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Overseas Investment

Overseas Property Investment

  • Buyers Guide
  • Cyprus
  • Dubai
  • Egypt
  • Italy
  • Malta
  • Morocco
  • Portugal
  • Turkey
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Introduction

Buyer's Guide Introduction

Investing in property overseas is one of the most rewarding investments performed in a lifetime – It is a tangible investment which enables the investor to see a capital growth, to savour the fruits acquired from yields of rentals which could finance the repayment of a mortgage, as well as to get the feel of the investment by spending some time in the acquired overseas property whether it is skiing, golfing or unwinding by the beach. However, prior to embarking on such an exciting journey, it is important to perform individual research and to seek all the professional advice available at hand in order to feel comfortable with your abroad property investment. We, at Propertyline International Real Estate, are willing to offer our advice and all the support required to take you to the next step. Our team of carefully selected, highly qualified and experienced consultants presently handles requests for different types of property in various regions of Cyprus, Dubai (United Arab Emirates – UAE ), Egypt, Italy, Malta & Gozo , Morocco, Portugal and Turkey with a selection of different budgets and varying types of investors.

Within the next few months, we will also be offering information, our support and a selection of international properties for investment in a number of countries. All the countries selected are not just ‘sea and sun’ destination but they offer much more to suit your lifestyle as you will realise whilst browsing through our user friendly website, www.propertylineinternational.co.uk which will help you make a wise investment tailor made to fit your requirements but also to choose a Home and not just a house to live in. This is independent of whether you are a pure investor, who eventually will be looking to sell a Home; whether you are buying a retirement Home; whether you are looking for a Home to relocate; whether you are looking for that second Home or even third; and whether you are investing in a Buy to Let Home.

Property Investment
We, at Propertyline International Real Estate, are aware of your specific requirements and concerns which vary according to whether you are a retiree looking for a safe country which offers a good standard of health service and where cost of living is more affordable or whether you are relocating with your family and are seeking a country which offers a sound education for your children within a safe environment. We can assist you in finding the right Home assuring you the best in Quality Service in Superior Customer Care and for this ‘ Our Clients are Our Best Advert’.

As you journey through our website, www.propertylineinternational.co.uk, you will be pleased to find out that some developments offer inspection visits which include travel and accommodation without an obligation to purchase and some developments have also organised arrangements with Banks and Financial Institutions to assist in the finance of the purchase with favourable loan repayments. Another consideration is that most of the developments are situated within one hour’s distance from major airports to which low cost airlines fly. Some developments also offer a property management service as well as a guaranteed rental.

Should you eventually decide to place your overseas property on the market for sale we will be more than willing to help you realise that profit since as you will discover we have carefully selected a choice of tax efficient and stable countries offering favourable Capital Gains, Council Tax and Inheritance Tax but this is also dependent on what type of investment you are looking at.

Our website, www.propertylineinternational.co.uk offers a large number of quality Homes with prices to suit every pocket - from Villas, Houses Of Character, Country Houses, Chalets, Apartments, Penthouses, Off Plan Developments and even Commercial Properties - which help you make a sound overseas property investment be it solely for investment purposes, for a guaranteed rental income, for permanent residence, for a holiday home or just as a pied a terre.

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About Us

Our Vision is to be the front runners in the International Property Market

Our Philosophy is Quality Service and Superior Customer Care

Our Motto is Our Clients are Our Best Advert

The Company operating Propertyline International In-Sight Ltd, was incorporated in 1986 by two brothers Graham Busuttil LL.D. (Commercial Director) and Trafford Busuttil (Managing Director). The Company operates from a Head Office in Malta with five branch offices and a staff complement of 35 employees specialising in different fields of the property market in Malta and abroad.

Graham Busuttil – born in 1961, was conferred with the degree of Doctor of Laws in 1986 and with the warrant to exercise the profession in 1987. He was elected to the University Senate in 1983 and 1984 and was appointed Curator and Advocate for Legal Aid in 1988 and in 1989. Graham Busuttil holds the position of Director in a number of Companies and is a member of both the Chamber of Advocates and the Chamber of Commerce. He is also a member of the International Trademark Association ( INTA ) and the European Communities Trademark Association ( ECTA ) through which he attended a number of Conferences in the United States and Europe. In 1992, he was awarded an Honorary Life Member of St. Julian’s Aquatic Sports Club.

About Us
Trafford Busuttil – born in 1967, founded In- Sight Limited in 1986. Trafford Busuttil is a Director in a number of Companies and has been a member of the Chamber of Commerce for over 20 years. He is also a member of The National Association of Estate Agents (U.K.) and is the President of the Federation of Estate Agents in Malta. Trafford Busuttil has contributed in a number on Seminars on the property market and has participated in a number of TV programmes and debates on the subject. In 1991, Trafford Busuttil was appointed Sales Director of a leading property development in Malta. His duties here included the sales of up market luxury apartments and the leasing out of 50 retail units within a shopping Mall. In 1999 Trafford was elected as a Local Councillor for his hometown St. Julian’s and was responsible for infrastructural projects in the locality. In 1992, he was awarded an Honorary Life Member of St. Julian’s Aquatic Sports Club in recognition to his contribution to the Club.

The Malta office of Propertyline International has been recognized by the International Organization Bellevue with the Best Estate Agency Award in 2006 and 2007. In-Sight Ltd is a Registered Company bearing registration number C 8006 (VAT MT 1525 - 8725).

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Steps to investing in a overseas property


Prior to embarking on adventurous road to investing in a property overseas there are a number of steps to be taken.

Steps to investing in a overseas property
  1. Information
  2. Assesment of personal requirments
  3. Identification of property market
  4. Identification of the type of property
  5. Financing your property
  6. Addressing legal issues

1. Information

The first step is to research as much information as possible on the various countries in which to invest abroad and seek professional advice in order to feel comfortable in taking the next step. A lot of information may be obtained from our website and we are more than willing to part with our knowledge and give our support.

2. Assessment of Personal Requirements

The second step is to assess what your requirements are, what type of investor you are, what return you are expecting and what element of risk you are prepared to take. If you intend to make use of your newly acquired overseas property, the extent of use must also be evaluated. If you are looking at a retirement home, the following considerations will come into play, namely, weather, proximity, safe environment, stability, medical facilities, cost of living and lifestyle. Other important considerations of a financial nature are the capital growth of the property as well as taxation and inheritance. The same would apply to people relocating to another country but would also include education and language as their main concerns. In both cases, the newly acquired International property would become the ordinary residence as opposed to the investor who is merely seeking a holiday home, which give a turn to the considerations to be taken into account.

