Emerging Real Estate Markets

Could 2009 be sunny for real estate tourism?

Certainly the recession we’re all mired in could lead you to think the opposite. The economy is challenging all industries – especially real estate and travel – as consumers have tightened their belts and are scrutinizing all discretionary expenditures.

However, recent studies of the affluent reveal that they still keeping an eye out for buying opportunities and still consider real estate a premium investment opportunity, capitalizing on dropping price tags, foreclosures and tax incentives. With this in mind, the property outlook for real estate tourism looks sunny, even growing in places such as the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica and (to our surprise) Malaysia, all of which are catching the eye of many discerning property purchasers worldwide. Besides offering foreign investors all-time low prices with high-end potential growth, there’s the added appeal (value) of being a vacation destination that is both rich in culture and natural beauty, but also offers high standards of living for that perfect holiday or a haven to ride out retirement years in paradise.

To attract international home owners, governments are introducing a number of tax and legal initiatives aimed to stimulate foreign property investment- no tax on overseas income, no inheritance tax, no capital gains tax and advantages on car import duties. For example, Retirement and Real Estate tours are growing in popularity in Costa Rica, with more and more tour operators offering tours of properties and homes in specific areas of Costa Rica and in specific price ranges.  Some of these are private, set up for a specific individual according to their tastes and budget.  Some will even negotiate a price for a property.

We like to be optimistic and believe that certain destinations which position themselves as a “value destination” should be able ride out the economic downturn, offering investors the opportunity to build their assets for a future turnaround and a sunny retirement.

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