Thailand Tops Investment Watch Poll

Forget Spain, France, Florida and the other usual suspects of overseas property, this time it was the turn of Thailand to take the top spot in TheMoveChannel.com’s monthly Investment Watch.

The report, which charts the level of interest in the overseas property portal’s listings, saw a condo in Pattaya attract the most enquiries In October. What was it about the luxury Thailand apartment that triggered such a torrent of attention?

The popularity of Pattaya’s property may seem surprising after Thailand’s extensive flooding, but investors were attracted to the resort a matter of days before the tragic event took place. The demand for the luxury coastal condos, located 600 metres from the beach, actually foreshadowed industry predictions, as Colliers International Thailand suggested that the water-damaged homes would lead to a rise in interest in condominiums.

Indeed, apartments attracted the most attention from investors in October, accounting for 6 out of the 10 most popular properties on the site. Closely following Thailand’s condos were flats in Cumbria and new apartments in Spain, but each were driven by different investment needs.

The Spanish apartments show the continuing demand for seaside property in the popular region of Murcia. The new build properties, located close to Murcia’s airport and the upcoming Paramount Theme Park, are a traditional lifestyle buyer choice, eligible for a 50 per cent discount in VAT until the end of the year.

But apartments are also strong opportunities for buy to let investment. Cumbria’s two-bedroom flats (promising 9 to 11 per cent gross yields) were a familiar runner-up to Thailand, dropping one place in popularity after drawing the most enquiries on TheMoveChannel.com in September.

As rents in the UK are revealed to be the highest in Western Europe, buy to let apartments remain a secure form of investment. London-based accommodation, in particular, has the highest rental rates on the continent, with Westminster hotel units holding a firm fourth position in October’s chart.

Istanbul also had apartments to offer investors last month, as Turkey’s booming economy and high student housing demand combined to attract the sixth-highest number of enquiries for Kucukcekmece’s one-bedroom flats. Other non-eurozone markets also demonstrated their appeal, as investors considered properties as diverse as Hungary homes in the heart of Budapest to apartments in Bulgaria’s cheap ski resorts.

Half-price apartments in Egypt’s Hurghada resort were equally popular in seventh place, providing below market value real estate to investors tightening their purse strings. But with buy to let opportunities both in the UK and overseas and new condos in Thailand cheaper than repossessed homes, October proved that apartments remain a popular form of investment, come hell or high water.

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