If you fall within the category of a holiday / second home investor the emphasis shifts mainly to a country associated as a holiday destination with primary considerations such as sea and sun, culture and lifestyle as well as environment. This type of investor does not expect spectacular returns and usually opts for established markets with economic stability. The cautious investor looks at the investment long term and could be qualified as looking at lower capital growth as against higher rental yields from which the mortgage may be financed, as well as to cover the costs of having the International property maintained whilst away from it.

The Buy to Let investor is principally buying as an investment and wants to see an immediate steady rental income which is higher than all the costs involved in owning, running and letting out the overseas property. Amongst the fixed costs are those of utilities (water & electricity), costs related to swimming pool, repairs and maintenance, marketing and management of rentals as well as taxes on the rental income. The rental income must not only finance the mortgage and all costs ancillary to its rental but must leave a profit whilst the value of the property is appreciating in value making an ideal scenario.

The pure investor aims mainly at receiving the best financial return in the form of yield and/or of capital appreciation on the property abroad in the shortest time. It is the way the investor faces risk that will play an important role to where he will invests his money. The pure investor might be more concerned on the capital growth and purchases multiple off plan International properties in order to acquire the property at a very favourable price and re-sell it on its completion. The risk taker might also invest in a market where there is an oversupply since this would equate it to a buyer’s market and would buy at a bargain price.

Assessment of Personal Requirements
The pure investor would consider investing in emerging markets with potential rather than the traditional ones knowing that generally speaking property has risen above general inflation levels and has outperformed stock markets. Naturally, all due diligence would be taken prior to taking the plunge but as in all forms of investment the greater the level of risk, the greater the potential return. Serious risk takers are after low cost investments with an expectation of very high profits and, unlike the cautious investor, are looking at high capital growth as against lower rental yields.

There is a third type of investor who represents most overseas property owners, namely, the investor who is not extra cautious nor a risk taker. This type of investor will avoid emerging markets and seek stability and is after medium capital growth and substantial yield.

3. Identification of the International Property Market

Identification of the International Property Market
The third step is to identify your market. One of the major questions with which a potential investor is faced is whether to invest in an emerging market or an established one. Traditional markets are in demand by all types of investors since it is easier to obtain bank finance and have very stable legal structures providing very favourable capital growth and yields. Emerging markets are predisposed to offer bargain prices with the prospect of very lucrative capital appreciation but obtaining bank finance is stringent if at all possible in certain countries. This shortcoming coupled with intricate legal systems and no track record makes these markets more volatile but are still tempting to the pure investor looking at high capital appreciation.

Only you can decide in which country you are interested to invest in. But it is imperative to bear in mind the basic principle of economy, namely, that of supply and demand when taking your decision. This will help you make your International property investment more lucrative. Obviously, where demand for any commodity is superior to its supply then the price will increase owing to this fundamental principle. The investment in an Overseas Property over the years has proved to be a good investment with prices rising in excess of inflation. However, like with all investments we cannot guarantee the performance of the investment but we can forecast the performance of the investment based on factors and conditions that affect the market. Some markets have even defied the basic principle and have experienced high levels of capital growth despite the oversupply.

Various factors affect a demand by property investors within a particular region or the whole of a country, namely, the rate of exchange, influx of foreign companies carrying out their business in the country thus creating employment and optimism, political and economic stability with an increasing Gross Domestic Product, improved infrastructure and increasing tourism. Newly acquired European Union membership enhances the economy owing to the influx of EU funds thus creating a better standard of living and consequential increase on the demand of properties abroad. We have witnessed this scenario in the countries, which have reached the criteria established by the EU in the 2004 enlargement where the price of property has risen pre and post EU accession owing to numerous factors. For this and other reasons the pure investor will consider the potential of investing in EU applicant countries.

4. Identification of the Type of Overseas Property

Identification of the Type of Overseas Property
The fourth step is to identify if the type of overseas property suits your pocket and requirements whether it is a Villa, a Country House, a Chalet or an Apartment in a finished state or Off Plan. Whilst purchasing off plan will generally allow the investor to realise a higher profit there are a number of considerations.

There is the risk that the development will not be built to the required standards. All necessary checks must be performed to ensure that the developer is reputable and has a bank guarantee so that if the latter faces bankruptcy, the deposit paid will be refunded and the only loss suffered in this particular case will be the potential capital gain. Another consideration is that all the building permits are in order. Delays in completion of the project by the developer are a gain to the investor who has only committed to an initial minimal deposit with eventual payments on completion. Sometimes the international property is sold prior to completion, which means that a small deposit would have secured a substantial capital gain as well as the local stamp duty avoided.

In emerging markets, which have unsystematic structures certify that you own the title to the land purchased and check out on the development of the infrastructure in the area which is of particular interest since an improved infrastructure will give added value to the property invested in. Determine also if there are large developments of the same type in the same area so as not to be faced with a situation where there is a glut of overseas property without a suitable demand for it.

5. Financing your International Property

The fifth step is to finance your International property and most investors will opt to take on a mortgage.

Re-mortgaging an existing residence is relatively cheap and quite easy to access and nowadays there are a number of mortgages offered to buy-to-let investors. In the case of buy-to-let mortgages the bank is not really interested in the income of the borrower but whether the property abroad will acquire a rental income to pay off the loan. Most banks will advance 85% of the value of the property but will apply rigid criteria to the rental income, which is to constitute some 125% of the loan repayment. The rental yield is established at 5%. Interest payments on buy-to-let property can be offset against income tax, which means that tax is only payable on the rental income, which is over the interest payment.

Financing your International Property
Alternatively, funds are to be raised in the country where the overseas property is being purchased and local banks, in some countries, are offering competitive packages to attract foreign investment. In traditional markets, there is a wider range of mortgage products such as fixed rates available with varying terms up to 20 years and more. However, in developing countries, rates tend to be less attractive and financial institutions complicated, making a re-mortgage on the main residence a better choice.

Remember to allocate funds for Notary fees and stamp duty fees.

When investing in property abroad, obtaining the most favourable currency rate of exchange through a reputable broker can make considerable savings. A financial broker can offer the best fixed rate of exchange for a period of time independent of currency fluctuations. There are different possibilities offered by financial brokers depending on the individual requirements.

