predictions for 2009
Kevin Brass in
Asia real estate,
Caribbean real estate,
Spain real estate,
world the property industry is preparing for
rough seas, clamping down budgets and
In many ways, 2009
will be “a deeply unpleasant year,” the
Global Property Guide forecasts in its
annual report, a
fairly typical example of industry
projections. A review of 2009 forecasts
finds pessimism running rampant, with many
prognosticators seeing 2009 as even worse
“2008 was the year
that subprime borrowers and speculators got
hurt by the real estate crisis. 2009 could
be when everyone else gets hit,” a
Business Week analysis
goes on. Investors are still hunting for
deals; construction and sales continue.
Markets like Latin America and Middle East
may even grow in the year ahead.
Roof” wades in with its own predictions for
2009, from intriguing markets to the trends
that may impact the industry.
the speculator: Ah, who will forget the
good old days when investors would get on
the phone and buy two or three units they
had never seen, knowing they could flip them
in a couple of years. That buyer sleeps with
rule: There’s never been a better time
to be a bottom feeder. Deals are available
around the world for investors willing to
pick through the remains. The good news:
Vulture activity suggests a market is
bottoming out. The bad news: What happens a
year from now when the vultures put that
property back on the market and look to
quickly cash out?
the Americans: The dollar is gaining
strength, making the world a more affordable
place for U.S. buyers. Suddenly that Tuscan
farmhouse looks a lot more appealing to Joe
and Martha from Iowa, thanks to the drop in
shoppers: Real estate is the new blue
chip investment. Already developers say
investors are looking for places to stash
their money outside stocks and banks, making
overseas property an attractive alternative,
especially for mid-range buyers seeking a
long term way to diversify their portfolios.
-Off plan is
no plan: Convincing people to buy in
pre-construction is almost impossible these
days, developers say. Few buyers are willing
to put money down until they see a finished
product, especially skeptical Americans.
In: Conventional wisdom suggests
eco-policies will take a back seat in tough
economic times. But the election of Pres.
Barack Obama will likely bring the United
States into global discussions, fueling new
technologies and a renewed eagerness (and
requirement) for eco-friendly development
among conscientious buyers and
Europe slowdown: The high fliers of the
last few years will likely slow, as Western
buyers grow more skittish. At the same time
a wave of new developments started three
years ago at the height of the market in
countries like Bulgaria and Romania will
come on line, creating a glut of supply of
dollars in North America: China and
Korea have relaxed restrictions on overseas
investments, creating a new generation of
Asian buyers. “Safe” markets like the U.S.
and Canada may be among the main
Markets to watch:
A new law going into effect in February
will make it easier for EU residents to
buy property. There’s already an
established tourism market and the war
is fading into memory.
Of the established Caribbean islands,
the D.R. is the one still growing.
International money continues to flow
from both the U.S. and Europe.
Infrastructure is improving on many
islands. Prices have soared around the
world, making the South Pacific a little
less outrageous, compared to other
markets. And it’s still the postcard for
Not for the budget traveler, but it’s
still a relatively young second home
market. Tight controls on development
should aid long term value.
The tower market in Panama City may be
dicey, but there are still miles of
beaches and unspoiled mountain retreats
awaiting adventurous buyers. And the
infrastructure is miles ahead of some of
the other Central American destinations.
Big money from around the world
continues to flow into the country. For
buyers willing to overlook the crime and
volatile economy, it’s still the place
to buy a large piece of pristine land.
Kevin Brass travels the world
reporting on tempting locations,
unusual homes and hot markets. His
home-buying experience began in
Southern California, where he
managed to completely miss the real
estate boom. He now lives with his
wife, Lietza, in an oddly
Tudor-style two-story house with
canyon views in the suburbs of
Austin, Texas. The key selling point
was a screened porch, a special
treat for their two cats.
Unfortunately, only one has figured
out the mechanics of the kitty door.
He is a longtime contributor to the
Properties section of the
International Herald Tribune, The
New York Times, Los Angeles Times,
People, NWA World Traveler and a
wide variety of other publications.
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so that we can personally discuss
how we can assist in your Dominican Republic
real estate purchase.