Country houses for sale

International Property News: Feb 28

Travel and Property Team up

The budget airline Ryanair is branching out into estate agency. There has long been an association with air routes and property trends, and now the airline is teaming up with a property agent Majestic Worldwide to sell property on their behalf.

This follows Parador properties teaming up with the UK’s largest tour operator Thompson last year and sharing exhibition space and promoting each other.

New Build property in France on increase

VEF UK reports it sold 47% more new build property in France in 2005 than the previous year. It also transpires that 42% of the properties were bought to let. According to their latest report, new build took the larger share of spend than the resale market there.

Virgin Launch New Long Hall Flights

Heathrow to Mumbai ? Daily

Heathrow to Shanghai ? Seven Times per week

Heathrow to Dubai ? 4 days per week from March 27

Gatwick to Montego Bay (Mon & Wed from July 3)

Manchester to St Lucia (Nov 2006)

Leaseback Schemes in Demand

They seem a relatively recent phenomenon, but France introduced the sale and leaseback scheme in the 1970’s to encourage more privately owned rental property into their tourist destinations.

Buying the freehold of the property and then leasing it back to the management company, the owner can take anywhere up to 6 weeks for their own use and the rest of the year the management company lets the property, and the French government even refunds the VAT back in certain circumstances.

Ski resorts in France are proving most popular at present: Savills says it sold out a development in the Monchavin Ski resort within 2 weeks. Similar schemes are popular in Florida and even Thailand where Collier CRE are promoting their rental guarantee scheme in Thailand’s Hua Hin. Units are offered from £133,000 and the properties come with 6% guaranteed for 5 years. For more info, log onto

New York Bubble Failed to Burst

Yale economist Robert Shiller predicted a 50% drop in real estate prices during 2005 and The Economist was calling U.S real estate market, the biggest bubble in history. But to the contrary, Kirk Henckels of Striblings argues that New York has only lacked inventory over $5million, and that there were plenty of wealthy buyers and a healthy economy.

Similar to the UK market, it now seems the bubble is far from bursting, and the luxury property market has just levelled in New York over the last 12 months. The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) raised interest rates for the 14th time in January, and a further interest hike is expected to 4.75%, but as Alexander Wright of HIFX points out this is not always bad news for those who own property: ‘A high interest rate makes a currency an attractive place to deposit funds, this is good if you own a US property as an asset without a mortgage.’

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