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Property Investment in the Caribbean

Property Investment in the Caribbean

Spotlight On Overseas Property Investment In The Caribbean

As far as luxury tourist destinations go, the Caribbean is up there with the best of them. Much of the Caribbean’s thriving economy stems directly from the tourism industry, and it’s no wonder why. With demand high for tourist property, and jobs aplenty, the future looks bright in this part of the world.

These stunning islands are also a popular hotspot for the wealthy to live or to have second homes. Consequently, the Caribbean provides an exciting opportunity for property investors, with wealthy locations such as the Bahamas providing a particular source of interest.

The opportunities for property investment in the Caribbean are many and varied. The most popular properties are those which cater for tourists, being that this is the most common widely sought after type of property.

With a booming tourist industry, the decision to invest in tourist properties has proven to be a profitable and wise choice for many investors, and continues to bring excellent returns. Tourist property developments are continuing to appear, bringing an increasing stream of investment opportunities in this sector.

Alongside tourist properties such as hotels and holiday homes, commercial properties for sale in the Caribbean are also a sound investment choice in places with high volumes of tourists. Where people travel, they spend money in bars, restaurants and nightlife, so this can be an alternative way for investors to tap into the profitable potential of the Caribbean islands.

Alongside tourist properties, residential investment opportunities are also available, with strong economies meaning that people are able to buy or rent housing in pretty large quantities, which in turn means that demand is always there for such properties.

Luxury residential properties are another veritable goldmine, with many wealthy people seeing the Caribbean as a great place to live or to have a second home. Because of its stunning scenery and beautiful climate, the Caribbean is an attractive place to live for some, if not all, of the year. Overseas property investment can therefore also be a very profitable decision.

It is perhaps best to focus attention on the islands with the strongest economies, such as the Bahamas. These are very popular with tourists and can lead to many profitable opportunities in terms of tourist accommodation, residential property and commercial buildings.

Whilst the Caribbean offers some excellent opportunities for investment, it is worth remembering that laws, customs and values can differ widely between each of the different islands. Best practice would perhaps be to ensure that you acknowledge the local customs by enlisting the help of a local expert to assist in any purchases or dealings.

Nueva Andalucia Rises From The Shadow Of Marbella

Nueva Andalucia Rises From The Shadow Of Marbella

 Overseas Property In The Spotlight

Perfectly located just ten minutes from the famous Spanish resort town of Puerto Banus, Nueva in Andalucia has become increasingly popular with UK property investors looking to purchase a property in the Marbella region.

By day and by night, the area around the seafront has a varied choice of cafes, bars and restaurants, where visitors can sample some of the regions superb seafood, or simply enjoy a glass of wine and watch the world go by.

There are a number of older urbanisations throughout Nueva Andalucia, which consist of apartment blocks and town houses, all of which are very affordable.

The town’s coastal location, just over an hour in a car from the airport in Malaga, which has made it a popular destination for holidaymakers and foreign residents alike.

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Property Buyers Who Beat Stamp Duty Deadline Are Laughing All The Way To The Bank

Property Buyers Who Beat Stamp Duty Deadline Are Laughing All The Way To The Bank

Her Majesties Revenue and Customs (HMRC) have reported that there were 466,000 home sales in the first six months of 2012.

The data released by HMRC shows that there were 10% more residential property sales, in the first 3 months of the year, than in the same period of 2011 when there were 425,000 residential property sales, and 2% higher than in the second half of 2011 when there were 458,000 residential property sales.

The increase in residential property sales had been widely attributed to the end of the stamp duty holiday in March 2012, and now the HMRC data has confirmed it.

Until the end of March this year, first-time buyers purchasing property under £250,000 were not required pay the stamp duty tax.

The residential property sales figures support the HMRC data, with sales dipping 11% between the first and second quarter of the year.

Many property pundits had predicted a flurry of activity from first-time buyers before the end of the stamp duty holiday in March, but the increase in the amount of First Time Buyers taking positive action and purchasing property was greater than many expected.

The notable increase in prospective first-time buyers in the first three months of this year, eased drastically following the closing date for the stamp duty holiday and now residential property sales interest from first time buyers has waned compared to 10 years ago due to the lack of affordable mortgage finance available to them and the large amount of money needed to be able to put down a deposit on residential property, often up to 50% of the property’s purchase price.

