16 December 2005

Rural property market in New Zealand

Rural real estate experts are predicting a slowdown in the New Zealand rural property market which has seen a steep increase in land prices this year.

In its quarterly market outlook for the rural sector, Massey University's real estate unit says it appears sellers' price expectations are now meeting some buyer resistance.

Its panel of experts suggest this is due to high interest rates and the strong New Zealand dollar which is undermining exports.

They have also identified the depressed state of the pipfruit industry as a factor influencing prices for horticultural properties.

More here.

Aberdeen property investment

Aberdeen is often mistakenly regarded as an isolated and uninteresting part of Scotland. Few people really know that it has a blooming property investment market. The latest research shows Aberdeen property prices having risen the highest – 10 percent taking the average house price to £137,658, which places it at number two on the list in Scotland - with Aberdeen pushing Glasgow in third place with the average price at £130,175.
With tons of activity and market growth across the UK, Aberdeen has been a haven for property development and there are enough experienced property & building consultants & advisors to guide you through a successful buy.

Check some property managers owners & estates to get going and dont forget the property & building consultants in Aberdeen.

Happy investing!

14 December 2005

UK real estate investment news

Investors could be encouraged to put money into the new real estate investment trusts through savings products such as individual savings accounts and child trust funds, the government revealed on Wednesday.

In last week’s pre-Budget report, Gordon Brown finally gave the go-ahead for Reits – tax-efficient vehicles for property investment – after years of wrangling and thwarted expectations.

Reits are worth hundreds of billions of pounds in other countries such as the US and Australia, where their high yields from steady income streams appeal to large numbers of investors.

Legislation detailing how Reits would operate was put before parliament on Wednesday afternoon.

More here.

08 December 2005

Ireland property tax reliefs

Finance Minister Brian Cowen said there was a need to balance effective tax reliefs with ensuring that everybody paid an appropriate amount of income tax.

There will be a cap on the extent to which people can avail of some reliefs, in an attempt to remove the phenomenon of 'tax free millionaires'.

The cap will apply to those with income over €250,000 a year, and will cut by half the amount the income that can be relieved from tax by certain specified tax reliefs. The Minister also imposed a cap of €250,000 on tax relief for artists.

Following a review of tax reliefs, a number of these will be terminated as they are no longer thought to be cost-effective.

These include the urban, town and rural renewal schemes, and special reliefs for hotels, holiday cottages, student accommodation, multi-storey car parks, third-level educational buildings, sports injuries clinics and park and ride facilities.

SIPPs change cancelled

Anger and dismay has greated Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown’s announcement that he will not now go ahead with a planned change to self invested personal pension rules that would from next April have allowed such schemes to invest in residential property.

Promise of the change, included in last year’s Finance Act, has encouraged the financial services industry to invest millions in developing appropriate SIPPs. All that has now been wasted.

True to form the Chancellor has pounced on the slightest hint of tax avoidance and in so doing will be making changes that were originally designed to simplify pensions law extremely complicated even before they come into effect. A ‘technical note’ – virtually the only reference to his decision to overwrite his SIPPs promises included in his Pre-Budget statement – sets proposals to deal with direct and indirect investment in residential property, and much more.

Although there had been a wave of protests that the property market would be distorted and things made tougher for first time buyers if changes to the SIPPs rules went ahead – something always denied by the Government ¬– the Chancellor gave another reason for the change of heart. It was ‘to prevent people benefiting from tax relief in relation to contributions made into self directed pension schemes for the purpose of funding purchases of holiday or second homes and other prohibited assets for their or their family’s personal use’.

Few thought there would have been much if any tax advantage in this anyway, since any use of second homes owned through a pension scheme would have been subject to taxation as a benefit kind.

More here.

07 December 2005

Can I save for a pension and save tax too?

This question may have crossed the minds of quite a lot of people, who had been drooling at the thought of investing in a Sipp (Self Invested Personal Pension) and using it to buy a second home.

Now, the Chancellor's pre- Budget Report has effectively closed the door on investors placing residential property inside a Sipp.

The almost about face by the Chancellor has caused howls of outrage among financial advisers.

It has also left investors uncertain over future retirement plans that had been based on placing residential property, including holiday homes, into their pension plan.

There had been almost a media frenzy in the last 12 months over the tax opportunities to be had from the pension reforms coming into force on 6 April 2006 ("A-Day").

More here.

06 December 2005

No Sipps for residential property?

The government has provoked howls of outrage from the financial services industry after slamming the door in the face of investors hoping to shelter residential property in Sipp pension plans from next April.

In a huge U-turn the Treasury has apparently realised the potential huge loss to the Exchequer posed by the A-Day pension reforms. This year's Budget raised the prospect of residential property and alternative assets such as fine wine being eligible for Sipps (self-invested personal pensions). However, the government says it now wants to "tighten the rules" to prevent "potential abuse".

"All those people who thought they could transfer their residential property into their Sipps will have to think again," said Philip Wood, director of personal finance planning at PriceWaterhouseCoopers.

Brown referred in his speech to Parliament only to "the misuse of Sipps schemes to purchase second homes" in reference to the Treasury's latest brace of anti-tax avoidance measures.

