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GLOBAL PROPERTY REVIEW - 10 December 2018

December 11, 2018

CAIRO

 

There are few major global cities that have more of a dramatic collision of urgent need and ambitious plans than the Egyptian capital. In turn, the contours of the city keep expanding. 

 

The government plans to ease congestion and provide for low income families with its plan to build one million units. Around 150,000 have been delivered so far, according to Reuters research, with around 2450,000 to be realised over the next five years. 

 

The report was bearish, however, as to whether the units would reflect the budget of the target buyers. But infrastructure projects for highways and streets are in evidence in creating these new communities. 

 

Residences outside Cairo from private developers are now a mature story, with the likes of Mountain View creating Dubai style building apartments, villas and townhouses, laced with amenities and greenery. The UAE’s Arabtec extended its workload in the country when it was chosen as lead builder for Uptown Cairo earlier this year.

 

The close of 2017 saw a more stable environment for real estate in Egypt as the pound returns from its steep devaluation. The asset class is trusted as an investment over the stock market, and the repatriated cash from citizens living abroad - estimated at $5 billion - adds to the buyer mix, even as inflation is north of 20 per cent. 

 

Propertyfinder Egypt reported a 133 per cent rise in listings on its online portal this year (just over 108,000) compared to 2017, partly as a result of the completion of new developments, such as in New Administrative Capital and Future City. New developments down near Suez add to the evolution. During Q2, 3,100 units completed in Cairo, JLL found.

 

 

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HANOI

 

This year has been a productive one in putting Vietnam’s second biggest city on the global map.

 

The city has a sizeable expatriate population, from locations as diverse as South Korea and Russia. A survey by HSBC Vietnam found that almost one-third of residents said they were looking to purchase property in the city.

 

It’s now three years since foreigners were allowed to buy property outright in the country. The change aimed to boost not just real estate but related industries such as retail and tourism. The northern and western areas of the city - such as My Dinh -are popular with those seeking high-end city centre apartments, given their proximity to businesses and embassies and attractions such as the National Sports Complex.

 

Even before the rule change, the city was quietly growing in appeal for those in the region. CBRE figures show that luxury apartments rose 50 per cent in price in ten years up to 2016 - which remarkably is modest compared to bigger Asian city hubs. Executives speaking to the South China Morning Post said prices were still half those in Bangkok. 

 

Demand continued to rise this year, spawning new companies such as Vinhomes Metropolis, a ritzy new high rise development complex in Ba Dinh that features greenery and a focus on wellness. Building on the other side of the Nhut Tan Bridge also hints at the hunger among developers for that ‘next’ area to take off.

 

The economic backdrop is also attractive for business owners when comparing the city to over-cooked cities further East. The economy grew 6.8 per cent last year (World Bank), and despite its manufacturing base, still relies on foreign capital to integrate further info the global market. 

 

 

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NAPLES, FLORIDA

 

While Florida overall is a destination for retirement for millions - American citizens and others - due to the weather and tax environment, it’s certainly a dynamic state once inside. 

 

The property market in Naples, deep in the southwest in Collier County, has enjoyed a steady 2018 as transactions increased since last year, adding to the gains seen in 2017. After a modest start to the year, sales in April rose 23 per cent against the same month last year, with May jump 8.3 per cent. This may partly down to the decrease in inventory witnessed last year compared to 2016 - down 8 per cent, according to Real Estate Scorecard. Luxury homes of more than $1 million were up 14 per cent last year, adding to the sense of momentum and demand. 

 

Tighter lending policies among the banks mean that the quality of buyer may have been enhanced. Indeed, brokers encourage getting a pre-approval letter (rather than pre-qualification) from a lender should a price war erupt.

 

Commentators such as Denny Grimes & Co. have highlighted the lower average price point this year compared to last. In summary, condominiums under $300,000 are by far shifting the fastest of all price categories, indicating too that sellers have conformed to buyer expectations if a deal is going to happen.

 

This modest price bracket is distinct from the boom period 13 years ago when most price points were switching hands apace. It’s perhaps all the more remarkable since Naples has developed at least in part as a haven for American millionaires. On the other hand, prices are generally rising, up to a median price of $250,000 for the first time since 2005. 

 

 

 

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