First Time Buyers, who have finance in place, are like property investors, they want to put their money in and invest in property regardless of stamp duty or any other form of tax.

It’s almost as if they know that there is money to be made from property

A leading mortgage lender has stated that on average UK residential property values are now 1.5% lower than a year ago. 

Average property prices in the UK slipped to £165,738 (GBP) down by 0.6% in June this year, compared with May 2012.

Robert Gardner, Nationwide Chief Economist, said: “The slightly weaker trend we’ve observed since March is unsurprising, given the difficult economic backdrop, with the UK economy dipping back into recession at the start of the year and few signs of a near-term rebound. Part of the weakness in property prices may also relate to the ending of the Stamp Duty holiday in March. However, the outlook for UK house prices remains highly uncertain.”

The perceived drop in property values is good news for property investors who negotiate directly with distressed property vendors, allowing them to ease the property owners financial burdens without breaking the bank.

Nationwide also estimate that over 200,000 First-Time Buyers (FTBs) saved around £1,800 each reaping maximum benefit from the Stamp Duty break. 

Popular property portal – Rightmove reckon first-time buyers are ‘surprisingly’ upbeat and that there are now more prospective first-time buyers than at any time over the last three years, with almost three in ten people expecting to buy property in the next 12 months.

However, the biggest concern for 33% is about raising a deposit, although this proportion is down from 42% a year ago.

Miles Shipside, director of Rightmove, said: “The results come as a welcome surprise, and hopefully, this three-year high in intending first-time buyers will come to fruition. It seems that some five years into the property market downturn, more people are beginning to get their heads and wallets around the new rules of first-time home ownership, though they still face some testing challenges.”

Residential property prices across the UK slumped in April, according to the latest Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) housing market survey.

Across the UK, 19% more chartered surveyors reported property valuation falls rather than rises in house prices.

Expectations for future residential property prices also reached their lowest point with a net balance of 17% more respondents predicting further drops.

Demand from potential buyers was relatively flat during April 2012 as 5% more surveyors reported increases rather than decreases in new buyer enquiries (from +10% in March).

Meanwhile new instructions were stable as 1% more respondents reported falls rather than rises in new residential properties coming up for sale. Whilst the trend may appear flat, the level of supply has not seen any significant drops since July 2011.

April’s property transaction levels entered negative territory for the first time since September 2011, as 6% more RICS surveyors across the UK reported decreases rather than increases in transaction levels.

London was the only part of the UK to observe a residential property prices rise, while the West Midlands and Wales saw the most significant declines.

Whilst the RICS predictions for future property prices saw a notable dip, expectations for transaction levels once again remained positive with a net balance of +15% more respondents expecting sales to rise over the coming three months.

Global Director for Residential Property at RICS, Peter Bolton King, says: “With the recent surge in activity brought on by March’s stamp duty holiday coming to an end, it is unsurprising to see that prices across much of the country are continuing to fall. Renewed concerns over the economy and talk of a double dip recession dominating the headlines in recent weeks may well have served to undermine consumer confidence. What’s more, the continuing lack of affordable mortgage finance is still hindering many first time buyers who cannot afford to get a foot on the property ladder.”

UK Residential Property Prices Slip Again

UK Residential Property Prices Slip Again

New research by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has revealed that the revival of the UK residential property market has apparently run out of steam following the end of the stamp duty holiday for first-time buyers in March this year.

The RICS report found that 19% more chartered surveyors observed residential property price decreases than increases in April 2012 and 17% of them predicted further slippage of UK residential property prices in the near future.

6% of chartered surveyors also reported a drop in residential property sales as opposed to a rise, the first time this has happened since September 2011.

Peter Bolton King, Housing spokesman for RICS, stated that the results of the research are far from surprising: “With the recent surge in activity brought on by March’s stamp duty holiday coming to an end, it is unsurprising to see that prices across much of the country are continuing to fall”.

Many of the negative forecasts for UK residential property in the near future are based on the fact that many of property sales would ordinarily have happened throughout the year, but the scramble to push through deals and invest in property before the end of the stamp duty holiday in March has seriously affected the annual pattern of residential property sales.

