So many beautiful locations, so little time. Here are our top choices for real estate investment in 2016.
With the help of a strong dollar, recession in the foreign markets and rapid middle class expansion in key locations, we are quickly entering what can be referred to as a golden age for acquiring real estate overseas.
Choosing our 5 top property markets was no simple task, as the global market currently offers so many miraculous possibilities. But here we have it, our top 5 markets, in no particular order, that offer enormously appealing lifestyle advantages and price tag at the same time:
After recently elected pragmatist Mauricio Macri takes office, most believe better times are on their way. Therefore, now could be a good time to be shopping around for real estate in this country that already offers one of the world’s premier brand-name cities in Buenos Aires and other pastoral living options among the vines of Mendoza.
Charming, historic, beautiful, English-speaking, and safe. Portugal’s sunny coastal Algarve region has it all. Right now, it’s also a global bargain, thanks to a depressed property market (which has yet to recover post-2008) and a weak euro. Another top pick for the retiree who wants an Old World, Continental lifestyle. Also a great choice for golfers (the Algarve region boasts 40 courses) and boaters.
Considered a lucrative option for investors as prices are undervalued and rental returns are good. Also, Algarve makes for one of Europe’s most popular tourist destinations.
The ever popular city that never sleeps with prospects seeming more bullish all the time, Medellín is a top choice right now for both lifestyle and investment. My cousin bought and renovated an apartment in Medellín’s El Poblado neighborhood six years ago. We look forward to every chance and any excuse to visit this pretty, pleasant, safe, Euro-chic city.
The retiree couldn’t ask for a more comfortable or more fully appointed place to call home. And the investor couldn’t ask for better upside potential. Plus, right now, thanks to the raging greenback, which buys more Colombian pesos today than it has in more than seven years, everything in Colombia is dramatically discounted for the buyer with U.S. dollars in his wallet.
Ambergris Caye, Belize
The choice in the Caribbean, Ambergris Caye is fringed with white sand, developed enough to be comfortable but not so developed as to be packaged, and English-speaking. The expat community is big and growing, and the breathtaking barrier reef just offshore is the second largest in the world.
Property markets in Panama softened after 2008 but never totally collapsed. Panama has two secret strengths — diversified buying pools and the Panama Canal. Unlike other markets in this part of the world, Panama’s property markets are not affected of what goes on in North America. This country attracts buyers and investors from the United States and Canada but also from across Central and South America, Europe, China, and beyond.
In addition, Panama has its own cash machine in the form of the Panama Canal. Holding a population of just about 3.5 million people, the Panama Canal returns more than $500 million to the national treasury every year. After the Panama Canal expansion, that figure will increase to more than $1 billion per year. For a country this size, that’s a lot of money.
From a lifestyle perspective, one of Panama’s big advantages is diversity. From cosmopolitan Panama City to a Pacific coast, a Caribbean coast, many offshore islands, mountain towns, and rural escapes, Panama offers most any setting you could imagine.
Right now, U.S. dollar-holders have a big advantage in much of the world, from euro-land to Colombia and beyond. However, if you’re a dollar-holder who doesn’t want to have to worry about exchange rates, which move both ways, of course, Panama takes that risk off the table.