Have you ever thought about investing in Eastern Europe ?
Immediately you will think of Bulgaria, Albania,Montenegro or maybe Bucharest.
Well if you had put money into Bulgaria you would probably be cursing yourself now as the market has screeched to a halt with hundreds of empty new ski chalets that have flooded the market.
Albania certainly has the prospect to grow however you would need to be extremely careful with the amount of organised crime in this country. You can read more here.
Bucharest in Romania again is an up and coming investment but only if you want to let your property on a long term basis to local residents. Residents generally have a long term plan of moving out of the city and building their own properties.
Now.. Have you ever considered Croatia?
OK. There have been big gains made here already but I still believe there are significant profits to be made going forward if you treat this as a long term investment.
I say this after a personal experience of buying a property in Croatia prior to the UK credit crunch.
Croatia’s government has a policy that prevents new houses from being built within 50 metres of the sea. This keeps the landscape looking just like it has done for over 50 years like the south of France before it was ruined by developers. I believe therefore that Croatia will become the new South of France.
Something that has surprised me is the resilience of the countries coastal properties during the global crunch. The prices havent dipped over this period yet UK prices have fallen sharply. In fact with the Pound falling the prices of property have actually increased. This is good news for investors. The prices in Croatia are still extremely attractive with stone houses available from around £70,000. Dont get me wrong the Country will be impacted by the credit crunch. It just wont have as much of an impact on the housing market. The majority of Croatians inherit their properties from their families so are often living mortgage free.
There has also been revived interest in the country with visits to the region in 2007 by a place in the sun film crew over the summer of 2008. I believe this will be televised in early 2009.
A review of the good road and air links means that Croatia is a very attractive holiday destination especially with Germans, Polish, Austrians and French. The British tourists have also been steadily growing with flights into several airports via budget airlines such as EasyJet and Ryanair.
There have been 2 further announcements this year (2009) regarding new flight routes into the Country. New route announcements like this during the credit crunch show confidence in the region. You can read more about these over at the croatia property forum here.
With Croatia expected to join the EU in 2010/2011 this will push property prices up in the region of 30%.
Croatia also caters for the rich and famous with cruise ships stopping in Split, Dubrovnik and many of the beautiful islands.
Starting in February this year (2009) foreign nationals will be able to buy property in Croatia under exactly the same conditions as nationals. This will increase investment in the country even further.
As a long term punt I believe that Croatia will become the new South of France and flourish with the tourists numbers returning to the same levels they were when the countries fell under Yugoslavia . There will be the opportunity for growth in terms of house prices as well as from rental income from foreigners looking for accommodation in the coastal regions.
We will see what the future holds.
If you have any further queries and would like to discuss the options available further then please head over to the croatia property forum here.