The crunch has made foreign dream homes far more affordable

TOUGH economic times have opened the door for a new generation of property investment. Tumbling prices in both the UK and abroad have actually made this investment option more accessible than it was prior to the credit crunch. Nick Clark, managing director of the Property Investment Show, says: “House prices in England and Wales suffered their most widespread falls in August since May 2009, but this is not necessarily bad news for savvy property investors. In a low – and slow – market, investors know that there are opportunities to be found.”

This is also true of international properties. Rightmove and Moneycorp have found that property in parts of Barbados, Spain and Florida can now offer discounts of 40 per cent on holiday homes.

Prices in France have also fallen 20 per cent. The typical property is now only £143,320. Even higher-end properties have experienced this drop. In Bordeaux, for example, a town house can go for between €500,000 and €1m.

The bargains get more appealing if you are willing to go a little off the beaten track. For example, there is a stone village house in Aveyron with 5,000 metres of forested land going up for auction at the Property Investment Show on 15 October with a guide price of £45,000. This deal is made sweeter by the fact that an auction will usually offer you a price 10 to 20 per cent below the market value.

International mortgages are not too tricky either. Investors can still borrow up to 100 per cent of the property value and athenamortgages.com can offer a 15-year fixed rate of 3.45 per cent a year with no redemption penalties if you pay off the loan after the first five years.

Using a Self Invested Personal Plan is another financing option. Charlie King of the Resort Group, says: “There is no doubt that the overseas market now offers some highly attractive Self Invested Personal Plan compliant schemes. With widespread disillusionment in UK pension funds it is not surprising investors are looking to take their retirement wealth creation into their own hands and see overseas property as the route to achieving significant gains.”

The downturn has far from destroyed the opportunities for property investment. In fact, falling prices, accessible mortgages and disillusionment with pension funds as a long-term investment could offer the possibility for a new generation of first-time international property buyers.

To find out more visit www.propertyinvestor.co.uk/london. Register before 8 Oct for free entry. Show runs 14-16 Oct 2010, at London ExCel, 3 Western Gateway, E16 The show is aimed at everyone from property industry professionals to first-time buyers.

LEARN MORE | FOREIGN INVESTMENT
The Property Investor Show & OPP Live
Highlights include:
● Luxury real estate

● Lodge and holiday home investment

● Advice and properties offered in Egypt

● An alternative investments showcase

● Landlord forum - the UK's largest annual gathering of landlords

● An Auction Zone on Friday15 October 2010. This includes a “Live Auction” of over 200 property lots.

● The Association of International Property Professionals (AIPP) Zone

● SIPP Zone