London, California, Vancouver: you can write the list of Hongkongers’ favourite places to buy property with your eyes closed. However, savvy Hong Kong purchasers of overseas property are starting to look a little further afield, at less predictable locations that might offer better value.
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David Ji, Great China head of research and consultancy for property giant Knight Frank, talks us through some less well-known global property investment hot spots.
The German capital has a couple of big advantages, says David. “It has stability, and people tend to want to live in countries with bigger economies.” Known as one of Europe’s more affordable capital cities, Berlin is still very much a bargain. But prices have doubled in less than a decade, and are still growing at about 10 per cent a year, as pent-up demand is released; historically half of the city was entirely state-owned, so the rate of property ownership is low, but growing fast. Developers have been active in the city, known as a cultural centre and a hotbed of entrepreneurialism, particularly in hip central districts such as Mitte, Kreuzberg and Friedrichshain. In recent years several developers have even visited Hong Kong to market their properties.
Again a stable, secure choice, the Dutch capital saw property prices rise by a staggering 14.7 per cent in the 12 months to the second quarter of 2016 – but it’s far from overpriced. With architecturally striking housing and a high livability rating, Amsterdam also boasts a flourishing economy. “It’s trying to remodel itself as more of a high-tech location,” says David. “It’s also English-speaking, with a very international crowd.” Uber, Netflix and Tesla all have their European headquarters in the city.
Texas has been one of the US’s most resilient states since the start of the financial crisis, but Austin, a city about the same size as San Francisco, is outperforming even the rest of the state. Rising property prices have been driven by a growing population, with the number of people moving to the city growing by 9 per cent year-on-year, and a booming job market. Austin is also an aspiring high-tech centre, with designs on becoming the Silicon Valley of the American south, as well as a major educational and cultural centre. Austin is also cheaper than traditionally popular US markets.
This post originally appeared on the website of our sister publication, Hong Kong Tatler.
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