6. Addressing Legal Issues

The sixth step, as with purchasing property on home soil, it is beneficial to seek independent legal advice locally in order to have peace of mind that your investment is above board. This is mainly the case when purchasing in emerging markets, which are known to have complex legal structures. Amongst the various important considerations: ascertain that you own the title to the land and the overseas property and ensure that there are no outstanding claims; ascertain, that the building conforms to the building permit and in the case of an off plan investment ensure that the developer is reputable and covered with a guarantee in the case of non performance.

Addressing Legal Issues
In some countries it is necessary to purchase property through a company incorporated in the country where the purchaser is included, as foreign investors cannot own an property on their personal name. This, in some cases is also advisable to minimise tax liabilities.

At the stage of purchasing an International property it is essential to obtain advice to minimise tax liabilities including income tax, inheritance tax and capital gains tax when you come to depart with your property.


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The Next Step

The next step
For the first time buyer this may all seem complicated. Obtaining all the necessary information to feel at ease is of the essence. For others, who are thinking of their second, third or more property overseas it is simpler. When building a portfolio of property abroad it is advisable to diversify in different parts of a country or even better in different countries so as to balance out you investment. In this way you can derive a wider benefit from varying sources in the form of rental income and capital growth.

Nowadays purchasing property at home and overseas is considered as one of the most lucrative International investments and with the advances in technology it has become all that more simple and accessible. The increase in flights and destinations by low cost airlines has opened the road to investing overseas. The Internet, however, brings all these destinations to your doorstep. You are just one click away!


 

Investment in Cyprus

Cyprus flag
Fact File
  • Capital Growth: 20%
  • Rental Yields: Short term - 10%, Long term - 6% average
  • Mortgage: Available up to a maximum of 70% for a maximum of 25 years
  • Income Tax: Progressive rates up to a maximum of 30%
  • Capital Gains Tax: 20%
  • Inheritance Tax: None
  • Wealth Tax: None
  • Municipal Tax: Each local authority applies its own municipal tax which varies from area to area
  • Value added Tax: 15%
  • Property in Cyprus

    The property market in Cyprus is attractive to both locals and foreign investors who see it as a very stable and low risk investment that is guaranteed to yield decent returns. A key reason why investment in Cyprus is so appealing to foreign investors is that it has European systems in place, low taxation and an excellent communication system. The service sector is also highly skilled, very polished and professional and extremely hospitable. In addition, the unique hospitality of the local population, the attractive climate as well as a safe and secure environment make Cyprus the ideal place for property investment.

    Property in Cyprus represents one of the fastest growing property markets in Europe. Property sales in this Mediterranean Island are further boosted by regular and increasing airline services to the international airports at Larnaca and Paphos. Both of which are well served by both scheduled and budget airlines.

    The property market has been on the increase for the last few years and with the country’s accession to the European Union and the adoption of the Euro as their currency it is likely that the market will remain bullish.

    Propertyline International offers a number of outstanding developments. The Cyprus homes are located in the south in the regions of Paphos, Larnaca, and Limassol. All of the real estate in Cyprus is built to the highest standards with excellent finishing throughout. The projects, situated in prime locations enjoying panoramic sea, mountain or valley views, offer excellent after sales service, property management and easy payment terms. Most of the Cyprus homes feature large gardens or patios, and residents can benefit from several onsite facilities such as parking spaces, swimming pools and gymnasiums. Access to the main towns and airports is just a short drive away. Inspections visits can also be organized should clients wish to view a property before purchasing.

    Capital Growth - Investment in Cyprus

    Buying real estate in Cyprus is regarded as a solid investment for all types of buyers, from large corporations to individuals. After joining the European Union, Capital Growth soared to around 20% per annum and has maintained this over subsequent years.

    Rental Yields of real estate in Cyprus

    In line with the growth in property prices, some regions of Cyprus offer excellent buy-to-let opportunities, particularly in tourist resorts. Rental yields have also shown a strong growth. Short term yields depending on location, range from 8% to 12% of the property value and long-term rental yields average between 5% to 7%.

    Mortgages of Cyprus homes

    The mortgage market in Cyprus is well developed and you should have no problems financing your purchase of the property in Cyprus. Most commercial banks offer mortgage facilities to locals as well as foreign nationals. Loans are based on the purchaser providing a minimum deposit of 30% with 70% of the purchase prices financed through the mortgage.

    Purchase Procedures of Property in Cyprus

    Buying property in Cyprus

    Buying property in Cyprus is generally considered a very straightforward process. Since many of the inner workings of property exchanges follow European standards, the process is typically quite easy for Europeans to understand. This is a big selling point for investors who do not want to deal with complicated and difficult purchasing procedures. Despite this professional advice should always be taken before embarking on investment in Cyprus opportunities.

    Nationals of European Union states, who chose investment in Cyprus property market can buy freely if purchasing their primary residence. Investors looking for a holiday home or buy to let opportunity still need to obtain permission from the Council of Ministers, although this regulation is expected to be removed shortly to bring the process into line with EU law. Nationals of non EU countries need to apply for permission to purchase property in Cyprus, from the same council, irrespective of their residency status.

    Purchase Tax applicable for homes in Cyprus

    Two additional charges to consider when purchasing property in Cyprus are stamp duty, which is charged at progressive rates, from 0.15% to 0.2% depending on the value of the property. Transfer tax is chargeable on a sliding scale up to a maximum of 8% and becomes payable on the issuing of the title deeds by the land registry. This process can take a number of years and should always be budgeted for.

    Taxation for investment in Cyprus

    Cyprus has a number of double taxation treaties with many countries, which can make life a great deal easier for both resident and non-residents investors with financial concerns and responsibilities outside the country. Currently the Cypriot government does not levy either Inheritance tax, which was abolished in 2000, nor Wealth Tax.

    Cypriot Income Tax applicable to properties in Cyprus

    Income earned through renting out property in Cyprus is taxable at the normal income tax rates and some specific deductions are applicable. Rates range on a progressive scale from zero rate through to 30% dependant on income generated.

    Capital Gains Tax in Cyprus

    Capital Gains from the sale of immovable property are subject to 20% tax regardless of your residency status. Careful planning during the purchase procedure of houses in Cyprus is essential as upon selling specific deductions from capital gains can made dependant on period of ownership, whether the property in Cyprus is the prime residence and, additionally, a one off allowance is available to all. The value of this allowance is dependant on your residency status and is available to each listed property owner. Capital Gains is not payable if you sell the property before taking on the title in the case of an off-plan purchase .

    Buy property in Cyprus

    Withholding Tax in Cyprus

    There are several withholding taxes applicable at source on certain payments: dividend withholding tax, withholding tax on interest and withholding tax on royalties. Progressive tax rates are subject to change and it is advisable to consult with a tax consultant for up to date information.

