London, New York and the French Riviera remain perennially popular as overseas property investments for UHNWs but there are emerging hotspots set to entice affluent buyers in 2024, according to Sotheby’s International Realty.
The 2024 Luxury Outlook report identifies Australia, Mexico, Saudi Arabia and Turkey as four of the countries set to experience growth over the coming months, driven by factors including currency fluctuations, policy changes and shifting property values.
The best overseas property investments in 2024
Australia: sun, sea and economic stability
Where to buy: Gold Coast, Port Douglas, the Whitsundays Islands
Ultra-high-net-worth investors from around the globe who own property in Sydney and Melbourne often choose to buy a second home in one of the vacation destinations in Queensland, says Paul Arthur, CEO, Queensland Sotheby’s International Realty.
‘Australia fared well during the pandemic and is considered a safe haven for buyers because of the stability of our economy and the Australian dollar,’ Arthur says. The world-renowned climate and lifestyle benefits is also a huge appeal.
‘There’s plenty of new development on the Gold Coast, with about 15 to 20 per cent of buyers from Asia, especially Singapore, Hong Kong, and China,’ says Arthur. Australians and Australian expats are also investing in the region.
The shift towards flexible working means UHNWs can also spend longer enjoying their properties in Queensland.
This increased demand for these overseas property investments has driven up prices. Values in the Gold Coast have almost doubled over the past three years.
Mexico: a hub for international culture vultures
Where to buy: Mexico City, Oaxaca, Riviera Maya
Rich in cultural and history, Mexico has long been a favourite of Americans and Canadians, drawn by the lifestyle and its proximity to the US. But now Mexico City is attracting people from all over the world seeking a slice of its art, archaeology and acclaimed restaurants.
More Americans and British families are buying family homes in the city, says Laura de la Torre de Skipsey, of Mexico Sotheby’s International Realty says.
Many choose the neighbourhood of Las Lomas as that is where many of the international schools are located.
‘People looking for nightlife and the city lifestyle are drawn to Condesa and Roma, which are already expensive and well-known,’ de la Torre de Skipsey adds.
The neighborhoods of Colonia and Polanca are also popular, especially the new Rubén Darío 225 tower, which has US$4 million to US$10 million apartments with room-sized terraces overlooking the city.
Away from the city, Europeans and Americans are investing in property in the resort communities of Oaxaca, Escondido, Puerto Vallarta, and Riviera Maya.
‘Five years ago, our market wasn’t anything like this, but now North Americans and Europeans are recognising the value they can get investing in Mexico, along with the culture,’ de la Torre de Skipsey says.
‘This is only the beginning of the growth of the luxury market here.’
Saudi Arabia: change in legislation is the key to the kingdom
Where to buy: invest in the future
A change in the law is likely to open up Saudi Arabia as a key real estate hotspot, Sotheby’s International Realty predicts.
Currently, only Saudis can buy and sell properties in the kingdom, but that is about to change with new regulations that will allow foreign investment in real estate.
‘This law will be a huge turning point for luxury real estate here. It will be the final piece of the puzzle and encourage more development,’ says Erick Knaider, managing partner, Saudi Arabia Sotheby’s International Realty.
Saudi Arabia’s real estate market stands on the cusp of change, but it will take a while for the market to catch up with the new regulations. As a result of the lack of foreign investment, there are few luxury developments in the kingdom.
‘We need to build luxury residential communities with the amenities people want, such as a swimming pool, basketball courts, and a town centre shopping area,’ Knaider says.
‘Nothing like that exists yet, so we are optimistic that this represents an enormous opportunity for investors.’
Turkey: cosmopolitan enclaves and the promise of citizenship
Where to buy: A waterfront mansion on the Bosporus
Standing at the crossroads of Asia, the Middle East and Europe, Turkey draws a rich cosmopolitan crowd, notes Can Turkan, CEO, Türkiye Sotheby’s International Realty.
The depreciation of the Turkish lira over the past three years has also driven demand from the Middle East and Europe.
‘High-net-worth individuals from Russia and Ukraine continue to buy property here and, as usual, we have many buyers from Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and Lebanon who purchase homes in Turkey because they like that we are a Muslim country and a modern country,’ notes Turkan.
Foreign buyers who purchase US$400,000 worth of property in Turkey are eligible for Turkish citizenship, which Turkan says has attracted wealthy people from Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Iran seeking greater economic and political stability.
Straddling east and west, Istanbul is a particular draw, with waterfront mansions on either side of the Bosporus going for between S$10 million and US$300 million. These properties are in demand due to their enviable position and also for the huge investment potential.
‘No one can build along the Bosporus anymore, so these properties are like investing in gold and will only increase in value,’ Turkan says.
HNWs investors looking for a luxury holiday residence are also seeking homes away from the city. The resort area of Bodrum on the Aegean in Southern Turkey, where branded residences such as the Mandarin Oriental, the Four Seasons, and the Ritz-Carlton line the waterfront, attracts an international crowd.
‘Bodrum is similar to the Côte d’Azur and the Greek islands,’ Turkan says. ‘It attracts an international crowd including Americans who bring their yachts there. US buyers are rare, but we see a few. We’re also seeing more Latin American luxury buyers from Colombia and Venezuela.’