However, the wider scope of the clampdown was revealed in a technical note from the Inland Revenue. Investment in residential property via a pension will only be allowed indirectly, for example by a fund. This fits in with the government's plans to introduce real estate investment trusts. By apparently making buy to let and holiday homes ineligible it could save the Exchequer up to 4 billion pounds in lost revenue.

Financial advisers were incensed by the sudden change of heart, although it is possible that there has been a mistake in drafting the technical note and that the Revenue really means to prohibit assets that are held for personal use.

Full article here.

05 December 2005

Property in South Africa

Municipal authorities want the owners of a R4 million Keurboomstrand holiday property to allow them to build a major Plettenberg Bay sewerage pipeline through it.

And now the Bitou Municipality has taken Cape High Court legal action to force the land's owners - who call it "unconstitutional" and motivated by the municipality's apparent desire to save R280 000 in building costs - to agree to it.

The owners, a family who have spent 33 years holidaying at the beachfront property, are also kicking up a stink over the municipality's plans to turn their holiday home into a sewerage thoroughfare without giving them any compensation.

The Bitou Municipality, represented by Ashley Binns-Ward SC and Mark Blumberg, has asked for an order confirming its right to construct a buried sewerage pipeline across a property owned by Nicolaas Swart's family company Gersumanic as well as directing the company to allow the building of it.

The municipality claims it has been given the right to construct the pipeline, which will run between Keurboomstrand and Plettenberg Bay, by a condition within the property's title deed.

But Swart, represented by Rulof van Riet SC and Rob Stelzner, argues that the condition was intended to provide for the building of waterpipes, sewage and drainage of sub-divided properties in the Keurboomstrand area and disputes that they were ever meant for the creation of a public sewer.

30 November 2005

Investing in real estate

For an increasing number of consumers, property investment is widely regarded as being an integral part of their pension portfolio.

Property behaves differently to both equities and bonds and provides the classic diversifier - helping to create a balanced spread of investments. In addition, after the disastrous performance of many mainstream pension funds in recent years, many investors feel more confident investing in property - an asset they actually feel they understand.

But - and it is a big but - for most investors the problem is that individual properties are generally far too expensive. For somebody looking for a small level of exposure to the property sector, direct investment doesn't always suit their needs.

A potential solution to this problem has been discovered in the shape of the proposed UK Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT). Put simply, a REIT is a collective investment through which investors are able to purchase a stake in a large property portfolio without actually owning the bricks and mortar outright. Whilst this structure is new to the UK, it already exists in many parts of the world, most noticeably in the US and Australia.

Over 65 property market

New research from Brewin Dolphin Wealth Management reveals there are now some 280,000 people over the age of 65 who each have assets of £500,000 or more.

Collectively, these half-millionaires are worth a staggering £239.7bn. And they own around 9.34% of the UK personal net wealth.

Younger people may be saddled with crippling university and credit card debts, struggling to get on the first rung of the housing ladder, and swimming against the tide when it comes to keeping their head above the financial water.

But for many parents and grandparents, who have not only reaped the benefits of Britain's economic boom since the end of the Second World War, but been a part of the welfare state with its free health care and old-age pensions, life in retirement is proving their just reward for years of toil.

As independent financial adviser Kim Addavide of AYP Financial Limited, says, 'This is the generation of savers who didn't change jobs and had good company pension schemes from which they are getting their full service, and who have seen the value of their property rise dramatically.

More here.

22 November 2005

Confidence in property

Confidence in the housing market has picked up so far in November, with sellers raising asking prices by 0.8%, figures showed today.

According to property website Rightmove, the average asking price of a property in England and Wales rose by £1,507 to £197,855. The rising confidence among sellers meant they hoped to attract 4% more for their property than at the same time last year. In contrast, the year-on-year increase in prices in October was just 1.5%. In greater London, asking prices rose by 3.5% during the four weeks to mi-November, reaching £291,927. This is almost double the average asking price in the north of England which, following a 0.9% increase in November, stood at £150,052.

Despite price rises in November and October, Rightmove said asking prices were at the same level as in April this year.
It said sellers had responded to the slowdown seen earlier this year when sales reached their lowest level since 1996 and adjusted their expectations accordingly.

"The property market's key foundation has returned," said Miles Shipside, Rightmove's commercial director. "Confidence is back leaving pessimists out in the cold.
"The combination of sustainable prices and a fall in interest rates has raised buyers' and sellers' confidence to strike a deal".

More here.

Hong Kong property investment

Macquarie Goodman Group plans to launch a Hong Kong real estate investment vehicle in 2006, chairman David Clarke told the industrial property group's annual meeting.

Clarke said the Macquarie Bank managed group's growing Asian business will help it deliver distributions of 0.275 aud per security in the June 2006 fiscal year up from last year's 0.2396 aud distribution.

'Over the past year we have increased our profile in Asia and made acquisitions that will deliver continued earnings growth for our security holders,' he said.

He said the group will continue to pursue third party funds management opportunities and to develop its business in Asia.

During fiscal 2005 Clarke said Macquarie Goodman Group invested 973 mln aud in acquisitions, about a quarter of which represented it first exposure in Hong Kong. The group now owns Hong Kong properties worth more than 585 mln aud.

Forbes reports.