    VAT in Cyprus

    The standard rate of VAT is 15% with reduced rates of 8% and 5% respectively for certain services and goods.

    Municipal Tax in Cyprus

    Municipal taxes vary from area to area and are charged annually by the local authority. This tax covers services such as refuse collection and street lighting.

    Property Tax in Cyprus

    Rates are set on a progressive scale ranging from 0%- 0.4% dependant on the value of the property in Cyprus.

    Cyprus at a Glance

    Situated in the Northeastern region of the Mediterranean Sea and 75 kilometres south of Turkey, Cyprus is the third largest island in the Mediterranean and one of the most popular tourist destinations. With alluring beaches and surrounding mountain peaks, vineyards, fields of olive trees, ancient ruins that stir the imagination, citrus groves and old stone villages, this country has something to offer to everyone.

    The island has a vibrant tourist sector that continues to show steady annual growth and there is an excellent business sector that has become a popular offshore location for investment in Cyprus. Furthermore the Island’s economy has been on a steady rise and is expected to continue growing in the coming years

    . Since 1974 the island of Cyprus has been split in two, with the Republic of Cyprus, in the south, being governed by the Cypriot government and the North of the Island being administered by the Turkish authorities. It is important to note the Greek Cypriot government is the only internationally recognized authority on the island.

    Language

    There are two official languages on the island with Greek being spoken in the South and Turkish being used in the North. Due to the historical ties with the United Kingdom, English is widely spoken.

    Religion

    The island is split along two lines with the inhabitants of the Greek Cypriot governed South, being predominantly followers of the Greek Orthodox Church, whilst the majority of the Turkish administered North are followers of Islam and thus being considered Muslim.

    Safety in Cyprus

    Cyprus is seen as generally a safe country and according to Interpol has a crime rate of approximately 10% of the European average.

    Education in Cyprus

    The education system in the Republic of Cyprus is administered by the Ministry of Education and provides high standards of education, which is compulsory between 6 – 14 years of age. Both public and private schools are represented on the island. The University of Cyprus is located in Nicosia and offers a wide range of degree courses.

    Health Care in Cyprus

    Health Care facilities in the Republic of Cyprus can be split into two sectors, state run facilities and private sector facilities. Both offer an extremely high level of care and the state facilities are practically free. Non resident EU nationals can avail themselves of free healthcare using the European Health Care Card, which replaced the E 111 form.

    Cypriot Politics

    The Republic of Cyprus is governed by the President who in turn is assisted by the Council of Ministers, all of whom are appointed by the President. The House of Representatives and the President are elected by popular vote for a five year term.

    Buying property in Cyprus

    Cypriot Economic Policy

    The Republic of Cyprus is an economically stable country and has experienced significant and sustained growth since the early 1990’s. Historically its main industry was agricultural based, but now remains heavily dependant on its tourism, construction and financial services sectors. Tourism currently contributes approximately 10%-15% of the islands GDP and employs more than 25% of the workforce. With its diversifying economy, Cyprus has produced annual GDP of US $21.4 billion, per capita GDP of US$27,000 and annual growth of approximately 4.4% (based on 2007).

    Cost of Living in Cyprus

    The cost of living in Cyprus is relatively low when compared with other Northern European countries. Electronic goods and most food items are generally better value however this may not be the case in typical tourist areas.

    Cypriot Currency

    On January 1st 2008, the Euro became the official currency in the Republic of Cyprus.

    Climate in Cyprus

    With such an enviable location, Cyprus enjoys one of the most agreeable climates of any Mediterranean country. Typically it is warmer than any of its Northern neighbours all year round. It enjoys hot dry summers, but coastal areas benefit from a cooling offshore breeze. Winter months are relatively mild and rainfall is common during these months.

    Getting to Cyprus

    The easiest and most common way of reaching the island is by air and Cyprus currently has two international airports located in Paphos and Larnaca. Both airports receive all year round international flights, from both budget and scheduled airlines, from many destinations, worldwide. The number of flights arriving does drop slightly during the winter months however ease of accessibility is maintained throughout the year.

    Additionally several foreign shipping companies have regular services to the island. The largest port facility is situated in the western part of Limassol town while a smaller port is situated in Larnaca in the East. Ferries connect Limassol with various Mediterranean and Middle Eastern ports.

    Driving in Cyprus

    Unlike most of Western Europe driving in Cyprus is on the left hand side and road signs are in both English and Greek. Use of front seat seatbelts is compulsory and the use of mobile phones, whilst driving, is prohibited unless using a hands free kit. EU driving licenses are valid until their expiry date although, for residents, it is possible to convert their license to a Cypriot license after six month residency.

    Non EU nationals can only drive with their home license for a short period of time. Cars of over 4 years of age are obliged by law to pass a roadworthiness test every two years. Roads covering the island are, in the main, of a high standard and since EU membership there has been a programme of constant upgrades to lesser roads

    Cypriot Visas and Permits

    As a member of the European Union, Cyprus has regulations that allow all EU citizens to enter the country without requiring a visa for a stay of up to 3 months. There are several forms of visas for non EU nationals dependant on nationality, the length and reason for visiting the country. The regulations covering these visas are subject to change and it is advisable to check with your Embassy

    Country Fact File
    Population
    Population

    Population: 792,604 (July 2008 est)
    GDP per capita: € 16,988 (2007 est)
    Inflation: 2.2% (2007 est)
    Unemployment: 3.8% (2007 est)

    Tourist Trends
    Tourist Trends

    Tourist Arrivals: 3,383,750(2007)
    Tourist Expenditure: € 535 per person( 2006)

    Carriers

    British Airways, Emirates, Lufthansa, Cyprus airways, BMI baby, Easy jet, Thomas Cook Airlines, Thomsonfly, excel Airways, First Chice Airways, Flyglobespan, Jet2.com, My Travel, Finnair
    Climate
    Climate

    Temperate: Mediterranean with hot dry summers and cool winters
    Medical
    Medical

    Health care is inexpensive and of excellent quality. Medical treatment and assistance, is offered free of charge to international tourists in case of health emergencies at the accident and emergencyDepartment of Government Hospitals and institutions.
    Education
    Education

    Education in the Republic of Cyprus is continuing to develop in both quality and quantity. Since the country's accession to the European Union, the standard of education has become more comparable to that of existing member countries. The Ministry of Education oversees schooling regulations within the country and there also a number of schools for children with special needs as well as a number of independent courses and universities at which one may follow courses.
    Cost of living
    Cost of Living

    The cost of living is relatively low in Cyprus with prices around 25% lower than most European countries.

