £500 thousand, while online purchase becomes available, with an interest-free installment plan for one or two years and a down payment of only 10%.

  1. Industrial estate and retail food trade. Due to the growth of the e-commerce sector against the background of other segments of commercial immovable property, investments in warehouses look more reliable and promising in almost all foreign countries. The grocery street trade also remains profitable: shops and supermarkets.
  1. Stable assets with growth potential — hotels in traditionally favorite resorts with a discount for the future, when tourism returns (Cote d’Azur, the coast of Spain and Italy, Portugal, Cyprus, Greece). For example, a boutique hotel in the center of Rome for 8-12 rooms can be purchased from €1.5 million, and the cost of a hotel in Lugano (Switzerland) for 80 rooms or more can reach €60 million.

Emirates.Estate will help you buy luxury real estate in Dubai

Both residential and investment real estate is in high demand due to the crisis. The task of the investor remains to choose the location and the property, to find options for leaving or registering the housing remotely. For buyers looking for new home, the house has now become a place to live, work, relax, play with children, play sports, and so on. 

Moreover, the mood is improving, since active vaccination against COVID-19 has begun. Nevertheless and notwithstanding, it is expected that the residential housing market will be effective. If you want to get a better understanding of the process or want to buy a property in Dubai, you can contact one of the Emirates.Estate consultants for free.

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