Every newsletter we gather all the latest news from abroad on the investments being made or offers aimed at Russian investors. Which foreign property markets are currently most attractive for those wishing to buy real estate abroad? Which are the places with most potential in the future?
Spain plans to offer residency permits to foreigners who buy houses priced at more than 160,000 euros ($203,845) as part of its efforts to revive a collapsed real estate market and divest itself of hundreds of thousands of unsold homes.
In announcing the proposal on Monday, the Spanish trade secretary, Jaime García-Legaz, said it was aimed in particular at Chinese and Russian investors, who might face difficulties buying a house in Spain because they are not residents of the European Union.
Mr. García-Legaz noted that Spain was following in the footsteps of Ireland and Portugal, two other ailing euro zone economies that have sought to spur their housing markets by easing residency requirements.
Spain normally grants visas that are valid for up to 90 days to citizens of countries that are outside the European Union. The residency permits for foreign home buyers would be for a much longer period of time but would not be open-ended. That detail has yet to be decided. The permits would also not grant the buyer the right to work in Spain.
According to government data, there are about 700,000 unsold homes on the market as a result of a property boom that came to an abrupt halt in 2008.
José Luis Suárez, a real estate specialist and professor at the IESE business school in Madrid, called the plan “a step in the right direction.”
“The secondary home market in Spain could still have a bright future, but that will need to be mainly because of foreigners,” he said.
Last year, housing purchases in Spain by foreigners rose 6 percent from the previous year. Purchases by Russians soared nearly 28 percent, to 1,757 units. Chinese buyers acquired 868 homes last year, up 7 percent from the previous year but only 4 percent of the total.
Miguel Hernández, a real estate specialist at the IE business school in Madrid, questioned whether the government’s plan would attract many more Chinese buyers. “The Russians have certainly been busy buying in holiday areas like the Costa del Sol, but the Chinese interest seems to have been much more in industrial areas rather than for coastal or other residential properties,” he said.
Two years ago, Greece missed the chance to extricate from the crisis with Russia's help. Nowadays, Russian investments in the country grow and give air to breathe to economies of several regions of Greece, such as the north-east.
Russian investors are especially attracted by cheap real estate, tourism and the property that they can buy from the state.
Despite the absence of political will on the part of Greece, Russian investments in the economy of the crisis-stricken nation is in fact growing.
First, it is tourism that has benefited, with the number of tourists in the region having increased tenfold since 2002. Russians practice Orthodoxy, and they love Greece. The proximity to Mount Athos is the key, as the Russians are very religious, at a much greater extent than the Greeks.
According to Russia-Greece Chamber of Commerce, tourists from Russia - 1.7 million people last year - leave a lot of money in the country - about $ 2 billion.
About 7 percent of Russians come also with a wish to buy real estate. In 20111 there were 31,000 such transactions registered.
"The Russians have a strong interest in acquiring land, businesses and real estate," said Grigoris Tassios, the chairman of the Association of Halkidiki Hotels in the north of the country.
According to him, Russian entrepreneurs have acquired eight hotels in four years. "But the Russians are tough negotiators. They know that the market is depressed and therefore request a 30 percent discount on everything that catches their interest," he added.
Bulgaria’s Registry Agency was planning to launch a new website last month to give foreign citizens and companies information on procedures for buying and maintaining real estate in Bulgaria.
The launch comes about four years after the beginning of the decline of the property market boom in Bulgaria which had seen large numbers of British and Irish citizens, pensioners in particular, buying real estate in Bulgaria.
The global financial crisis precipitated a sharp decline in Bulgaria’s property market, although recent years have seen a recovery to a degree because of Russians buying property, especially along Bulgaria’s Black Sea coast.
The boom in British and Irish investors also was damaged by incidents in which buyers were scammed by unscrupulous lawyers, brokers and developers, with some buyers losing large sums of money through fraud or failed residential building development projects.
According to the Bulgarian Government media office, the Cabinet allocated 30 000 leva (about 15 000 euro) in July 2012 for the launch of this website, which is to offer foreign natural and juristic persons detailed information on the rules for buying and managing real estate in Bulgaria, including about relevant bodies and procedures.
The website, according to the Government media office, will also enable foreigners to submit complaints online to the relevant bodies.
The media office said that the website will ease the work of investors and reduce the number of cases that they refer to foreign embassies in Bulgaria.
Thailand real estate developer, Kingdom Property, has received Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) approval for its landmark Southpoint condominium project in Pattaya.
With many Russians pouring funds into this region, the company has taken on a full time Russian born Sales and Marketing Manager.
Already with a project pipeline valued at THB 10 billion in Pattaya alone, Kingdom Property, is rapidly emerging as a major property developer on the Eastern Seaboard.
Southpoint Pattaya is located a short distance south of Bali Hai in Pattaya City, on an elevated site on Pratumnak Hill, offering extensive sea views and within walking distance of the Royal Varuna Yacht Club. The THB 2.5 billion-valued development is on a four rai freehold plot and will be completed in 2015.
Project finance to build the 672-unit condominium has been provided by Krung Thai Bank, Thailand's largest financial institution, for which the site has already been cleared with construction scheduled for the first quarter of 2013.
Early sales interest in the project has been very strong - particularly from Thailand and key tourist nationalities such as Russian and Chinese - and we are very confident in the success of Southpoint, and in the strength of the destination.
An exclusive development just a short walk
from the Royal Varuna Yacht Club.
Southpoint Pattaya is now open for pre-sales
Unit sizes start from studios of 30 sqm, with one-bedroom units ranging from 41 sqm to 87 sqm and two-bedroom units ranging from 61 sqm to 97 sqm. Prices range from THB 65,000 to THB 100,000 per square metre.