    Disclaimer

    The information provided is for reference purposes only. Although all efforts have been taken to be correct at the time of being published, changes may have occurred in its course and thereafter. It is advisable to confirm the details with independent authorities. Propertyline International disclaims responsibility for the information provided and does not hold itself responsible for any loss or damage sustained.

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    Investment in Dubai

    Dubai property
    Fact File
  • Capital Growth: 25%
  • Rental Yields: 6% - 8%
  • Mortgage: Available up to 70% LTV
  • Income Tax: None
  • Capital Gains Tax:None
  • Inheritance Tax: None
  • Wealth Tax: None
  • Municipal Tax: None
  • Value added Tax: None
  • Property market in Dubai

    Whether it is a second home, a buy-to-let property or a property to retire or relocate in, there has never been a better time to invest in the Dubai real estate paradise.  This tiny emirate, that in the not too distant past was nothing more than a simple fishing village has suddenly become the Manhattan of the Middle East. In fact, the thriving economy, the state-of-the-art infrastructure and the high standards of living, have earned Dubai the name “Pearl of the Gulf”.

    Although certain regions in the Middle East can be unstable, Dubai has been a prosperous and well-respected tourist location for decades. The city is enjoying a period of dramatic yet carefully controlled growth. In comparison to other new and emerging markets, investment in Dubai appears to be a more attractive investment. With a lack of taxation and the legalisation of  foreign freehold ownership, Dubai is surely contributing to the high immigration from Europe, the Gulf Region and the Indian subcontinent. Over 100,000 additional people are expected to settle in Dubai every year. International investors can invest in 100% freehold properties in Dubai, rent them out or stay in them and sell them off whenever they want to, with full repatriation rights.

    Property in Dubai is of high quality and very often palatial. The projects being released are some of the world’s most inventive and ambitious, with exceptional quality properties situated in prime locations. Each of the developments is a landmark in its own right with all modern amenities and are all built to the highest of international standards. One of Dubai’s top developers is currently offering 500 million square feet of marinas, golf courses, 5-star hotels, adventure parks, beach resorts, townhouses, villas, malls, penthouses, high-rise offices and retail space across the region. With real estate in Dubai as out of the ordinary as this, it is not difficult to see why Dubai’s property market is attracting such large-scale international interest. Also, in selected developments, during promotional periods, luxury cars will be given away with every apartment purchased (Terms and Conditions apply).

    The temperature is continuing to rise in the Dubai property market, with hot new developments selling out in hours. Dubai sets a standard that is nothing short of remarkable and in a small way has changed the English language by rendering the words “far fetched” – at least concerning anything about Dubai – as meaningless.

    Buying property in Dubai
    Capital Growth in Dubai - Investment in Dubai

    Investors in freehold properties in Dubai are assured of handsome returns on their investment. With the real estate market still in its infancy and many key projects still underway, along with a rush of new foreign settlers and visitors coming to the city, Dubai property investors are set to continue receiving impressive tax- free capital growth figures. It is estimated that an annual return of 25% on investment in Dubai in the first three years of occupation is a very realistic expectation.

    Rental Yields in Dubai of real estate in Dubai

    Rental yields generally range between 6%-8%, with rents often being paid one year in advance. Renting out property in Dubai is not subject to any form of income tax, which is an additional benefit of owning property in Dubai for investment purposes.

    Mortgages in Dubai

    Mortgage finance is available from many internationally recognized banks such as HSBC, RakBank, Mashreqbank, The National Bank of Dubai and the Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank. All offer mortgage facilities of up to 70% of the value of the property, for customers interested in buying residential property in Dubai as well as buy to let accommodation.

    Purchase Procedure of Property in Dubai

    Recently introduced legislation has made the purchase procedure in Dubai property safer than ever. Installment payments on off-plan developments must now, by law, be paid into an Escrow account, rather than to the developer directly, This account is managed and maintained by an approved bank or financial institution and funds released to the developer only at pre-agreed stages of development. In order to ensure that the development complies with the actual building permit issued, a percentage of these funds are withheld until up to one year after completion of the project.

    Most property sold in Dubai is off-plan owing to the fact that they are new developments. The procedure leading up to the purchase of off-plan property in Dubai is straightforward. Once the property is chosen, a contract is drafted setting out the general terms and conditions of property purchase. The contract will be handed over to the purchaser’s solicitor of choice. This shall also set out a detailed payment plan which includes a one time 1.5% of the property value which is paid to the Local Land Registry. On re-sale of the property in Dubai, there are no restrictions on capital repatriation

    Taxation for investment in Dubai

    Apart from the oil industry and domestic banking sectors, there are no income, capital gains or withholding taxes. Currently neither Inheritance Tax nor Wealth Tax are applicable in the UAE. Value Added Tax is not charged at present although this may change in the future.The Emirate also has double taxation treaties with a number of countries and is often used in international tax planning by major corporations. There are no personal taxes other than import duties, mostly at rates up to 10%, a 5% residential tax assessed on rental value and a 5% tax on hotel services and entertainment.

    Buying property in Dubai

    Dubai Income and Corporate Tax

    No personal income tax is deducted from wages and salaries paid to employees or on other income earned. It is long established tradition that oil companies and banks are the only corporations to pay income tax and it is very unlikely that this will change in the near future.

    There is also no corporate income tax on profits. The exemption is for a period of 15 years with a guarantee of an extension for a further 15 years in the event that corporate income tax is introduced in Dubai.

    Dubai at a glance

    The birth of Dubai as an independent city came in about 1833, when the city was taken over by the Al Maktoum dynasty. Dubai’s economy did not always centre on oil and its profits and was originally a fishing settlement. By the turn of the century, it grew into an important trading port. Oil was discovered in 1966, and the resulting revenues fueled the rapid development of the area and provided for the general welfare of the inhabitants. Dubai worked extensively to develop its infrastructure , transport facilities, schools, hospitals, tourist developments and other amenities to the level of an advanced society. In 1971 the UAE was formed after the departure of the United Kingdom as protector in the Gulf and within two years Dubai had adopted the UAE dirham as the official currency.

    Dubai is a highly cosmopolitan city, with expatriates accounting for well over half of the population and is expected to be over 1.4 million by 2010.

    Language

    The official language of Dubai is Arabic, although English is widely spoken especially in business the business world. Road signs in Dubai are usually written in both languages.