18 November 2005

Property lures buyers

Charming Tuscan villas lure with views of lush olive groves and ancient hill towns. Beachfront retreats in the Caribbean call like modern sirens. While travelling abroad, who among us hasn't been tempted to splurge on an exotic vacation home?

But international real estate is more than an impulse buy – or, it should be if you're smart.

Along with the appeal of owning a second (or third, or fourth) home, there are pragmatic reasons for buying abroad. It can be a way to diversify an investment portfolio or provide rental income. Buy in Dubai, and you automatically receive a visa that permits you to do business there. Some international purchases made a decade ago would be considered very wise today.

More here.

Property outlook index falls in China

China's property outlook index fell for the third month in a row in October, government data showed Thursday, as the impact of policy measures to rein in the strong growth of the sector was felt.

The outlook index, which covers property prices and investment trends, fell to 101.10 points in October, down 0.47 points from September, the National Bureau of Statistics said in a statement on its Web site.

That would appear to be the lowest level in about four years. A government official had previously said that the June index of 101.65 was the lowest since the second half of 2001. The statistics office declined to comment on the data Thursday.

The index has trended lower for most of the year. It fell 3.84 points from the same month last year, the bureau said.

The government, worried that surging property prices nationwide could lead to a bubble, has taken a raft of measures in recent months to cool the sector, including taxing the sale of houses sold shortly after purchase and raising mortgage rates.

More here.

15 November 2005

Property As Pension

People should only consider investing their pension in property if they have a fund worth at least £600,000, a pension consultant is warning.

New rules come into force on April 6 next year which will enable individuals to invest their pension in residential property for the first time.

Some commentators have predicted the change will lead to a boom in the buy-to-let market.

Others think people will try to take advantage of the rule by putting a holiday home or even their main house into their pension fund.

More on SIPP's here.

Cashing in on property

Intense media coverage of the opportunities to be had in residential property post A-Day, creating fears of potential mis-selling. Residential property seems to be the single most exciting opportunity encompassed in the forthcoming A-day changes, if you believe the press coverage.
Much has been written over recent months about the many opportunities for those with buy-to-let properties or holiday homes to shelter these investments in their retirement plans.
The only problem with this type of coverage is that it is making residential property in Sipps seem like an easy prospect and the bears in this market already fear the potential mis-selling that could arise.
The bulls for residential property in Sipps believe it offers interesting opportunities, shelters some property from CGT and that it will attract a lot more interest to pension planning full stop.
The bears proclaim that only a tiny minority of people will ever be able to take advantage of such flexible investment rules and believe investors should be wary of such schemes.

14 November 2005

Overseas property investment

A static housing market has done nothing to dent the nation’s love of property investment; it has just turned its attention to opportunities available in overseas markets. Because, according to Barclays Bank, the number of people who own an overseas property is set to double to 4.4m, virtually 10 per cent of the adult population.

Barclays estimated that 2.2m currently own overseas properties and another 2.2m say they definitely going to buy an overseas property in the future. A staggering 37 per cent of respondents to its survey (which equates to an almost unbelievable additional 16m people) said that they were considering a purchase abroad.

More here.

Bulgaria as Property Investment Hotspot

Fourteen leading Bulgarian construction entrepreneurs have established the Bulgaria Est8s Club, aiming to promote Bulgaria as attractive property investment destination.

The Bulgaria Est8s Club program includes presenting information on the condition of Bulgaria's real estate market, participation of Bulgarian companies at major property exhibitions, maintaining good relations with the Bulgarian embassies abroad, establishing adequate communication with foreign investors, agents, promoters.

More here.

Other posts about Bulgaria:

10 November 2005

Middle East Worldwide Property Show

International Property Exhibition Company, DSL Exhibitions, is set to bring the world to your their with their 28th Middle East Worldwide Property Show in Abu Dhabi (November 14th -15th 2005) and Dubai (November 18th -20th 2005), where the possibilities for choosing the home of your dreams are endless and the chance of winning an amazing prize is a reality.

Visitors to both the Abu Dhabi and Dubai Middle East Worldwide Property Shows will have the opportunity to be entered into draws for a number of 'trip of a lifetime' prizes, from a luxurious 7 day trip from From the Our Home Abroad to one of their stunning Spanish Villas, to a 7 night stay at the sumptuous Zimbali Lodge in South Africa courtesy of IFA Hotels & Resorts, or a week in Thailand at one of The Lersuang Group's first class hotels. There is also the chance to win a plot of land worth Dhs130,000 in the UK from Sinclair Deville and the opportunity to pick up a free copy of My Virtual Home software, which is worth over Dhs 900, from Peregian Springs in Australia.

The exhibition includes such projects as Le Raffine's lavish apartments in Bangkok, Thailand, which feature a terrace pool in every apartment to the Kadomo Island resort in Fiji where Fiji Island Investment give you your own piece of paradise as they showcase the 78 Bures (villas) which are being built in harmony with the local beauty.

More here.

07 November 2005

Surge in take-up of Sipps

Standard Life, which will present its flotation plans at a one-day roadshow in Edinburgh this week, is expected to report a continued surge in sales of self-invested personal pension (Sipp) business, up to more than £1.1bn since the launch less than a year ago.

The continued popularity of Sipps comes despite warnings about the way some are being sold, and Standard Life has called for greater regulation.

