By: Rhiannon Williamson
If you’re looking to diversify, broaden or even begin your property portfolio consider Europe for your next investment destination.
Europe is host to such a broad range of countries all offering diverse property opportunities – you have everything from emerging market economies with massive potential for sharp growth rates, well established city based rental markets giving great yields and even residential housing markets offering an investor a slow burn on his capital outlay.
Here’s an overview of the potential on offer in the top ten European countries for real estate property investors right now.
Bulgaria – Bulgaria is in position for EU accession in 2007 and as a result it is receiving massive foreign and domestic investment particularly into infrastructure and construction and the whole country is benefiting from the amount of money being spent on it.
Those who buy now in Bulgaria are buying into the longest projected period of growth and buying before the expected boom that will begin when Bulgaria is officially made an EU Member State. Furthermore they are buying to target the burgeoning tourism market that heads for the beautiful beaches of the Black Sea Coast in the summer and the snow capped mountains of Bulgaria’s ski resorts in the winter.
Croatia – Another country tipped for full EU membership in 2007, Croatia offers property investors commercial and residential property opportunities. The numbers of international business establishing bases in Croatia has increased substantially in the last couple of years and there is demand for the development of light industrial and office space.
Furthermore Croatia has a strong tourism market that offers a real estate investor further opportunity to either target short term rental yields or to buy off plan or develop for resale to the second and holiday home market in Croatia.
Cyprus – There are two real estate economies in Cyprus – you have the well established Republic of Cyprus property market where an investor should seek to target the retiree audience or the tourism market and then in Northern Cyrus you have an emerging economy currently offering massive growth potential.
Property price increases in North Cyprus have consistently been in double digits for the past three years and there are no signs of a slow down in the offing.
Czech Republic – The majority of real estate investors consider Prague the only city worth targeting in the Czech Republic but the country’s other cities like Brno also offer an investor opportunity to purchase residential accommodation for rent to the domestic and expatriate professional population. Property price growth has been fantastic in recent years and rental rates are increasing annually.
Estonia – Real estate investors should target the local market in Estonia and consider looking for opportunities in the capital city of Tallinn. The Estonian economy is growing at a staggering rate which is affording the local people greater purchasing power which in turn is having a direct effect on the property market in Estonia.
Basically as local demand increases so prices can rise and as local purchasing power increases so it can sustain these price rises. A real estate investor can buy into this growth now and should expect the period of growth to be sustainable for at least the medium term.
Hungary – Property investors who targeted Hungary’s capital city of Budapest last year enjoyed up to 15% growth on underlying property prices and these growth rates show no sign of slowing down currently.
There is local and expatriate demand for property to buy and let in Budapest and the local economy is benefiting from foreign direct investment and strengthening. This means that there are long term prospect for growth in Hungary. Furthermore there’s an emerging market within Hungary’s property sector and that is the tourism market which offers an investor a chance to get in on both residential and commercial property ventures targeting this growing market segment.
Latvia – Latvia is benefiting from substantial foreign direct investment which has helped establish the Latvian economy as one of the fastest growing in Europe and Latvians are on target to receive one of the five largest wage increases in the world. All this means that locally the population can afford to spend more on property either in the form of rental rates payable or property prices payable and real estate investors can buy off plan and flip on to the local market upon completion or even buy to let out in the capital city of Riga or in the coastal port towns.
Poland – Having joined the European Union back in 2004 Poland has received massive aid and investment as a result which has improved the country’s infrastructure incredibly and led to a strong period of economic growth.
Many European and international companies have established bases in Warsaw and Krakow and the demand for accommodation in these cities alone has really soared. Real estate investors are targeting Poland because it offers a low risk, high potential property market. Furthermore investor confidence in Poland is high because the Polish government have already proved that they have a strong commitment to maintaining the good economic growth rates that their country is currently enjoying.
Romania – Because Romania has yet to join the EU and align all its governmental, fiscal and constitutional policies with those of Europe it is quite a tricky country for a foreign investor to get in on. However it offers a real estate investor such exciting opportunities – where else in the world can you buy anything and everything from a castle to a factory at such ridiculously low prices.
Those with a strong appetite for paperwork and red tape will make their fortunes from Romania’s property market, but for the rest of us it’s an economy to watch carefully. As the country moves slowly towards EU membership so it will become easier and more attractive for property investors to target.
Turkey – Turkey is on track for EU accession following agreement that it should begin accession talks in 2005. Since that point Turkey’s economy has been granted ‘Market Economy’ status, the country has received billions of dollars of Middle Eastern funds into its property sector and world wide investor interest in Turkey’s property market has exploded.
The majority of opportunities either exist in Istanbul or along Turkey’s southern coastline where hundreds of thousands of tourists flock every year. Prices for property in Turkey are currently incredibly low so with all the positive data and news coming from Turkey recently there is only one way prices are going to go – and that’s up!
There are so many opportunities available to an investor in Europe that those serious about profiting from real estate property should give the continent careful consideration!
About the author:
Rhiannon Williamson is a freelance writer whose articles about property investing and emerging real estate markets have appeared in publications around the world. She is currently working on a brand new property investment resource http://www.amberlamb.com/
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