    Religion

    Islam is the official religion, however Dubai is one of the most liberal places in the Middle East. Learning about Islam and respecting its traditions is important to all the emirates.

    Safety in Dubai

    Dubai has displayed continuous political and economic stability, making it one of the safest places in the world to live in. Dubai will be the world's safest city by 2010, when a smart system project will protect over 100,000 establishments. The project operates through an electronic monitoring system on every building which will trigger fire extinguishers and report accidents via satellites linked to the civil defense operations quarters.

    Education in Dubai

    Dubai has an extensive education sector and the government offers free education from kindergarten to university to all its citizens. The number of colleges and universities in Dubai has grown significantly in last 20 years and every year the number of staff and students increases by about 30%. Most of the colleges and universities are affiliating themselves to prestigious institutions abroad and many of them use English as the tuition language. A number of foreign universities have started operating in Dubai, including  Harvard Medical School.

    Buy property in Dubai

    Health Care in Dubai

    The quality of health care is generally high and equals that in Western Europe and the USA. The latest technologies and treatments are now available in the first class hospitals and clinics in Dubai.

    Dubai Healthcare City offers specialized medical and health services, including medical teaching institutions, private hospitals and clinics, spas , research and rehabilitation centres. It also includes residential villas, apartments and 5-star hotels surrounding an artificial lake with the intention to promote medical tourism.

    Dubai Politics

    The Supreme Council, made up of the individual rulers of the seven emirates, elect a new President and Vice-President every five years. The ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum also holds the positions of Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE.

    Dubai Economic Policy

    Dubai has changed dramatically over the last three decades becoming a major business centre with a dynamic and diversified economy. Enjoying a strategic location, it serves as the largest re-exporting centre in the Middle East.

    With its low logistical and operational costs, excellent infrastructure, international outlook and liberal government policies, Dubai is increasingly attracting investors. Activities such as trade, transport, tourism, industry and finance have shown steady growth and helped the economy to achieve a high degree of expansion and diversification.

    By 2010 the Emirate can be compared to a developed nation on the strength of a diversified non-oil economy with a annual GDP of US$ 30 billion and a per capita GDP of US$ 23,000, with annual GDP growth of over 6 per cent.

    Cost of Living in Dubai

    The overall cost of living in Dubai is similar to that in most European countries, with prices for most food items being similiar, but there are usually plenty of cheap regionally produced foods and household goods of excellent quality. Electronic goods, such as televisions, DVD players, photographic equipment and computer hardware and software, are generally less expensive than in Europe, due to lower import duties.

    Utilities, such as electricity, water and gas are subsidised to some extent by the region’s government, who owns the services in order to provide an inexpensive supply. The cost of international telephone calls are generally low as well.

    Dubai Currency

    The currency is the UAE dirham and is linked to the US$.

    Climate in Dubai

    The climate is considered to be sub-tropical, with blue skies and sunshine all year round. The hottest months are between June and September. Temperatures are only slightly more moderate the rest of the year, with the coolest time being between December and March. There is very little rainfall mainly in the cooler months.

    Getting to Dubai

    The easiest way to reach the city is by plane. Dubai International Airport is one of the top 10 airports in the world. The airport is located about two miles out of the city and offers all services, including two bus stations as well as taxi and limousine service. There is also a shuttle service running every 10 minutes from one terminal to another.

    Dubai’s location makes it accessible through many routes from cities all over world. The city is enjoying a period of dramatic yet carefully controlled growth. Five million tourists currently visit each year and this is expected to rise to 15 million by the year 2010.

    Driving in Dubai

    Driving is on the right hand side of the road and the city has an impressive road system. Residents wishing to obtain a driving license in Dubai need to be over the age of 18. It is compulsory to wear seatbelts and the use of mobile phones is only allowed whilst using a hands free device.

    Dubai Residence and Working Visas

    Entry Visa regulations are subject to change and it is advisable to check regulations with the Embassy.

    Obtaining a residence visa, which is also an employment visa, is possible, as is obtaining a family residence visa. This visa is only available for people with a monthly salary of over US$1,100, and that can cover parents, spouses, daughters and sons under 18. Before applying for a residency visa, it is compulsory to take a medical test and obtain a Health Card, which can be issued by the Ministry of Health or a recognised private hospital. There is an age limit of 50 years for a residency visa, although exceptions may be made to this rule. In general, residence visas are valid for three years.

    Country Fact File
    Population
    Population (UAE)

    Population: 4,621,319 (July 2008 est)
    GDP per capita: €34,604 (2007 est)
    Inflation: 12% (2007 est)
    Unemployment: 2.4% (2001 est)

    Tourist Trends
    Tourist Trends

    Tourist Arrivals: 20 million (2006)
    Tourist Expenditure: 5.3 billion (2005)
    Primary Tourist: British

    Carriers

    Aer Lingus, KLM, SAS, Alitalia, British Airways, Cyprus Airways, Turkish Airlines, Emirates Airlines, Lufthansa.
    Climate
    Climate

    Desert, cooler in the eastern mountains.
    Medical
    Medical

    Quality of health care is generally high and equal to that in western Europe and USA. Due to the numerous medical facilities in the private and public sector, long waiting list are almost unheard of.
    Education
    Education

    There is a fairly wide choice of schools in Dubai, with free education from Kindergartden up to University to all citizens. The private sector provides for the expatriate community and schools are generally of a reasonable standard.
    Cost of living
    Cost of Living

    Overall cost of living is similar to that in most European countries. The general lack of taxation has a significant impact on the cost of certain items like cars, while the cost of accommodation as well as that of certain food tiems (particularly imported foods) is sometimes high.

    Disclaimer

    The information provided is for reference purposes only. Although all efforts have been taken to be correct at the time of being published, changes may have occurred in its course and thereafter. It is advisable to confirm the details with independent authorities. Propertyline International disclaims responsibility for the information provided and does not hold itself responsible for any loss or damage sustained.

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    Investment in Egypt

    Egypt property
    Fact File
  • Capital Growth: 25%
  • Rental Yields: 11.35%
  • Mortgage: Available up to 60% LTV
  • Income Tax: Progresive rates up to a maximum of 20%
  • Capital Gains Tax: None
  • Inheritance Tax: None
  • Wealth Tax: None
  • Municipal Tax: This law is currently under revision and new regulations are expected in the near future
  • Value added Tax:10%
  • Property in Egypt

    Property in Egypt is catching the attention of the savvy international investor looking to invest in an exotic, historical and beautiful country with a warm climate and a booming tourist industry.

