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MARCH 2012 |

NEWS Prime market can aid Spain By Geoff Hadwick

PRIME properties in good locations should help the Spanish market begin to show some “positive signs,” international agency group Lucas Fox has told OPP. Having analysed markets in

Barcelona, Mallorca, Ibiza and Costa Brava, for the second half of 2011, where the company has offi ces based, Lucas Fox concluded that: • Prices in the prime locations of Barcelona remained resilient through 2011 but it remains possible to purchase properties at discounts of up to 30% on 2007 prices. • The Ibiza property market experienced a healthy 2011 with strong demand from international buyers for luxury properties cross the island. • The Mallorca market is currently very slow but there are signs that it will replicate the 2011 success of Ibiza with predictions of increased foreign property investment in 2012. Alex Vaughan, director at Lucas Fox,

told OPP that for “luxury property in prime locations, international clients



Still fl ying | Lucas Fox believes Spain’s prime market can help with the recovery

are still keen to take advantage of the discounted prices that are possible.” But the picture is patchy he adds.

“The story elsewhere in the market is less positive.” “Agents in some areas of Spain

such as Murcia and Alicante [are] reporting on large amounts of property stock on the market and a very low volume of transactions.” “In these worse affected areas 2012

looks set to be another crucial year for sellers and agents alike.” There are, however, “some positive

signs in the market as a whole”. “Last year the Spanish government

lowered the purchase tax payable on new-build property which stimulated transactions in the last quarter and the new PP Government has announced that this measure will be continued through 2012.” Stijn Teeuwen, director at Lucas Fox,

added: “We are seeing that buyers who have been observing the market for the last few years have now decided that it is the right time to show their hand and start negotiating on their ideal property.”

Prices ‘depend on the qualitative’

INTERNATIONAL property prices depend more on the structure of the market and the aspirations and requirements of the tenants and buyers rather than on population and economic growth trends says a new study from the Germany real estate consultancy Patrizia Immobilien AG. “Only 8.5% of the increase in rental

prices and 20% of the rise in purchase prices can be traced back to population growth,” the company said, adding: “Opportunities for investments in high-


RESIDENTIAL prices in Kuala Lumpur crashed by 5.6% year-on-year in 2011 according to the latest Knight Frank Prime Global Cities Index.. The slump is slowing down, however, with fourth-quarter prices dropping by only 0.6% year-on-year.

quality apartments are increasing, even in locations with a stagnant population.” Having studied residential price

fi gures for 114 selected German cities, Dr Marcus Cieleback, head of research at Patrizia, said: “It’s true that rising population fi gures generate higher requirements, above all when completion fi gures and thus supply are low. However, this connection merely accounts for the quantitative area of the demand for housing.” Investors should pay more attention


THE U.S. market faces a “rocky road” to recovery says Karl Case - co-creator of the S&P/Case-Shiller Index, as prices fall more steeply than expected. The index of property values revealed that prices declined by 3.7 percent in November 2011 year-on-year.

to the “qualitative” aspects of the scheme they are putting their money into, he says.

THE UK’S leading overseas property television series, Channel 4’s “A Place in the Sun,” has screened its fi rst new programmes for four years. The broadcasts started on Monday 6th February, and ran daily for 20 days with a further 60 additional episodes going straight into production immediately after. A Place in the Sun Live managing director Andy Bridge has welcomed the impetus the new programmes should bring to the market. “It’s a huge commission from Channel 4, there are three production teams on the road at the moment in the Caribbean, Florida and Spain to get the new programmes made in time,” he told OPP.

New Qatar fi rm launches

QATARI real estate company Tyrsis has been launched with the country’s property market “positively booming”. The company, set up by Qatari construction guru Ahmed Sultan Al Ali and the UK’s Karl Bishop, will handle rentals and sales of both residential and commercial properties across Qatar. Bishop, who has over fi ve years’ experience in Qatar’s property sector, said: “We feel there is an increasing need in the market for a professional and transparent real estate company so we have launched Tyrsis.”

Aphrodite Hills looks east Buyers’ | hopes and fears aff ect prices UAE STILL FALLS

HOUSING analysts in the UAE reported that the housing market will continue to fall as the region suff ers from too much supply. Reuters says analysts covering the UAE concluded that the four-year decline in house prices will not come to an end in 2012.

CYPRUS luxury project Aphrodite Hills is targeting Chinese buyers in a step away from traditional purchaser markets. Speaking exclusively to OPP Miranda Zachariou, communications manager for Aphrodite Hills, said: “As well as our core British and Russian markets, this year we are also starting to look at Chinese buyers.” The investment potential from China is good, Zachariou explained.


AN ESTIMATED 30 million NRIs (non- resident Indians) worldwide sent nearly $4.58 bn in remittances back home last year according to the World Bank, as they continue to drive international property sales to record highs in the sub-continent.

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