International Property Services
There are many considerations when looking at purchasing international property as an investment. It’s important for us to get a sound understanding of what our client is trying to achieve through their investment, as well as what they are looking for in an international property. Through our international property services we guide our clients through the purchase and ownership process with our team of select international partners and specialists, ideally placed in each country we market. We are able to take on all enquiries and requirements.
Our property portfolio currently consists of properties from the following countries: St Kitts & Nevis, Mauritius, Malta, USA, Portugal, Grenada, Greece, Dominica, Antigua & Barbuda, the UK and Cyprus.
Our services include, but are not limited to, the following comprehensive offerings:
We endeavour to make the international property ownership process as smooth as possible, taking into account all the property requirements that our clients might request of us, and meeting specific requirements that certain countries might present. We believe localised expert knowledge of the country that clients choose to invest in is crucial to the successful investment. That’s why we’ve very carefully chosen our international property partners for each country, together with all related service experts that our clients might need for long term success.
Key drivers for investing in international real estate
Many of our clients want to diversify their current property portfolios to include investments in the prime jurisdictions that we offer. They want to either diversify their specific property market exposure by disinvesting from their current country of residence and investing into different prime property destinations, or otherwise diversify into property from equities, and other similar asset classes, to create a more balanced portfolio. Generating cash flow in another currency – especially if it's within a country that has an appreciating currency - can be an added advantage to diversifying a property portfolio.
Another key driver is a good inflation hedge. Real Estate tends to be more secure than cash flow in another paper currency as it's a hard asset; it retains a value independent of any paper currency’s nominal value.
If overseas travel is a passion of yours, your real estate investment can double as a personal retreat, part-time residence, or vacation getaway. You can enjoy it while it’s appreciating in value, generating rental return and safeguarding your net worth.
Real estate’s flexible nature can be a driver to consider. With many different uses, a vacant plot of land can be used for agriculture or forestry, while they wait for the population and industry to grow.
Clients that apply for one of our residence and citizenship programmes are often required to invest in real-estate in order to comply with the application criteria. We ensure that we cover these jurisdictions, however, you often find that the property market in these jurisdictions itself is buoyed by their programmes of Residence and Citizenship. In uncertain economic times, drivers such as these programmes are often what keep the property market of that country outperforming the norm, and continuing their steady climb in capital appreciation.
What investment issues need to be considered when investing in international real estate?
Before considering investing in international real estate, clients need to know what the purpose of the purchase is. Generally it’s either for personal use or otherwise for investment purposes, and often both.
If the reason is to buy for personal use then all the emotional considerations come to the fore, such as: what’s the view like; how close is it to the sea; how picturesque is the building and surrounds; is the property private; what type of person lives nearby and who is your neighbour; what size are the rooms; what finishes are installed; etc.
If the reason is to buy for investment reasons then the personal consideration should be less important, and primary drivers for purchase should be capital appreciation as well as net rental yield off the property. Focus shifts to discount off market value when purchasing; potential value to be added; income streams; desirability to potential tenants; cost of purchasing and maintaining the property; positioning relevant to key tenant drivers, such as universities, tourist amenities, local industry, etc.
Often the best performing investment properties do not meet the same criteria as the ones bought for personal use. The biggest hurdle in advising property investors on their selection is getting them to remove their emotional decision-making considerations from the selection process. Remember, should the purpose of the property selection (investment or personal use) change and the property does not meet the new purpose, it’s generally very easy to sell the property and purchase a new one that does.
We help clients to define their intentions and assist in making the best property selection to suit their requirements.
Purpose of Investment
Factors to consider when purchasing an international real estate investment
Before clients think of investing in international real estate they need to ask themselves what the purpose of their purchase is. Generally it’s either for personal use or otherwise for investment purposes, and often both. From here, they can establish which countries are best suited to their investment requirements.
If it is personal use, then it is purely a case of clients deciding where they want or need to spend time, finding a property that suits their requirements, and then striking a good deal on the purchase. The decisions on these purchases are based on emotions and driven by a client’s personal consumption needs.
On the other hand, should the client be considering a property purchase for investment, the criteria that would impact on the decision process is usually very different. Many of our clients that purchase a property in a country to satisfy the Residence and Citizenship application criteria, and intend spending time in that property (i.e. personal use), end up purchasing more properties in that country as investment properties, as they are then close by in order to manage these investments themselves. The type of properties that suit their personal use criteria would not usually match up to their investment purchase analysis.
Clients that are applying for one of our residence and citizenship programmes are often also required to invest in real-estate in order to comply with the application criteria. We ensure that we cover these jurisdictions, however, one will often find that the property market in these jurisdictions itself is buoyed by their programmes of Residence and Citizenship. In uncertain economic times, drivers such as these programmes is often what will keep the property market of that country outperforming the norm and continuing their steady climb in capital appreciation.
It is often the same countries that offer these programmes, that have had to reinvent themselves in order to create a prosperous future for their citizens and their economies. This is often achieved through marketing their attractiveness for tourism and marketing their programmes aggressively – obviously the more desirable a destination the more successful this strategy is. Another key to unlocking growth in such countries is by developing themselves as financial service centres by creating a low tax jurisdiction, and making it attractive for individuals and corporates to make the country their new tax domicile.
We have found that the above high tourism interest, coupled with low tax benefits that such countries offer, will make purchasing in these property jurisdictions a very sound investment. There is often good capital growth potential as well as an attractive rental yield to be enjoyed.
While we have covered some traditional popular property investment destinations, we continue to expand our country offering to include the most attractive investment destinations we can find. We have tried to focus on investment property in each country we market, however, we are able to offer all properties that fall into these property jurisdictions: whether clients are looking for the latest development, the remote smallholding, or the villa on the sea’s edge, we’ll ensure that the best service is provided and the best property product available is received.
We will consult with each of our clients, benefitting them with our expertise in each country, giving clients the insight on which to make their decision.