There is certainly a lot of economic and financial uncertainty in the air as we start 2017, and a lot of it is global in scale. This is leading many investors to ask which locations around the world will be the places to put their money on in the year ahead. With nobody able to confidently predict which direction things like Brexit and the Trump presidency will lead the world to take, it is hard to be sure whether predictions once made in confidence are still likely to hold true.
All that being said, the current situation may be difficult to interpret, but it is not impenetrable. There are still indications of which areas are most likely to emerge as the best-performing locations for international investors over the course of 2017.
Two of the key locations in Europe are Spain and France. These two countries are currently receiving comparable levels of interest from investors, and indeed have certain key trends in common. Both these countries are in a strong position to succeed as investment destinations over the coming months, and both are places in which higher-end properties are currently receiving the lion's share of demand.
This mostly means prime properties for sale in Spain in popular coastal spots, whereas in France it applies both to the sunny South-of-France coast and to popular ski resorts. Spain is currently undergoing a recovery after a serious decline in values during and after the global downturn, so the potential for capital appreciation as this recovery continues is a key attraction for many investors. France offers the possibility of higher loan-to-value ratios, with up to 85% available whereas in Spain the ceiling is at 70%.
Dubai is seldom far from investors' minds, and with the emirate believed to be heading towards recovery from a relatively mild correction many are wondering whether this might be the time to take a renewed interest. The build-up to Expo 2020 certainly makes Dubai property investments interesting place right now, but rental returns are low due to an over-abundance of accommodation to rent. Lending in Dubai is also rather tight. On some new developments you may not get more than 50% loan to value, and the best you will get on existing properties is 70%.
Australia and New Zealand retain a steady following of international property investors, and indications are that both countries will continue to justify the following through 2017. Both remain popular destinations for retirees from a broad portfolio of other nations, and properties that appeal to this crowd often represent the choice investment opportunities.
Despite being the centre of a major source of economic and financial uncertainty – the controversial presidency of Donald Trump – the USA still shows considerable promise in key locations such as New York, Florida, and California. However, exchange rate fluctuations have understandably put off many buyers or even locked them out entirely, particularly those in the UK after the Brexit vote caused the value of the pound to tumble. The USA does remain popular with investors from regions that have been less hard-hit by currency movements, particularly the Middle and Far East.