    The economy has undergone extensive reforms resulting in a rise in GDP of 7.2% in 2007. Naturally such a strong economy enhances the potential for property price appreciation as local affordability improves. This also means Egypt is reinvesting wealth into the improvement of everything from amenities to infrastructure and accessibility. All these factors have a positive and direct effect on the overall appeal of the nation as a place to holiday, live, retire or invest in.

    Egypt is one of the most affordable medium haul destinations offering year round sunshine, increasingly serviced by low cost operators following the recent liberalization of aviation accessibility. This improved accessibility has lead to a greater number of tourist arrivals and a higher demand from overseas investment in Egypt.

    Property in Egypt is one of the newest and still relatively undiscovered emerging markets for property investors who want to buy quality property with a high return from rental, great capital growth, all at a low price. Foreign purchasers have the right to own land and real estate in Egypt. Today the government recognizes the great value foreign investors in property have for the success of the economy and are actively encouraging overseas buyers to Egypt.

    Buying property in Egypt

    The developments that are planned within Hurghada are built and managed in conjunction with UK companies. This will elevate Egypt to be amongst the most luxurious resorts in the world. With fully managed services, a wide range of accommodation types, short- walking distance from the beach, extensive facilities, and good payment terms, these properties in Egypt will have something to offer to everyone. And with prices of apartments from as low as €25,380, this is a destination that one definitely cannot miss.

    All indications show that investment property in Egypt is now a highly beneficial market in which to invest. While the tourist infrastructure and economic climate is constantly improving, we would urge investors to catch this market at the very beginning, while prices remain incredibly low and high returns on investment are there for the taking.

    Capital Growth-Investment in Egypt

    Property prices remain incredibly low even though the market has experienced a 50% growth in one year over the last few years. Based on a steady increase in investments in the tourist sector and a resulting surge in visitor numbers, Egypt offers promising growth potential to all types of investors, while some key locations are currently attracting as much as 25% annual capital growth. Well-established tourist hot spots are already in existence, particularly along the Red and Mediterranean Sea coasts catering for a wide variety of modern touristic requirements, from excellent diving and snorkeling, five star hotels and golf courses to cultural and historical activities. New off-plan opportunities from international developers are being built, attracting overseas investors looking for a secure investment with good potential at extremely low prices.

    Rental Yields of real estate Egypt

    Rental yields, as high as 11.35%, are already achievable from property located in the current tourist hotspots. In fact, ‘The Global Property Guide’ ranks Egypt as offering the best residential rental returns. Visitor numbers continue to rise year-on-year fuelling the strong demand for holiday rental accommodation and thus strengthening a large proportion of the market for investment property in Egypt.

     

    Mortgages on Egypt homes

    The Egyptian mortgage finance law, implemented in 2001 allows both banks and mortgage companies to issue mortgages and home loans. However the mortgage market in Egypt is still in its infancy and raising necessary funds in your home country may be simpler. Alternatively if you are buying newly built properties, some developers have negotiated finance schemes for particular developments.

    Purchase Procedure of property in Egypt

    Egypt has many complex registration issues and hence it’s important to seek advice from a qualified solicitor. It is estimated that only 10% of properties in Egypt are registered. 

    Purchasing new build properties from developers is a safe option and will ensure that all legal requirements are in place. Your solicitor will carry out all the appropriate searches and through liaison with the Real Estate Registration office ensure that the property in Egypt is fully registered and prepared for foreign purchase. The registration procedure can take up to 4 months.

    Deposits can vary between one development and another but as a general rule it is approximately 10% of the purchase cost.

    After inspections and payment of any taxes or fees the registry will issue a new title deed. It important to note that the sales contract should be bilingual or it is not legally binding.

    Buying property in Egypt

    Purchase Tax Procedures of Property in Egypt

    Registration tax is payable on delivery of your property and is charged at progressive rates up to a maximum of 3% of the purchase price.

    Taxation in Egypt

    Egypt has double taxation treaties with over 50 other countries and currently does not levy Wealth Tax or Inheritance tax. Individuals are considered to be tax resident in Egypt if they spend more than 183 days per calendar year in the country. It is always advisable to contact a tax consultant for the most up to date information.

    Income and Corporate Tax in Egypt

    Income earned through renting out property in Egypt is taxable at the normal income tax rates. Rates range on a progressive scale from zero rate through to 20% dependant on income generated. Income generated from rental of unfurnished properties is taxed differently than that of furnished properties in Egypt.

    Capital Gains Tax in Egypt

    Capital Gains does not apply to the sale of real estate however when selling a property a 2.5% “sales” tax is payable on the price.

    Withholding Tax in Egypt

    No Withholding Tax is imposed on dividends paid to non residents. Interest payments and royalty payments made to non residents are subject to a 20% withholding tax.

    VAT in Egypt

    The standard rate of GST, which is similar to VAT, is 10%.

    Property Tax in Egypt

    Municipal authorities levy property taxes. However this law is currently under revision and new regulations are expected in the near future.

    Egypt at a Glance

    With 7,000 years of civilization for visitors to explore and enjoy, it is a nation with vastly diverse and intensely appealing landscapes, Egypt has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, is a nation naturally blessed with amiable and hospitable inhabitants and has achieved the status of one of the top diving destinations in the world thanks to its crystal clear waters and mesmerizing coral reefs. Starting with the Pharaohs who were able to create a civilisation set on the banks of the Nile, they were succeeded by foreign conquerors, mainly Persian, Greek, Roman and Byzantine. European influence in the 19th century gave way to a constitutional monarchy in 1922. Following the revolution of 1952, Egypt declared itself a Republic in 1953.

    Buy property in Egypt
    The Red Sea coast is not only a diver’s paradise but also a wonderful location to relax and enjoy the sun. The construction of new golf courses and marinas will ensure Hurghada provides a gateway to the Red Sea's prime diving sites and is unique in offering access to many uninhabited offshore reefs and islands, allowing a myriad of opportunities for swimming, snorkeling, scuba and free diving. The warm waters are ideal for many varieties of rare fish and coral reefs.

    Language

    The current official language is Arabic, with English and French being widely spoken especially in business and trade fields.

    Religion

    The official religion is Islam with 80% - 90% of the population being Muslim.>

    Safety in Egypt

    Generally speaking Egypt is one of the safest countries in the African continent. Although it has been targeted in the past by acts of terrorism, these instances were few and far between.