With UK residential property prices on the slide once again it is time for property investors to keep the market afloat whilst snapping up property bargains across the country. Wales and the West Midlands have experience the largest drops in residential property values, so these areas could see heavy interest from investors.

The Halifax have revealed that the end of the stamp duty holiday and a rise in first-time buyers rushing to jump on the property ladder, helped push up UK residential property values by 2.2% in March.

The lender said property values averaged £163,803 in March 2012

The average residential property value was 2.2% higher than in February but still 0.1% lower on a quarter-by-quarter basis and 0.6% down on 2011 property values.

Halifax housing economist, Martin Ellis, said: “Efforts by first-time buyers to beat the expiry of the stamp duty holiday at the end of March have probably increased sales in recent months and may have helped to support prices.”

Research by the bank revealed that around 4 in 10 first-time buyers benefited from the stamp duty concession before the threshold for stamp duty fell from £250,000 to £125,000 at the end of March 2012.

The HMRC have confirmed the number of residential property sales in January and February was 14% higher than in the same period of 2011, its highest level since 2009.

Mortgage approvals, residential property sales and first time buyer numbers increase

Is the UK property market making a comeback?

January figures from a variety of trusted and respected sources offer a major boost for the UK property market as mortgage approvals, first time buyer numbers and residential property sales all increased during January.

Data gathered from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML), British Bankers’ Association (BBA), National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) and HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is viewed as a major boost to the UK property market.

UK property buyers have been taking advantage of the two-year stamp duty exemption due to end in March 2012, with the number of First-Time Buyers (FTB’s) registering with estate agents also being the highest since May 2011.

The British Bankers’ Association (BBA) say that, 38,092 applications were approved in January, 34% up on the same time last year, and the highest figure seen in two years.

The National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) figures show that 23% of overall property sales in January were made to First-Time Buyers, a rise from 21% in December, marking the third consecutive monthly increase.

Mortgage lenders have claimed that one of the driving forces behind the increase in activity has been the imminent end of the two-year stamp duty holiday for first-time buyers.

The Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) reported that the £10.5 Billion (GBP) loaned in the form of mortgages during January 2012 was the sixth month in a row that the year-on-year figure has risen, and overall mortgage lending in January was up 10% on a year ago.

Despite general consumer caution around borrowing, first-time buyers have flocked to get on the property ladder, showing stamp duty was a major deterrant.

NAEA President, Wendy Evans-Scott, said: “The figures suggest that stamp duty is a key factor for those on tight budgets who are considering a property investment”.

Overall residential sales across the UK property market increased from 5% per branch in December to 6% in January.

The number of residential properties sold in the UK was 12,000 up on January 2011 and also at its highest level for four years.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) figures showed that a total of 64,000 property transactions went through during January, up on the 52,000 deals in January 2011 and the best start to a year since 2008’s tally of 79,000.

David Dooks, BBA statistics director, said: “January saw the high street banks approve more mortgages for house purchase than of late, despite low household confidence, as some people try to complete transactions before the stamp duty holiday ends in March.”

All in all, this is great news for the UK property market and a warning sign to property investors that they are no longer the only people buying property.

UK Bailiffs Christmas Holidays

UK Bailiff Seasonal Amnesty

A seasonal reminder to landlords and letting agents that Bailiff Amnesty’s will begin around 12th December 2011 to the 9th January 2011. Please check your local County Court for more details.

 The amnesty, which is not widely publicised, is implemented due to local authority offices, solicitors, courts and housing welfare organisations festive holiday closures.

Unfortunately for landlords, the festive season of good cheer can be one of the costliest periods due to an increase in rent arrears, especially from LHA tenants.

 Up to the end of 2010, there were 995,000 LHA tenancies and rent arrears in this sector were thought to be in excess of £290 Million (GBP).

This year research indicates that there are now over 1Million LHA tenancies and with more changes to the Government’s Welfare Reform Bill due to be implemented on 1st January 2012, rent arrears are expected to increase further.

 Landlords are urged to act fast when dealing with defaulting tenants, especially at Christmas as courts experience backlogs of paperwork and hearings in the New Year.

Speak to your local office now or call our free phone help line – 0800 840 7133

 Legal 4 Landlords Eviction and Rent Recovery Services

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