At Property Investor Today, whenever we shine a light on an overseas investment hotspot, British buyers typically feature towards the top of active purchasers in these foreign property markets.
Here, we explore two major new developments - one in Southern Europe, one in the Middle East - which could be attracting the attentions of those investing in property abroad.
Dubai receives significant UK investment
Multinational real estate developer Sobha Realty recently announced £336 million of sales of its luxury homes in Dubai in the first three quarters of this year, with UK buyers spending £30 million on investment homes and ultra-prime villas in the five months since the launch of the Sobha Global Studio – with a dedicated sales, marketing and customer care team - in London’s Mayfair.
Sobha Realty, which underwent a global rebrand last year and saw the opening of dedicated marketing studios in London and Shanghai, registered £336 million of sales in just nine months at its flagship Sobha Hartland development in Dubai, and is currently on track to achieve its annual sales target of £420 million by the end of the year.
Since the developer’s Mayfair studio opened on the first day of May 2019, Sobha Realty has sold a range of apartments and premium villas to UK buyers at an average sales rate of £6 million a month, with buyers lured by Dubai’s strong rental yields and Sobha Realty’s attractive payment plans.
Dubai’s growing popularity is not hard to comprehend when you consider that international research from Savills places its potential rental yields at 7.9% for mainstream property and 4.4% for prime property, beating London, New York and Paris.
The cost of homes here is also relatively cheap, with Sobha Realty’s one-bedroom apartments starting from £170,800 and proving highly popular with British investors.
As well as the investment homes purchased, Sobha Realty has also revealed that three of the ultra-prime villas – with exclusive canal-front plots - have been purchased by British friends wanting adjacent holiday homes. The Hartland Canal Villas scheme is an ultra-prime collection of 23 villas fronting the Dubai Water Canal, with the option to bespoke-build a villa overlooking the water - the only villa plots available directly on the canal waterfront.
Throughout 2019, Sobha Realty has completed the successful handovers of Phase 1 of its Hartland Greens apartments and Forest Villas, with the handover of Phase 2 homes set for the end of 2019.
Sobha Hartland is a £3 billion, eight million square feet waterfront community in Dubai offering apartments, villas and townhouses, as well as two international schools and lifestyle amenities. Expected to complete in 2025, the community is set to provide more than 5,000 apartments and over 350 villas in total.
Sobha Realty’s Mayfair studio, located at 92 Park Lane, has become a key sales platform for the developer, with UK buyers and international buyers with UK links coming here to view state-of-the-art scale models.
Jyotsna Hegde, president of Sobha Realty, said the firm has seen considerable sales success this year as more and more buyers choose their new homes in Sobha’s luxury community.
“We are proud to have achieved £336 million in sales in the first three quarters of 2019, and we are on track to reach a final total of £420 million in the remaining months of this year,” she said.
“Each Sobha Realty home is constructed with passion and our heritage of craftmanship is evident in the high-quality finishes, every detail is considered. As the first year that we have openly marketed our homes to UK buyers, we are delighted with the ongoing interest by UK buyers for investment properties and luxury holiday homes at Sobha Hartland.”
Limassol welcomes new addition to its waterfront
Leptos Estates, a leading Cypriot developer, has launched its latest waterfront project. Situated in downtown Limassol, the project – known as Blu Marine - will house 247 sea-facing apartments set across three striking towers of 33, 29 and 5 floors respectively.
The development, which promises to feature ‘breath-taking views of the Mediterranean Sea’, is set to offer deep private balconies, 24-hour concierge and luxury amenities including a state-of-the-art health spa and gym. Apartments are available from 618 sq ft to 2,507 sq ft (one to five bedrooms), with prices starting at €615,000.
Leptos Estates, as the majority shareholder and project manager of Blu Marine, aims to deliver an internationally renowned landmark, gathering a team of celebrated professionals for the design and build to make this so.
These include Benoy Architects, the experts behind the Bahrain Marina Yacht Club, Ferrari World Abu Dhabi and Westfield London, as well as BuroHappold Engineering, of Morpheus in Macau and Skywalk in Bangkok.
Meanwhile, local architectural firms Armeftis & Associates and Loakim & Loizias, alongside a selected team of advisers, have contributed to the project’s compliance with local and EU rules and regulations.
The three imposing towers of Blu Marine – named after the ancient Greek Gods of Poseidon, Zeus and Oceanus - pay homage to the sea, with generous balconies, column-free layouts and large, south-facing windows maximising natural light and far-reaching views of the apartments.
Each tower is also strategically placed to make sure there are uncompromised views of the water, while each is surrounded by extensive landscaping and green spaces.
Blu Marine residences will feature premium specification and interior finishes, in addition to smart home technology, German-branded kitchen appliances and heating and cooling facilities. Residents will also have access to secure, underground parking.
The new development, where ‘earthworks’ have already commenced, is aiming to offer the highest level of lifestyle offerings and world-class services to ‘afford every comfort and convenience’. This includes a 24-hour concierge, property and rental management, housekeeping and security, making it ideal for investors looking for a ‘lock up and leave’ or ready to rent option.
The elevated podium, which overlooks the sea, will host a 50-metre infinity pool, as well as landscaped gardens, a double height gym, bistro and residents’ lobby and concierge.
Additionally, residents will have access to more than 14,000 sq ft of luxury health and wellness facilities, including treatment rooms, sauna and steam rooms and a naturally lit 25-metre heated indoor pool.
Perched on the south coast of Cyprus, downtown Limassol is a shopping and business hub in the middle of major urban regeneration. As part of the ongoing plans for regeneration of the city centre, the area has been revived through heavy investment in infrastructure from both private and public sectors, including a totally revamped seafront park and the transformation of the mediaeval castle area, the old port and Limassol Marina.
This, along with the addition of numerous cafes, restaurants, shops and the superyacht marina, now forms a key part of the city’s vibrant entertainment, business and leisure scene.
Blu Marine, which sits on the beachfront at the heart of this newly regenerated area and only 330 metres from Limassol Marina, is adjacent to new pedestrian walkways and cycling routes, which will connect downtown Limassol to the Marina and Dubai World Cruise terminal, as well as the new casino and golf resorts.
As well as modern developments, there has been significant restoration of local heritage sites, with the overall goal of bringing Limassol in line with large-scale regeneration projects such as London’s Canary Wharf.
To this end, residents at Blu Marine will have access to offices, independent eateries, fine dining restaurants, boutiques, golf courses, casinos and private schools, as well as proximity to numerous historical and archaeological sites – as is the case with Canary Wharf.
Lastly, Blu Marine is only 35minutes’ drive from both Paphos and Larnaca Airports, making it a potentially attractive proposition for foreign buyers.
“It is within Leptos Group’s DNA to invest in prime land and create extraordinary destinations with a global appeal,” Pantelis Leptos, deputy president of the Leptos Group of Companies, said.
“Limassol Blu Marine is our flagship development, the epitome of world class. There is quality, 5-star facilities and services, on the sea and by the marina, at the centre of everything. Limassol is an exciting investment location and is destined to become Europe's new Riviera.”
Buyers at Blu Marine can take advantage of Cyprus’ investment programme, which means - in return for the purchase of one or multiple properties of €2 million - non-EU citizens qualify for Cypriot citizenship, allowing them to travel, work and live freely within the EU and Schengen zone.
The first tower (Poseidon) at Blu Marine is expected to complete in 2022.