While third-quarter figures due out on Wednesday will be a boost to the life and pensions division, the health care market continues to be competitive. The acquisition of First Assist in August is unlikely to have had any effect on sales, but it will mean a rise in market share from fourth to third.

Standard Life Investments is enjoying its strongest period after recent mandate wins. It has record funds under management for both internal money and external contracts. At the interim results in August, overall group assets under management were £117bn, of which SLI is managing £107bn. This figure will have grown again due to the rise in the stock markets.

More here.

Malta property market

If you plan to invest in property in Malta and want to go for a long-term investment the new taxation system in place should suit you better. At least this is what the government claims announcing the new law.
The fast quick-buck investment return is now something from the past in Malta as it was apparently producing a bubble which could have burst dangerously, in contrast to solid returns built up over longish periods of time. Prices had started levelling off this year. So let’s hope this budget is a first small step of many that are needed to stabilise this economy and the property market particularly, wish the locals.
Who is going to tell the overseas investors though?

03 November 2005

Switzerland property laws to change

The government says it wants to liberalise Switzerland's property laws, to make it easier for foreigners to buy homes in the country.

The cabinet called on parliament on Wednesday to scrap the so-called Lex Koller legislation, designed to limit the number of foreign residents owning property in the country.

In a statement, the cabinet said the Swiss property legislation was outdated, and scrapping it would boost the economy.

The proposal is now subject to a consultation process. Interested parties and stakeholders have four months to comment on the suggested change.

More here.

02 November 2005

Property in France

A collection of articles on property investment in France:

Beware of foreign property deals

Free holiday homes in France

Property in France

Moving abroad?

The Spanish property ladder

Whilst a whole cluster of newcomers are having their first foray into the overseas property market, bagging bargains everywhere from Bulgaria to Brazil, some pioneers in the more established markets such as France and Spain are already on the second or third rung of their holiday home property ladder. Two old-hands at the Spanish property market, Dan Eustance and John Fromson, share their latest upgrades…

Dan 39, and his partner Sally, from Richmond in Surrey, have enjoyed many a holiday in their apartment in La Manga on the Costa Calida during the past six years. However, when little Mia, now 20 months old, arrived on the scene, Dan started to think about upgrading to a large villa to accommodate the growing family. Dan begins, “The only place really considered on the Costa Calida was La Manga as it is a world famous, exclusive resort with outstanding facilities. We’ve made a sound investment here and are certain that the resort will continue to shine. Other developments on the Costa Calida really didn’t hold the same appeal for us and by-and-large life outside the resort gates isn’t that vibrant, so for us comprehensive on-site facilities were a must.”

Like all discerning 21st century house hunters, Dan was scouring the internet for investment opportunities when he came across Carrington Estates, a real estate agency specializing in the sale of plots on the Costa del Sol. His original ideas began to change and it soon became clear that actually the Costa del Sol, with its extensive infrastructure, could be the perfect place for the next family home, and furthermore, he could build the villa himself and save plenty of euros as a result. A few weeks later Dan took himself to the Costa del Sol to find out more.

Read more.

Bulgaria's property sales rocket

This year is expected to be the most successful yet for real estate sales on the Bulgaria property market.
For the first nine months of 2005 208 000 real estate sales were concluded. The number was 196 000 for the entire of 2004. Most real estate agencies experience increased interest toward their offers at the end of the year. Thus, sales are expected to intensify further. If the same transaction rate is maintained, the number of concluded deals will exceed 250 000 in December.

More than 100 000 property sales were finalised for the first time in 1996. Unfortunately a period of economic crisis and hyper-inflation followed, which did not allow for a fast recovery of the market. An all-time low occurred in 1998 when the number of deals was only 65 179.

Read more

Other posts about Bulgaria:

28 October 2005

Wellingborough estate agents

If you are looking for professional estate agency services in Northamptonshire, Mackenzie Ward operate as letting agents in Northampton and estate agents in Wellingborough. They specialise in property marketing and offer a great range of real estate across the UK.

MacKenzie Ward Estate Agents sell and let homes to prospective clients throughout Northamptonshire as a county. With a beautifully presented brochure as standard with digital imaging to enhance special features, coupled with the newly redesigned website, MacKenzie Ward provide detail property presentation in Wellingborough.

27 October 2005

Surveyors warn of property spree

New pension rules could prompt investors to embark on a £24bn spending spree on buy-to-lets and second homes, according to a respected property organisation.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors' predictions will fuel the debate over a new tax break that will allow well-off individuals to buy residential property at a fraction of its real cost. From April, holders of self-invested personal pensions (Sipps) can spend their pension pots on buy-to-let and holiday homes tax-free.

More here.

26 October 2005

SIPP carefully

Investors who are hoping to dip their hands into the property markets courtesy the self-invested personal pension (Sipp) scheme would do better to check the antecedents of some firms that claim to offer them the best deals, say analysts.

“A-Day”, as the 6th of April has been dubbed is bound to trigger a rush to the property market and investors could be duped if they are not careful. April 6 is the day when the new rules come into effect. David Baker, director of James Hay, the UK’s largest Sipp provider says that it is very difficult to investigate if the firms are indeed above board, “We have had some e-mails from companies with odd sounding names saying they are specialists in a certain area and wanting to offer our clients the benefits of their property services in Bulgaria or wherever. If they are UK-based we try to meet them. But if not it is difficult to know if they are responsible or rogues. We can’t investigate them.”

