Five stories making global property headlines:
Chinese buyers head to Athens
Chinese investors are helping to drive a gradual recovery in the Greek capital’s housing market, lured by low property prices and a “golden visa” scheme offering residency in return for real estate investment. A Reuters report, published in the New York Times, found property prices in Athens were up 0.8 per cent year on year in the second quarter of 2018. Foreign direct investment in property leapt 91 per cent in 2017 on the previous year, to €287m.
Singapore top for prime market growth
Prime residential prices in Singapore rose 13 per cent in a year in the third quarter of 2018, driven by limited availability and a strong market outlook in the first half of the year. Singapore Business Review covered a Knight Frank report, which found Singapore had the strongest growth rate of 43 global cities. The price of a luxury property increased by 2.7 per cent on average across all the cities tracked — the weakest performance for almost six years.
End to UK tax relief for ‘accidental’ landlords
Proposed changes to property tax in the UK will hit “accidental” landlords who rent out their home after failing to sell it, analysts have warned. Currently, landlords who at some point lived in the property they rent out gain relief from capital gains tax when they sell. But, covering proposed changes unveiled in the recent Budget, the FT reported that, from April 2020, lettings relief will only apply when an owner is sharing occupancy of their home with the tenant.
UAE passport among best for access
The United Arab Emirates passport has become the fourth most powerful in the world for ease of travel across borders. The UAE is ranked alongside Hungary and the Czech Republic, and ahead of the likes of Australia, New Zealand and Iceland. The National reported on a new index by the financial advisory firm Arton Capital, which specialises in investor programmes for residence and citizenship. It ranks national passports according to the cross-border access they bring, giving them a “visa-free score”. Singapore and Germany boast the most powerful passports.
All the single ladies in America . . .
Single women were the second-largest group of buyers in the US housing market this year, according to a report from the National Association of Realtors. USA Today reported that single women made up 18 per cent of buyers, double the figure of 9 per cent for single men. Married couples accounted for the largest market share, at 63 per cent.
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