Real estate and immigration: the most significant events of the week

As numerous studies conducted by real estate agencies and large companies show, the new construction boom that began in 2021 is showing signs of weakening. Among the countries where housing is extremely popular, a stable price increase of 4.5-11% is observed only in the USA, Portugal, UAE (Dubai), Germany, UK, Latvia and Greece. The undisputed leader in this regard is Turkey, where they grew by almost a third over the year.

IN Turkey The largest foreign buyers of residential real estate continue to be Russians, who purchased 1,275 properties last May. They are followed by citizens of Iran and Iraq – 736 and 617 objects, respectively. Over the year, home sales to foreigners increased by almost 240%, but their share of the Turkish real estate market is not very significant – less than 5%. Most often, citizens of other countries buy apartments and houses in Istanbul, Antalya and Mersin.

The interest of foreigners in real estate in Turkey may decrease markedly if the country cancels the Citizenship by Investment program, which the local bar has already asked for. Since 2018, when this program was introduced, almost 20 thousand people have received a Turkish passport in this way. So far, for applicants, the minimum cost of real estate has been increased – from 250 to 450 thousand US dollars, and for those wishing to obtain a residence permit in Turkey, restrictions will be introduced in certain regions of the country from July 1 (foreigners should be no more than 20% of the total number of residents).

In the emirate Dubai the growth in real estate prices does not look as impressive as in Turkey – by 10.9% year on year, but sales volume has reached its highest level since May 2009 (over 5,500 transactions). Prices – both for apartments and villas – are still far from their peak values, but interest from foreign investors continues to grow, and it is possible that next year they will come close to the maximum or even exceed it.

Annual increase in housing prices in Greece amounted to 8.6%, and it was most significant in Athens (9.7%) and Thessaloniki (8.3%). For other large cities of the country, this figure was 8.2%, while in other regions of the country it was recorded at 6.4%. At the same time, prices for properties in new buildings grew more than for secondary housing – 10.3% versus 7.4%.

On Cyprus, where Russians are also among the main buyers of real estate, demand for housing has sharply increased in Paphos and Limassol, which is associated with the lifting of restrictions in force during the Covid-19 pandemic. Currently, citizens of Great Britain, Israel and Germany are driving the local market, although Russians are also showing increased interest in the west coast of the island.

Unlike Cyprus in Portugal The Golden Visa program continues to operate, although from February 2022 its effect does not temporarily apply to Russians. In their absence, the main recipients of residence permits in Portugal under this program were the Chinese, Americans and Brazilians. The total volume of investments made by foreigners in May amounted to 58.3 million euros, which is almost twice as much as a year earlier.

For those who are planning to buy real estate in Germany, it should be borne in mind that the government of this country plans to ban cash transactions. In this way, the German authorities want to prevent money laundering and other financial crimes. It is expected that the corresponding report and package of proposals will be prepared in August of this year.

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