More here.

Sydney's most expensive holiday home

NUDGE nudge, wink wink, say no more – John Cleese is in for a Christmas holiday cracker up at Palm Beach this festive season.

But for a whopping $38,000 a week, locals would be best inclined not to mention the war when the classic British comedian hits town in December.

Cleese will become the latest celebrity tenant of Hawaii-based businessman Ian Joye, whose stunning property Kalua is reportedly Sydney's most expensive holiday home.

More here.

24 October 2005

Property mortgage market in Dubai

As the mortgage business proves to be successful in Dubai, more banks are likely to enter the market, especially once the property law comes into force. With the increasing number of banks entering the mortgage market the competition will increase, leading to lower interest rates, industry experts say.

Almost at its third anniversary, the freehold Dubai property market has already generated an active mortgage market, with more than half a dozen players offering both fixed and variable rate products.

Banks and other financial institutions are gearing up by exploring the advantages of the freehold property market, with half a dozen financing institutions, including four major banks, namely Dubai Islamic Bank, Mashreqbank, Rakbank and HSBC in addition to Emaar’s financing arm Amlak, establishing their supremacy in the field and offering ‘home loans’ to potential buyers.

More here.

Luxury hotels in London

Coming to London? Looking for a luxury hotel?

You could always try the UK Hotelshop. They have a variety of luxury hotels in London plus a great range of UK hotels. You can also try their short breaks recommendations as well as a variety of short breaks at top theme parks and attractions around the UK.

The Greek golf holiday market

Greece can immediately expect 3.5 billion euros in domestic and foreign investment in the creation of at least 17 golf courses, if all projects proceed as the government hopes.

"This country will be the most important golf tourism market in the Mediterranean in the next 10 years," says Johann Peter Bachmann, CEO of Swiss Golf Invest AG, one of the foreign companies investing billions of euros in Greece, particularly in popular tourism destinations.

This development becomes more important when one considers that a modern golf course has a major impact on a region's property market. Courses usually come with hotels, housing units, conference centers and marinas, therefore becoming complete tourism resorts, creating jobs and lifting the price of properties in those areas.

At the same time golf is a crucial element toward the viability of those investments, as this is a basic condition for a hotel unit to enter the winter plans of major tour operators. This way tourism is secured at the highest quality level for the winter months, as well, which is somewhat unprecedented in Greek tourism. After all the best seasons for golf are spring and autumn.

The impact of those investments is important for the property market, especially as far as holiday housing is concerned, and where Greece has shown a significant delay in attracting foreign buyers. Despite great interest expressed year after year by visitors from abroad in the holiday housing market, few purchases are eventually made, either owing to the lack of appropriate homes or due to bureaucracy issues: To date foreign nationals cannot receive a loan from a Greek bank unless a Greek citizen guarantees it for them.

The investment plans for the golf courses show that they will come with the development of at least 2,000 holiday houses of all kinds (maisonettes, villas, bungalows and apartments).

The main reason golf and its accompanying installations are very profitable is their audience, as golfers have great purchase potential. Furthermore, 40% of them internationally make at least three trips a year to try out new courses. The average duration of each trip is one week. The mean daily expenditure per player is calculated at 370 euros, while 10 percent will buy a house close to a course, at a starting price of 120,000 euros.

More here.

17 October 2005

Overseas property action

Residential sales may be flagging and house prices falling, but as a nation Britain is much in love with property investment as ever.

Almost £44bn has been invested in this area in the past year, 25% higher than 12 months ago with forecasted total investment returns of between 12-13% this year.

There are actually few onshore, authorised commercial property funds. Under old rules, regulated funds had to hold a minimum of 20% in cash, property-related assets, or government or public sector securities. This helps maintain liquidity if investors want out, but it does little to maximise the benefits of exposure to bricks and mortar.

But the rules are being rewritten to allow 100% exposure to property within UK-based funds.

Not only that, the Government is set to launch REITS (Real Estate Investment Trusts). Widely available in the US, Australia, France and Holland, these offer tax advantages and simple access to property funds, both residential and commercial.

More here.

14 October 2005

Property in France

Have you just started house hunting in France?
Are you still thinking about it?
Or are you just looking to let for the summer?

First you need to find an online source to wet your appetite but ultimately the only way to appreciate the property is to see it; so its always best to arrange a viewing and make your own inqueries.

You can start by searching the Archer Immobilier property portfolio. Always good to start with a licensed French Estate Agents involved in the marketing and sale of French properties over the past 5 years. Their portfolio is currently concentrated in the South-West area: Poitou-Charente-Dordogne-Limousin.

They offer a wide range of properties including farmhouses, village houses, vineyards châteaux, bars, restaurants and campsites.

They can guide and assist you throughout all your property transactions, utilising reliable contacts which include, notaries, geometers, architects, and mortgage advisers. Moreover, they can provide an efficient service covering all your needs, including electricity, gas, water and legal advice.

Start your search for French property for sale and good luck with house hunting paradise.

You can also browse a variety of French properties to let across the country.

