Monday 31 March 2008

It's a Buyer's Market - It's Official

Lest we be accused of 'talking down the market' - heaven forbid - we said we'd spread some good news to shake you from your Monday blues. And the news? Well it's not news to everyone and merely looking at things from a different perspective for some others.

It's a buyers market. You know what they say about clouds and silver linings as well as ill winds that blow no good? Well that's where we're at right now, or at least rapidly approaching it in any case. If you're in the market for a property overseas - particularly in the UK, US or Spain - then the world is your oyster - there are thousands of investors and homeowners out there willing to take your hand off from the elbow down, or possibly even the shoulder.

Home repossessions are running at all-time highs and, if you're a potential investor, this is good news. Obviously it's awful news for those having their properties repossessed, but you're refusing to buy the houses isn't going to help them any and if you don't buy them someone else will. The poor misfortunates don't normally own these properties anymore in any case, most of them are being sold by their current owners - cuddly, loveable banks.

If you're looking for auctions and valuations in the UK you could visit or or For Spain take a look at the Direct Auctions site. If you're in the market for foreclosed property in the US this particular initiative in Florida may be of interest.

If you've got cash and don't have to borrow, or at least don't have to borrow more than 50% of the value, then you are even better off. Once effusive banks are rapidly becoming very reticent to shovel cash out over the counter to buy-to-let investors since their activities in the sub-prime market has shown them to be a complete shower of muppets. So now they're gone into reverse and even those with meticulous credit records are finding it difficult to raise finance. We're returning to the old scenario of banks not being willing to give you money unless you can prove you don't need it.

On the positive side (and this is a very positive post) the Euro is at record highs against a number of currencies, most notably Sterling and the US Dollar, so our purchasing power is significantly better than it was not that long ago. Not only that, if cross currency rates return to their former levels you'll have made a paper profit with no extra effort. Of course there is no guarantee that they will return to these levels, but the potential can add a nice bit of extra spice to your investment in any case.

Warren Buffet very famously said one of the keys to investment is to be 'Fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful' - well others are absolutely bricking it at the moment so the time to strike may well be nigh. Just be wary, re-possessed housing isn't always located in the best areas so be certain you're very sure of the area in which you're proposing to invest. Just because it's cheap or is being sold for 1/3 the price for which it was purchased doesn't necessarily mean it is good value.

For a selection of property from around the world click here.

For a listing of agents selling overseas property click here.

For independent articles on overseas property click here.

For advice on purchasing property overseas click here.

For news on the world of overseas property click here.

For new releases and product updates from agents around the world click here.

For a list of upcoming overseas property exhibitions around the country click here.

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