Whether it be for weather, a lower cost of living, or simply a change of pace, many retirees from North America are increasingly looking abroad to purchase real estate. This year, the top 5 destinations internationally (not including the US and Canada) are Ecuador, Panama, Mexico, Malaysia, and Costa Rica. All have lower cost of living and excellent climates. Malaysia and Costa Rica have excellent public health care systems, while Mexico and Ecuador have beautiful colonial cities. Panama has an excellent transportation system.
Also popular are Spain, Portugal and Malta in Europe and, of course, not inexpensive but perrenially sought after Southern France and Central Italy.
The days of sleepy Palm Springs appear to be over. A new generation has begun to discover this oasis a mere 2 hours from Los Angeles and San Diego and only 3.5 hours from Las Vegas. The restaurant, club and gallery scene has expanded exponentially as has real estate in the last year. Indeed, Leonardo Di Caprio just purchased the old Dinah Shore estate and Anne Hathaway is reported to be looking for her Palm Springs escape. Palm Springs is experiencing its stunning resurgence as a destination of cool!
Currently down in Roatan looking into some amazing property deals (houses, condos, and land). The weather has been warm and the market opportunities are hot (given the cool international market prices have stalled and it is a real buying opportunity on an island that is developing major infrastructure and increasing its already good transportation capacity to/from North America and Europe.
Still great affordable beachfront and sea view opportunities!
I have a number of clients looking for a French Farm House with Vineyard and wine making facilities. Competition has been stiff of late as there is increased interest in investment in French Vineyards from Asia (Mainland China in particular). French wines (still more so than other old world competitors Italy and Spain) have a real following in Asia and investors are paying a premium for quality vineyards. Still, there are some great deals (particularly in the St. Emilion region near Bordeaux as well as the Languedoc region). Provence with its Cote de Provence rosees is generally more expensive because of its name recognition and location near the Cote D'Azur. But there are deals if you know where to look.
Roatan is where the Cayman Islands were 15 years ago in terms of real estate development. Prices, while rising, are still extremely low by Caribbean Island standards. Major cruise lines are developing massive infrastructure projects on the island and the Canadian company Onyx has recently invested in an hugely upgraded power grid. North Americans and Europeans are flocking to the island as a retirement haven...and the food, world famous scuba diving, and welcoming nature of the local authorities have them happy once they arrive.
An excellent, up and coming island to watch and investment to consider!