13 October 2005

Holiday letting is a hot topic

The debate began in Public Forum, Australia with Long Beach people in particular expressing concern at the proposed amendment.

Jim Flynn, president of Long Beach Area Improvement Group said that body had for some time been asking Council to conduct an in-depth inquiry into the lack of controls on what he described as a commercial-type industry being conducted in residential areas... holiday letting.

"We are continuously being reminded of the benefits to the economy of holiday-makers," he said. "However, many tenants from these places are causing great concern to permanent residents because of anti-social behaviour and a total disregard for their privacy and well-being."

He said the lack of controls on such premises contrasted with the stringent requirements imposed on bed and breakfast establishment where the operators were actually in residence.

Another Long Beach resident, Tom Hayes, spoke of an experience when he went outside at about 1.30 one morning to investigate a noise. He found a tenant of a holiday let premises dumping empty cans and bottles into his garbage bin. When he questioned the dumper he was told he should shut up and go to bed "or you'll end up in the dirt bin."

Carol Hayes said it sometimes seemed Council looked after visitors more than residents, a comment to which Mayor Neil Mumme said he took offence.

Coastwatchers president Mark Fleming said his group was concerned about the number of large investment properties available for short-term letting throughout the Shire. They sometimes resulted in residents having to contend with unacceptable noise levels and other anti-social behaviour, as well as overflowing garbage bins and illegally parked vehicles.

The debate continues.

12 October 2005

Cyprus property gains from UK pension change

An expected rise in second-home property market following changes to the UK pensions system has prompted the establishment of a new company in Cyprus.

The O'Garra Group will be one of the first on the island to provide professional advice and investment management services to UK taxpayers who will, for the first time, be able to purchase residential property within a private pension fund.

Proposed changes to self-invested personal pensions (SIPPs) in effect from 2006 will mean that UK taxpayers will be able to control their own pension investments and will be able to use it to purchase residential property. The changes come into effect on April 6, 2006 but the new rules can be taken advantage of immediately.

The O’Garra Group is a family-owned professional services company with the principal offices located in Limassol, Cyprus.

The company aims to guide individuals easily and securely through the processes involved in realizing their dream of owning a second home in the sun, and is already involved with numerous clients wishing to purchase holiday homes in Cyprus as a result of the relaxation of the rules regarding self-invested personal pensions (SIPPs).

The changes to UK pensions law are expected to fuel a new property boom in Cyprus with private pension holders keen to take advantage of generous tax breaks from both the UK and Cypriot governments.

SIPP holders will be able to increase their purchasing power, as the UK government will contribute up to 40p of every pound SIPP holders invest. Coupled with the opportunity to borrow 50% of the value of the SIPP, this means that GBP 150,000 of purchasing power can be achieved by a client making a net (after tax-relief) contribution of GBP 60,000.

For various reasons Cyprus is expected to be a major beneficiary of the increased monies available due to purchasers. Some countries, including Spain and France, do not recognize trusts, which is effectively what a SIPP is. Cyprus, however, has legislation in place that mirrors that of the UK, thus allowing individuals the opportunity to purchase property via a SIPP.

New Sipp rules and the housing market

Allowing residential property to be held as part of a self-invested personal pension is unlikely to alter the buy-to-let market, claims Landlord Mortgages.
"A relatively small proportion of the population will take advantage of the new rules after ‘A’ Day simply because it is too costly".

Legislation that comes into effect after 6 April allows a consumer to use their pension fund to purchase a buy-to-let property with the added advantage of being able to borrow up to an additional 50% from their pension fund to do so.

Read more.

11 October 2005

Calgary property market

Halloween might be three weeks away, but when it comes to describing the current real estate environment in Calgary, Canada scary fits the bill.

Properties are changing hands at eye-popping prices that are surprising even the most seasoned players in the business.

As it stands, five million square feet of office space complete with office furniture are expected to be completed in the next five years in both Calgary and Toronto. This fact tells two tales when one looks at it in percentage terms: The five million square feet in Toronto is 6.7 per cent of current rentable space, while in Calgary it's 16.1 per cent.

Read more.

10 October 2005

Holidays in Ayia Napa

The Grecian Park hotel is situated next to the National Park, gifted with breathtaking views of the glorious Cape Greco and within 5 minutes drive from Ayia Napa and Protaras and 50 minutes drive from Larnaca Airport, the Grecian Park hotel is one of the privileged hotels on the island of Cyprus. It's location is unique.

An architecturally striking creation designed to provide pleasure, comfort and relaxation.
A 480 bed hotel with all rooms and suites enjoying sea, pool or park view. It's a five star hotel incorporating excellent cuisine, exclusive entertainment and many recreational facilities.

All rooms and suites are fully furnished to meet the expectations of the most demanding travelers. With air-conditioning, private WC, private balcony, bath/shower, satellite TV, hairdryer, mini-bar, direct dial telephone, private safe, coffee & tea making facilities, three channel radio, taped music and superb materials there are few features, if any missing from the package.

The restaurants, coffee shop and the night club form the hotel's gastronomic scene. With expertly trained chefs, the international cuisine compliments the elegance of the dining areas. During the summer months special theme nights are offered around the pool area with live music.

