Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 12th 2014 Contents BG22 INTERNATIONAL
BUSINESS GUARDIAN www.guardian.co.tt JUNE 2014 • WEEK TWO
Forget New York, London and Hong Kong.
These 12 cities should give wealthy real estate
investors the best returns over the next few
years, according to Savills, Candy & Candy,
and Deutsche Asset & Wealth Management.
Despite its violent history, Beirut stands
out as being an ideal place for adventurous
real estate investors, according to a new report
from Savills World Research, Candy & Candy
and Deutsche Asset & Wealth Management.
Yes, there has been some recent spillover
from the ongoing Syrian conflict. But the
Mediterranean coastal city is known for its
culture and nightlife, which attracts a young
population, said Yolande Barnes, director at
Savills World Research. It s also known as a
regional financial hub.
"Real estate in the city still looks very cheap
by international standards," said Barnes.
Prices for two-bedroom apartments tend
to range from US$180,000 to US$500,000,
depending on the location.
Cape Town, South Africa
In addition to reasonably priced housing,
Cape Town offers gorgeous weather, an active
culture, an easy-going vibe and sprawling
vineyards that surround the city.
"Current market conditions are poor due
to the weak rand, high inflation and high
interest rates, but this means that bargain
hunting is possible and the city looks cheap
on an international scale," said Barnes.
Two-bedroom apartments range in price
from US$110,000 to US$370,000.
Cities where English is the first or second
language also tend to be desirable among
wealthy investors. English---being the global
language for business---tends to enable more
commercial activity, so Cape Town is well
It also doesn t hurt that the city is on the
coast. A favorite pastime among locals is called
"Sundowners," which involves watching the
sun set over the ocean with a drink in hand.
Chennai, formerly known as Madras,
is one of India s biggest metropolitan
cities with a population of more than
The coastal city is a hub for commerce
in southern India and "has a diverse
economic base, strong cultural life and
arts (scene), including cinema and film
production," said Barnes.
It is also a magnet for ultra-high net
worth individuals in the region.
Of the 12 cities on this list, Chennai
offers the most affordable options for
real estate investors. Two-bedroom
apartments around the city can sell for
as low as US$40,000, while apartments
in prime locations are priced around
The US housing market is making a come-
back, and investors interested in riding the
wave can bet on Chicago real estate.
"Chicago s growth is likely to be in line
with the economic growth of the U.S. so it
is an American recovery play," said Barnes.
"Residential prices are now beginning to recov-
er but it still looks cheap in relation to world
cities and offers high yields."
The area is home to the headquarters of
various multinationals including McDonald s
and Exelon, and it s also known for affluent
suburbs where ultra-rich individuals live and
The typical price for a two-bedroom apart-
ment in Chicago ranges from US$250,000 to
If you re looking for value, Dublin is the
place to go.
The city was ravaged during the eurozone
crisis and the real estate market took a nose-
But a recovery is now firmly in place.
"Property is still discounted and could be
said to offer good value in the context of
strengthening industry and growing employ-
ment," said Barnes.
The city is moving to attract young people
and technology companies. Google and Face-
book both have large offices in the city.
A two-bedroom apartment typically costs
from US$210,000 to US$560,000.
Turkey has received some bad press lately:
a deadly mine disaster, anti-government
protests, a corruption investigation. But that s
overshadowed the fact that the country, which
straddles Europe and the Middle East, is
becoming quite prosperous.
"Foreign investment has steadily increased
since 1990 and has contributed toward growth
in the construction, automotive, banking,
insurance, electricity and information tech-
nology sectors," said Ruth Lux, managing
director at the political risk consultancy firm
The country s main stock market index has
more than doubled in value over the past five
years, unemployment has been falling and
Turkey has surged up global rankings for com-
petitiveness, attracting a growing number of
Throw in a young, vibrant atmosphere,
bustling tourism and a rich history, and you ve
got a recipe for a possible housing boom.
