MEPM 2017 Half Year Round-Up
Half of 2017 has passed already. Time flies! This is our half year round up summarising some of the key MEPM 2017 news so far. We will also consider the impact of the global political and economic landscape relating to our primary markets.
Y-Go New Destinations
It has been an eventful year for MEPM, 2017 has seen five new destinations added to our Y-Go Brand. We now have real estate and experiences available in Alderney, Athens Riviera, The World Islands off the coast of the UAE, Barcelona and Somabay.
This has added to our previously launched destinations of Montenegro, El Gouna, Cuba, Andermatt and Marbella. We expect to add several new destinations during the second half of 2017. Watch this space!
Global Political Landscape
2017 has been dominated by events from Brexit and the commencement of Trump’s first presidential term dominating the landscape. Terrorism has also, sadly, been a defining feature of the first six months of this year.
A level of global uncertainty abounds. International real estate investment is providing an outlet for some of our customers concerned about the economic and political scenario.
With the looming uncertainty over Brexit, several UK investors that we work with have sought to diversify their portfolio. The diversification is primarily on a geographical basis. The usual EU investments are now less certain. It is not clear what the tax and ownership implications will be for EU property ownership by UK nationals post Brexit.
Destinations such as El Gouna and Montenegro have been popular. They offer alternative non-EU investments which are still easily accessible from the UK. That being said, the devaluation of the British pound has had an impact on certain currency investments. We expect this to be a short-term situation.
This year has seen the Egyptian Pound fall substantially. This has made buying property and living in Egypt very cost effective for foreign currency purchasers. It has also helped local purchasers with a foreign currency income. We have seen an increase in demand from western European purchasers.
The currency situation has also seen us open limited time opportunities for Egyptian nationals to invest in other currency assets using their Egyptian pounds. This initiative has been very popular with Egyptian nationals. It is helping them to protect their net worth on an international benchmark.
Spanish Market Recovery Continues
The popularity of Spain as a second home destination amongst European buyers remains strong. UK demand has seen a slight cooling because of Brexit.
Barcelona has led the way in the rebound of house prices with prices now reaching pre-financial crisis levels. In Q1 Barcelona house prices rose 18.5% YoY.
Marbella continues to remain a popular investment destination with the number of sales increasing in Q1 YOY by 11.9%. The main investors are still British followed by local Spanish buyers as well as Scandinavian, Belgian and US investors.
Greek Golden Visa Program
To stimulate inward investment, Greece have launched a golden visa program providing residency visas. It is available to those who invest over €250,000 in property in the country. After 7 years residing in the country visa holders can apply for citizenship.
Over 1,500 permits had been granted in the first four months of its operation. To the beginning of June permits had been granted primarily to China, Russia, Egypt, Lebanon and Ukraine. Of course, this visa effectively grants access to the Schengen area of Europe. We have seen significant interest from customers in Egypt.
Our Projections for H2 2017
So, the main trends we expect for the second half of the year are:
- Continued interest in Spanish real estate from north European markets.
- Shift of Egyptian nationals back to investing at home. They want to place their investments into bricks and mortar as the currency continues to lose value.
- Foreign investment into Egyptian property, leveraging the weakness of their currency will continue.
- As Brexit negotiations continue, UK investors will seek real estate outside the confines of the EU where their ownership status is clear.
- Additional flight connections to Montenegro will further stimulate the market.
Keep an eye out for our news as it happens.
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