A complete fitness world is found within the grounds of the resort. The workout gym, sauna, Jacuzzi, aerobics, tennis courts are available and free of charge to all hotel guests. Also available are private tennis lessons, scuba diving, solarium, steam bath and massage plus a list of other activities such as horseback riding and windsurfing at a small extra cost.

Now with all these features why would you like to leave the hotel?
Well, when Paralimni with the twin aisled vaulted church, Ayia Napa with the ancient sycamore trees, Dherynia which view includes the "ghost" city of Famagusta, Sotira, Liopetri and the Moonshine Ranch are in the area you just might get the urge to explore and experience more of Cyprus.

The hotel also caters for weddings and conferences offering standard packages as well as custom solutions.

Visit the website to see the full Ayia Napa room rental rates. They even inclcude an essential Greek list with all the much needed basics.

07 October 2005

Overseas property investment for profit

According to new research the majority of jet to let property investors consider rental income the main reason for buying overseas property. The attitude contrasts with UK buy to let property investment market, where only one in every 12 landlords considers rental income alone the main reason for entering the market.

Of the 50,000 investors and non-investors surveyed, 60% said that rental income was the most important factor in their decision to buy property in another country. 21% of respondents said that their property investment was intended as retirement home, with just 19% saying that they used their property only as a holiday home.

Full article here

05 October 2005

Level of home equity release climbing

BRITONS are unlocking the money tied up in their property at the fastest rate since the end of 2003.

Owners withdrew £8.71 billion of equity from their homes between April and June, according to the Bank of England, which represented an increase on the £6.44bn unlocked from property during the first quarter of this year.

Experts said the rebound could indicate the housing market was stabilising following the recent downturn.

Read more.

03 October 2005

The Cyprus property boom

The property investment boom in Cyprus is experiencing a sharp slowdown to let prices on the island achieve parity with equivalent property in Spain.
The sudden change has been revealed by a property survey in the Financial Mirror, Cyprus's leading business and finance newspaper.

Rather than exploring new and less stable markets however, the majority of property development seems to be returning to the traditional Costas.

Property investment is primarily leaking back towards Spain, suggesting that the strength of the economy and infrastructure is the most important factor in jet to let investment decisions rather than seeking out, low prices at any cost in less stable east European markets.

Full article.

Villas in Lanzarote

Lanzarote is an ideal holiday spot and one of the most enjoyable of the Spanish Islands. The climate is dominated by the North Eastern Trade Winds and the warm Canary Stream, producing glorious summer temperatures all year round.

Attractions include the fabulous beaches, restaurants and bars, old fishing villages and the beautiful scenery of the Timanfaya National Park, to name just a few.

There are numerous organised activities available on the island including golf, tennis, diving, wind-surfing as well as various walks that allow you to explore more of the natural habitat of the island.

Villas in Lanzarote offer arrangements for a wide range of luxury accomodation on the island both in the area of Puerto Del Carmen and in Playa Blanca.

You can book trips and tours and arrange pick up and drop off points. To find information on these excursions in your villa you can contact the staff for more details.

If you wish to follow one of the organised walks in the National Park, you will need to book before you come on holiday as spaces are limited.

Preview a list of luxury villas in Lanzarote.

29 September 2005

Property As A Pension!

Currently, investors in Self-Invested Personal Pensions (SIPPs) can invest in land, property funds, property-company shares or a single commercial property.

However from 6 April next year, investors will be allowed to buy domestic property within a SIPP. A whole heap of SIPP providers and property firms are excitedly talking up this opportunity, but there are risks involved in going down this route. Indeed, leading insurer Norwich Union yesterday warned that investors could use their pension fund to buy into property without considering the downside.

After pensions A-Day, SIPP holders have several options, such as using their pension fund to buy their family home, a second home, buy-to-let property or even a holiday home abroad. More than half a million Brits own second homes, roughly two-thirds of which are in the UK, and many of these wealthy investors are expected to transfer their property into SIPPs.
There are huge tax advantages in going down the property-SIPP route, because investors get tax relief on their contributions to a SIPP, which could effectively reduce the property cost by up to two fifths (40%). What's more, the fund doesn't pay tax on its rental income and capital gains from rising property prices.

However, the price you pay for this generous tax treatment is that you lose control of the property, which now belongs to your SIPP's trustee, which is usually a bank or insurer.
In addition, your SIPP has to pay stamp duty on purchases, at up to 4% of the property's value. A further complication is that SIPPs charge far higher annual management fees when compared to personal and Stakeholder pensions.

In effect, by putting your family home into a SIPP, you become a tenant, with your SIPP manager as your landlord. As you've forfeited ownership of your property, you need permission from your pension trustee before making alterations to your home. With buy-to-let property SIPPS, the trustee is responsible for maintaining the property, so it will contract out this work to a management company and charge you for this service.

Furthermore, although the tax treatment of property SIPPs is very generous, investors with properties abroad may fall foul of overseas tax laws, because many countries (including Portugal and Spain) do not recognise trusts. This could leave investors liable to pay substantial levies on their capital gains and assets, plus expensive legal bills.

Cliff D'Arcy reports.

28 September 2005

The Shanghai property market

Despite an average fall in prices of 20 to 30 per cent over the past few months, the Shanghai property market is far from being in a slump as some commentators have suggested.