Prices for a two-bedroom apartment cur-
rently range from US$125,000 to US$280,000.
Jakarta is a major urban centre that has
seen real estate prices shoot up as the country s
economy flourishes. The city s property market
has benefited from demand from abroad and
a middle class that s increasingly affluent.
Jakarta resident and Canadian expatriate
Wendy Rudder says new residential towers
marketed to international investors are con-
stantly cropping up.
"Half the people in my building are Japanese
because the Japanese are very interested in
investing in Indonesia over the long term,"
Prices for a two-bedroom apartment typ-
ically range from US$90,000 to US$260,000.
Lagos, a rapidly growing city of 20+ million
people, has a large population of ultra-rich
individuals, said Barnes.
"The sheer size and power of the city, fueled
by oil and natural resources, points to real-
estate growth," she said. "But lifestyle, safety
and quality of the housing product is still an
Indeed, the terrorist group Boko Haram
seems intent on wreaking havoc across Nigeria,
launching devastating bomb attacks and kid-
napping school girls. Boko Haram hasn t ever
attacked Lagos, but the US State Department
recently warned that "groups associated with
terrorism" may be planning to target a Sher-
aton Hotel in the area.
Still, brave investors may be able to snap
up some bargains. Prices for a two-bedroom
apartment can range from US$70,000 to
Melbourne, with its population of about
4.3 million people, has caught the attention
of property experts.
It s a highly developed, growing city that
could act as a safe haven for real estate
investors who are too nervous to put their
money in emerging markets.
The government forecasts the city s pop-
ulation will balloon to nearly eight million by
2051 and builders will have to meet housing
demand by constructing another 1.6 million
Currently, prices for a two-bedroom apart-
ment range from US$320,000 to US$675,000.
Miami was arguably the epicentre of Amer-
ica s property bubble in 2008, with prices
crashing hard during the financial crisis. But
now high-end properties in prime locations
have seen prices bounce back to peak levels
and residential real estate across the city is
Barnes said that if she could buy real estate
anywhere right now, she would
invest in Miami, noting that
property in non-prime loca-
tions provides the best oppor-
tunity for capital growth.
The Miami market is also
supported by demand from rich
South Americans who want to
invest in US real estate, giving
investors indirect exposure to
the South American market.
Typical prices for a two-bed-
room apartment range from US$275,000 to
Panama City, Panama
Panama is a major beneficiary of global-
ization, with the country sitting between
North and South America and trade routes
between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.
"Panama is forecast to be one of the fastest
growing economies in Latin America in the
coming years and is uniquely placed to reflect
the growth of world trade as all types of ship-
ping pass through its famous canal," said
As the country s economy grows, Panama
City has seen new hotels and restaurants crop
up. Property investors are taking notice.
Barnes said the city is especially attractive
for people looking to buy a place and then
rent it out, predicting smart landlords could
see annual returns in excess of 8.0 per cent
"Demand for rental property should remain
strong given the likely strength of the economy
and number of people coming to the city to
work," she said.
The price for a typical two-bedroom apart-
ment ranges from US$200,000 to
Tel Aviv, Israel
Tel Aviv s thriving tech scene and young,
educated population have helped the city
prosper over the years. Most of the population
is fluent in English, making it an easy place
to do business.
The city is considered a cultural hub with
plenty of museums, a hopping night life and
a beautiful Mediterranean coast.
But that s pushed up real estate prices across
the city. Tel Aviv is the most expensive city
on this list.
The cost for a two-bedroom apartment
ranges from US$500,000 to US$1.45 million,
depending on location.
"Tel Aviv displays a large number of the
characteristics we have identified as boding
well for residential property markets," said
Barnes. "Even its UNESCO world heritage
site status mark it out as a typical rising sec-
ond-tier world city."
Up-and-coming cities for the rich
Tel Aviv, Israel
Cape Town, South Africa
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