Revealed In Orlando: Four Top Global Property Plays
Back in the office in Panama City after a week in Orlando for our Fifth Annual Retire Overseas Conference, I think I speak for the entire Live and Invest Overseas staff when I say: What a week it’s been.
Over the four days of the event, we considered and discussed many dozens of appealing ideas and advantages not only to do with reinventing your life in a new country but also related to buying and profiting from real estate overseas. In the context of investing in foreign property markets, four current opportunities, each presented in detail by boots-on-the-ground experts during this week’s meetings in Orlando, stand out:
In Medellín, Colombia
We’ve been recommending Medellín for property investment for more than seven years, but the current opportunity in this pretty, pleasant, Euro-chic city is bigger than ever. Your U.S. dollars buy more Colombian pesos today than they have in more than a dozen years. The dramatic currency depreciation amounts to a do-over. Wish you’d taken our advice six or seven years ago and invested when we first told you you should? This is your chance.
Our top real estate resource in Medellín reports that his business is booming. His agency sold more properties in August than in the entire previous year combined. Anyone who has been sitting on the fence waiting for the right time to pull the trigger on this market is acting right now. You should think about it, too.
This week in Orlando, both our preferred real estate agent and our recommended attorney from this country were among the more than 70 speakers on hand. Together, they laid out the current opportunity to buy on this currency dip and position yourself in one of our favorite markets. We’re more bullish on Colombia than ever.
In Algarve, Portugal
Portugal’s Algarve coast took top honors in our Retire Overseas Index this year. That is, we’ve named the Algarve as the world’s top retirement haven for 2015.
This beautiful, sunny coast is also one of the world’s most appealing property investment markets right now. Property values across Portugal took a nose-dive post-2008 but have settled. This is your chance to buy at the bottom.
Even better, if you’re shopping with U.S. dollars, this is your chance to buy at the bottom while also taking advantage of a 12-year currency high.
If you’re interested in the idea of retirement in the Algarve, this would be the time to buy an ocean-view apartment or beachfront home, even if you’re not planning to retire for years. Use the place for vacations in the meantime, rent it out when you’re not in residence yourself (this coast enjoys a healthy rentals market), then, when you’re ready to flip the switch to retirement, your very own Portugal pied-à-terrewould be ready and waiting for you. It’s a strategy for what could amount to a rent-free retirement (and one that makes sense right now not only in Portugal but, thanks to the roaring U.S. dollar, across euro-land).
On the Azuero Sunset Coast, Panama
At this week’s conference, Los Islotes (full disclosure: this is Lief and my development property on Panama’s western Azuero Coast) announced its first ready-built houses. These two-bedroom, two-bath homes have been designed for the retiree who wants a no-hassle option for becoming part of the Los Islotes community.
The houses start at US$214,000, and, as an owner, you have full access to all amenities, including Los Islotes’ two beaches. Los Islotes is the only master-planned community on this coast of Panama and is beginning to attract a lot of attention. For Lief and me, this is a lifetime, legacy undertaking. We’ve begun construction of our own home on the property, where we plan to spend part of our own retirement (and many family holidays in the meantime).
You can request more information on these new Los Islotes casas here. Right now the plan is to build only five, which are expected to sell quickly.
On Ambergris Caye, Belize
I visited Ambergris Caye, Belize, for the first time 29 years ago. It was love at first sight. I’ve returned dozens of times since and have enjoyed watching this lovely little Caribbean island grow up. I’ve long dreamed of a place of my own on a sandy Ambergris beach, but no particular property ever motivated me to act.
This week in Orlando I saw the plans for a new project on Ambergris that may fit the bill. Positioned directly on the ocean and within easy walking distance of San Pedro Town, this new hotel and condo complex will be built in the British-colonial style. That got my attention.
Lief is in the process of negotiating with the developer, trying to get a special, limited-inventory offer for our readers. (Again, full disclosure: If we come to terms, we’ll probably buy a unit for ourselves.) In addition, if Lief is able to negotiate the terms he’s after, the offer will go to readers of his Global Property Investor’s Marketwatch first… probably next week.