Strong public demand for new and better quality properties has been underlined by solid economic growth, which, in turn, is supported by the rapid development of the city's higher value-added services sector.

The present price correction, apparently triggered by government measures to clamp down on excessive speculation, may seem too swift and sharp to those used to the double-digit annual price rises of the past. Indeed, many prospective home buyers are reported to have postponed making a purchase for fear of a further drop in real estate value.

James Leung from China Daily reports.

Dubai property investment

With rents soaring in Dubai many people are buying homes to live in at a time when pure investor interest in the market appears to be rising.

Dubai Premier are not only supplying the best Dubai homes for sale but are also specialists in renting and property management for Dubai's lucrative freehold property market.

Lately Dubai has become a hotspot for property investment with annual returns far outstripping that of the UK market. Up to date expert advice on investments from companies with offices in both England and Dubai is hard to get these days. Dubai Premier supply exactly that, alongside a comprehensive portfolio of quality rental villas which are ready to occupy. If it is apartments for investment you are looking for, then DP can source best value for money properties on the market.

It is worth keeping in mind that the Dubai property market changes daily, therefore you will need accurate, up to date information to make the correct and informed investment choices.

Other posts that mention Dubai:

26 September 2005

Letting to holidaymakers in the UK

It's the time of year when you come back from a fortnight's break and start fantasising about buying a little place in your favourite holiday location.

Investing in a holiday property in the UK offers plenty of tax advantages, says Sheena Hay, the senior tax manager at Grant Thornton. 'Furnished holiday lettings in the UK are very flexible in tax terms. There are lots of allowances and you don't need to produce a balance sheet like a full-blown business. You can just fill in the details on your tax form.'

Ian Luder, a tax partner at Grant Thornton, says the advantage of a UK property is that you don't have to worry about currency fluctuations or an unfamiliar legal system. What is more, expenses such as rents, rates, insurance, utility bills and repairs can be deducted against income. You can also offset the cost of improvements to the property, as well as gardening, cleaning, and legal and professional costs when you are calculating your tax bill.

Read the full article.

North Cyprus property agent

Purchasing a piece of Cyprus real estate can prove to be a daunting process.

It is therefore vital to find an estate agent who can provide all the essential information, guiding you through all the various aspects of purchasing property in Cyprus. In addition they need to inform you of the difficulties and legal problems associated with purchasing a Northern Cyprus property.

Natavel, is an established family business with a good level of service when it comes to purchasing your chosen Cyprus property. They pride themselves in helping buyers adjust to the sometimes difficult task of adapting to their new environment in Cyprus. With their help newcomers can then settle in with ease, something that helps people feel that their new Pafos property has indeed become their home away from home.

There is a huge variety of Cyprus property for sale, and their current portfolio covers every requirement for the aspiring buyer, be it in the form of an apartment, townhouse, villa, or the purchase of unique plots of land. Custom build houses are also available at request.

20 September 2005

Property in Australia

Here is a list of articles on property investment in Australia:

Australia holiday home property

Record prices for property in Noosa, Australia

Holiday letting is a hot topic

Javea estate agents

Interested in villas, apartments or other property in Spain?
Looking for Spanish property investments, and reputable estate agents particularly in the Costa Blanca area around Javea, Moriara, Calpe, Altea, Denia, Jalon, Valencia and Alicante?

Globus Estates is part of a long established group of companies specialising in
Estate Agency, property management of villas, apartments and rentals, project management, development and consultancy globally.

All the staff live in the Costa Blanca area, (which really helps) and are all salaried and not on commission, so you don't have to worry about getting overcharged!

15 September 2005

UK property market aid

Major players in the financial services industry are to partake in a trading game in property derivatives starting next month in a drive to accelerate the development of the market in the UK.

The initiative, which is being spearheaded by Hermes, the investment fund, is intended to give investors, property companies and investment banks the chance to gain practical experience in trading derivatives in a realistic environment - but on a virtual basis. The exercise is also aimed at gauging the level of potential demand.

13 September 2005

Property owners endangered species???

Today, the National Center for Public Policy Research joined more than 80 major national and state public policy organizations in a coalition letter expressing disappointment with Republican efforts to reauthorize the Endangered Species Act. Specifically, the letter charges Rep. Richard Pombo, chairman of the House Resources Committee, with putting forth a weak reform effort that falls woefully short of fixing the ESA or preventing the ESA from abusing landowners.
"Property owners have long suffered under the Endangered Species Act's onerous restrictions and outright disdain for property rights", said National Center Vice President David Ridenour, "And from what we've seen, Rep. Pombo's bill would ensure that this suffering continues largely unchecked."
The letter was signed by a broad coalition of influential national policy organizations, including: Coalitions for America, Eagle Forum, the American Conservative Union, the National Taxpayers Union, Liberty Matters, and the Christian Coalition.

State policy think-tanks, including the Pacific Research Institute, the Pioneer Institute for Public Policy Research, and the Maine Public Policy Institute signed the letter as well. A draft of the legislation was leaked several months ago. The bill may be introduced as early as this week.

01 September 2005

Property in Romania

Romania property investment

People wanting to make maximum returns on a property investment abroad should head to Romania, it has been claimed...

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