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Results of 2018 in the foreign real estate market

2018 is coming to an end and the Homes Overseas portal sums up the results of the year together with our experts in the foreign real estate market – readers are offered a selection of all key events of this year and their analysis.
What event on the foreign real estate market do you consider to be the main one for 2018 and why?

Julia Titova, Director of RENTSALE

– It is very difficult to single out one event or one change in the legislation that has had the greatest impact on the foreign real estate market. Perhaps the most striking milestone of this year was the events in the UK, in connection with which the flow of people wishing to have passports of Cyprus and Malta, permanent residence of Spain, Greece and Portugal intensified. The general bright trend is that, on the one hand, they have become tougher to control the income of Russians at home, on the other hand, they have begun to check Russians abroad much more seriously – when opening bank accounts, obtaining residence permits, permanent residence, citizenship.

Elena Nevskaya, Adrionika expert consultant

– Of course, this is a decision on Brexit in the UK and all the procedures associated with it. Traditionally, the British are more than active in the real estate market in many countries. Following the announcement of Brexit, prices in the UK property market have changed significantly, and preferences regarding the purchase of real estate by the British outside the native island have also been redistributed. A characteristic trend for the outgoing year was the introduction of new taxes for non-residents in many countries of the world.

Also in 2018, Montenegro announced a new program for issuing citizenship of the country, provided to foreigners when investing in the country’s economy, an amount exceeding 250,000 euros. In general, such a program was expected, since many countries in Europe have already introduced similar ones, but far from all give citizenship in exchange for foreign investment – more often, the matter ends with a residence permit. Montenegro, which so far is a candidate for EU membership, has been launching a program for issuing citizenship to foreigners since 2019.

Eric Rosenfeld, Development Director, Habita International Estates

– For me, such important events this year were the IELPE events in Cannes and Moscow. I managed not only to communicate with professionals working, like me, in the field of investment real estate, but also to begin construction of a dealer network.

Natalia Zavalishina, Director of Distant Property

– Answering this question, it is important to note that the most significant is the fact that the market is developing, despite the difficult political and economic situation. An important event was the Homes Overseas Russian Awards in April 2018 – it allowed attracting the attention of developers and realtors from around the world to the Russian market. It is interesting that new exhibition formats are developing, such as the International Emigration and Luxury Property Expo, which has been held for several years at the Ritz-Carlton and in the spring of 2018 attracted quite a lot of participants from around the world, the International Property Show and Investment are still active Show, there are also new thematic exhibitions, such as, for example, an exhibition that represented all the achievements of Italy and included, among other things, real estate offers in the Manege in December 2018. It is significant that the events were held throughout the year, i.e. the market lives and adapts to the conditions and realities of the present.

What legislative change do you consider the most dramatic?

Julia Titova, Director of RENTSALE

– Changes to permanent residence programs were introduced – for example, before the “golden visa” of Spain and Portugal did not give the right to work – changes were adopted in 2018, now this opportunity has appeared. Maltese permanent residence until May 2018 obliged to stay in the country for at least six months, now this has changed and there are no more obligations to stay in the country. In Cyprus, a quota for the number of issued passports was introduced, the procedure was changed and the activities of this type of service were limited to certified law firms within the list. Speaking about each country separately, there were significant events and changes in legislation for local markets. There is something global that has affected the market as a whole, perhaps not.

Elena Nevskaya, Adrionika expert consultant

– Legislative changes are now happening almost everywhere. This year in Spain, unpleasant news came for foreigners who had already bought real estate – a tax was imposed on the tourist potential of real estate, regardless of whether the house is residential or empty. This innovation hit homeowners in interesting resort places quite strongly: for example, the tax on apartments of 250 square meters on the first line of the Costa del Sol, worth 800,000 euros, now amounts to 15,000 annually.

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