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Article > Why International Properties Make Sense


International property portfolios are not every landlord's idea of an easy thing to manage. After all, it is much harder to keep an eye on properties and tenants when you are not in the same part of town, let alone in another country. However, as the recent scramble among Russian investors for UK housing stock has shown, sometimes investors in the property market don't need to worry themselves so much and get in on the action where it is hottest. Given the current woes of the rouble, it is hardly surprising that Russians with the ability to do so have divested their liquid assets into something more substantial, even if it is miles from home. That they have largely chosen to do so in Britain – and London, in particular – make most sense when you consider that the UK economy uses a different currency to Russia and one that is considerable more stable at the moment.

Of course, Russians have also been investing in other territories, too, in the face of a depreciating currency. Cyprus, Greece and other southern European economies within the Eurozone have all been favoured targets among Russian investors looking to buy assets outside of their own county. And that is rather the point. International property investments are not just about buying into the bricks and mortar that the building is made from, rather it is a considered investment into another currency, national economy and the wider area as whole. UK-based property investors have traditionally only looked at certain overseas markets as potential places worthy of investment, often with the Algarve in Portugal and the Costa Del Sol in southern Spain topping the list. However, since the crisis in the Euro really took hold in these locations, the canniest investors have looked at other European economies as places that offer better potential returns. More stable parts of the Eurozone, like Germany and its southern neighbour Austria, have seen wider economic growth in the last few years than many places in Mediterranean Europe. As such, property for sale in places like Austria have been snapped up by investors from outside the Eurozone, including both Brits and Russians, in ever greater numbers.

For some UK residents, it should be said, the idea of investing anywhere in the Eurozone remains an odd idea. However, serious property investors can be put off by local problems in some of the member states and fail to look into the detail of the burgeoning economies of central Europe. Before long, of course, the opportunities that such regions in Europe afford to get in at the ground level will be gone as the European Union continues towards a more fully-fledged recovery. Rouble-rich Russian investors know this, but whether the UK's army of professional property owners will also get on board in significant numbers remains to be seen. It may take an economic hiccup, like the one that Russians have recently faced, to really encourage British investors to seek greater diversity in their property portfolios and to begin investing in overseas territories in the way that they once used to.



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