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MAY 2012 | www.opp.org.uk Contents ON THE RECORD THIS MONTH...


“It is important to know that the property market in Phuket is a foreign-driven market. About 95% of all properties are purchased by foreigners. In all the time I have been in this business here, I have had one Thai buyer.” Luc Montens, managing director, Tropical Properties. Agent Profi le: PAGE 42


“In China, we go and have single exhibitions and sell our wares, and in the UK, we have outlets in the high-street, open seven days a week. We are looking at two diff erent markets. In Asia it is long-term investors and in the UK it is retailing.” Bob Weston, chairman and chief executive, Weston Homes. The Last Word: PAGE 64


MALTA REPORT (PAGE 44)


Malta may be the European Union’s smallest independent country, both in terms of population and size, but it is doing remarkably well. Having avoided the massive fi scal defi cits of its Mediterranean neighbours Greece, Spain and Italy, Malta has weathered the recession rather well. The country achieved a perfectly respectable GDP growth rate of 2.7% in 2011, driven primarily by exports and residential tourism. The young and the wealthy are fl ooding in to buy a second home overseas and the coff ers are overfl owing. What’s going on? OPP takes a look at the way in which this small island is pulling in overseas property buyers with a judicious mix of attractive tax breaks, residency schemes, secure property ownership laws, a stable government and a range of exciting new developments.


07


EDITORIAL COMMENT Malta is the place to look and learn


08-09 INDUSTRY NEWS Spain back in crisis mode says Rabobank


10-11 INDUSTRY NEWS Chinese buyers are surging into Australia


13 14 16 18


FINANCE NEWS Price crisis threatens Malaysia


DEVELOPER & FRACTIONAL NEWS Asian developers dominating Australian market


MEDIA & TRAVEL NEWS Positive vibes at new-look UK exhibition


PEOPLE: MOVERS & SHAKERS Key appointments


20-21 YOUR SHOUT: LETTERS AND BLOGS/EVENTS Lack of government reassurance hurting Spain


22-23 BUSINESS: MORTGAGE OUTLOOK French rate reductions making it more attractive


24-25 CANADIAN OUTLOOK Why sell homes with hotel connections?


26-27 OPP CHINA Positive signs from the halls of the Beijing Expo


28-29 +55 OUTLOOK Portugal has plenty of potential


30-33 NEWS EXTRA: PORTUGAL CONFERENCE Positive mood at the Chamber of Commerce meet


LETTER FROM BEIJING MARKET SNAPSHOT: KUALA LUMPUR 34 37


SUSTAINABILITY OUTLOOK Why innovation really does matter


LEGAL OUTLOOK OPP’s new editor surveys the industry


38-39 NAR USA OUTLOOK What has fuelled the investment sales surge?


40-41 FRACTIONAL EXTRA Despite uncertainty, are better days in the offi ng?


42


26 | OPP China’s editor Hilary Li reports from a busy Beijing International Property Expo


SELLING THE U.S. DREAM


60 | What is the big picture in terms of property for Malaysia’s dynamic and fast-growing capital city?


OPP AWARDS FOR EXCELLENCE 2011


AGENT PROFILE How is Phuket bucking the Thailand trend?


44-45 MALTA REPORT: INTRODUCTION A tiny island achieving great things


46-49 MALTA REPORT: GENERAL OUTLOOK What are the key developments on the island?


50 MALTA REPORT: MORTGAGE OUTLOOK A rare case of business as usual


53-59 OPP AWARD WINNERS 2011 At look at who won last year...and why


60-61 MARKET SNAPSHOT: KUALA LUMPUR Facts and fi gures on the Malaysian capital


63


THE OPP DEAL ZONE Find your next big opportunity here


64-65 THE LAST WORD: BOB WESTON Weston Homes chief on targeting Asia


38 | Why has the country’s investment homes market surged 65% year-on-year, asks our NAR columnist?


53 | Who won the OPP Awards for Best Marketing Campaign & Best Financial Services Provider, and why?


66


OPP TRADE DIRECTORY Useful industry names and contact details


CONTENTS


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