    Education in Egypt

    Egypt is found at the forefront of education in the region with many higher education institutions, universities and colleges, both public and private, delivering courses in all areas for hundreds of thousands of students of all nationalities. There are also a number of international institutions, such as the American University and the newly established Canadian University.

    Health Care in Egypt

    There are many general hospitals as well as specialized hospitals throughout the country particularly in the major cities. All types of medical care are available and healthcare is of a high standard, with highly-educated English speaking doctors using modern medical facilities. Many students from many Arab countries and Africa further their studies of medicine at universities in Egypt.

    Egyptian Politics

    The Republic of Egypt’s President is directly elected for a term of 5 years by popular vote and the Egyptian government has been remarkably dynamic over the last few years where considerable modernisation has occurred at a fast pace.

    Egyptian Economic Policy

    The economy has undergone some substantial changes and the government is investing dramatically in the country’s economy, which results in a current growth rate of 7%. Financial sector reform is a government priority and privatisation is an important element in this plan. The aim of the government is to improve access to finance for the private sector. This also means that the country is reinvesting wealth into the improvement of everything from amenities, to infrastructure and accessibility. All these factors have a positive and direct effect on the overall appeal of the nation as a place to holiday, live, retire or invest in.

    Cost of Living in Egypt

    The cost of living in Egypt is far lower than in most European countries. Prices for certain food items are the same but there are usually plenty of cheap locally and regionally produced foods and household goods of excellent quality.

    Currency in Egypt

    The official currency is the Egyptian pound.>

    Climate in Egypt

    The climate is warm all year round and there are only two seasons. The summer season runs from May to October and the winter from November to April. Temperatures increase southwards, and on average these vary between 22 - 37 degrees Celcius in the summer and 9 - 19 degrees Celsius in the winter.

    Getting to Egypt

    Egypt is one of the most affordable medium haul destinations and is easily accessed from all over the world with a wide variety of direct budget and scheduled flights arriving into major cities such as Cairo, Luxor and the Red Sea ports.

    Driving in Egypt

    Driving is on the right hand side of the road and the infrastructure is of relative good quality, especially in the major cities. Road signs are similar to those used throughout Europe and speed limits are posted on major highways. Non residents can use their International Driving License for 90 days from arrival in Egypt after this period an Egyptian driving license is required.

    Egypt Visas and Permits

    Most foreign nationals require a visa to enter Egypt and there are several forms of visas dependant on nationality, the length and reason for visiting the country. EU nationals arriving in Red Sea Resort airports are issued with an entry permission stamp on arrival which is valid for a maximum of 14 days. Regulations are subject to change and it is advisable to check regulations with the Embassy.
    Country Fact File
    Population
    Population

    Population: 81,713,517 (July 2008 est)
    GDP per capita: €3,385 (2007 est)
    Inflation: 8.8% (2007 est)
    Unemployment: 10.1% (2007 est)
    Tourist Trends
    Tourist Trends

    Tourist Arrivals: 8.6 million (2006)
    Tourist Expenditure: €1,128,405,600 (2006)
    Primary Tourist: British

    Carriers

    Easyjet, Thomas Cook Airlines, Thomsonfly, XL Airways, First Choice Airways,Flyglobespan, Jet2.com, Monarch Airlines, SAS, Egypt Airline, British Airways
    Climate
    Climate

    Desert; hot, dry summers with moderate winters
    Medical
    Medical

    There are several hospitals offering various levels of services from minor outpatient care to more serious problems. Further to this, numerous clinics as well as private hospitals are available. Private fees are generally cheaper than in Europe.
    Education
    Education

    Egypt is found at the forefront of education with many higher education institutions, universities and colleges, both public and private delivering courses in all areas for students of all nationalities. There are also a number of international institutions within the country such as the American University and the newly established Canadian University.
    Cost of living
    Cost of Living

    The cost of living in Egypt is far lower than most European countries, although top hotels and good restaurants can be quite expensive when compared with prices found in Western cities.

    Disclaimer

    The information provided is for reference purposes only. Although all efforts have been taken to be correct at the time of being published, changes may have occurred in its course and thereafter. It is advisable to confirm the details with independent authorities. Propertyline International disclaims responsibility for the information provided and does not hold itself responsible for any loss or damage sustained.

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    Investment in Italy

    Italy property
    Fact File
  • Capital Growth: 15% - 20%
  • Rental Yields: 5% average
  • Mortgage: Available locally up to 80% LTV with terms up to 30 years
  • Income Tax: Progressive rates up to a maximum of 43%
  • Capital Gains Tax: Progressive rates up to a maximum of 43%
  • Inheritance tax: Progressive rates up to a maximum of 8%
  • Wealth Tax: None
  • Municipal Tax: Progressive rates up to a maximum of 0.8%
  • Value added Tax: 20%
  • Property in Italy

    Investment in Italy is a strong arena due to a number of interesting factors. The prices of Property in Italy remain relatively low, compared with many other EU countries. Italy is the fourth most visited country in the world, welcoming some 40 million tourists per year and attracts tourists from many continents, mingling happily with holidaying Italians in fashionable resorts and cities.

    The purchase of property in Italy is not a complex procedure and foreign nationals have largely the same rights in the buying process as any Italian citizen. As a member of the EU and the European Economic & Monetary Union, the country offers a well-established, strong economic climate in which to invest. Italy is a member of the G8 industrialized nations, therefore ranking among the world leaders. These factors serve to further increase investor confidence in Italy as a safe and stable economy in which to do business.

    The market of property in Italy offers something for everyone, not matter the reason for investment, from new build developments to renovation projects. Whether looking for a “get away” retreat or a city centre house in Italy, it has it all. A tried and tested investment market offering many great opportunities!

    Property purchasers are attracted by the lack of mass property development in the country. The Italian property market is focused on smaller developments, existing re-sales and rural renovations and there are no restrictions on foreign ownership of properties. The rental market in Italy is strong and exceptionally attractive as well, with high rental yields, massive demand and excellent occupancy levels.

    The Italian property market offers comparatively low prices for the best properties and locations. Today the Italian property market is widely regarded as strong with excellent growth potential.

    Buying property in Italy
    Capital Growth-Investment in Italy

    Capital appreciation is expected to continue to perform exceptionally well over the next 5 years, with predictions of steady growth between 10%-15%. The longer investors are able to leave capital in their purchase of real estate in Italy, the higher their potential returns will be. Tourist levels are high and the resulting strength in the buy-to-let market allows investors to reap in solid capital growth, all the while supplementing this income with high rental yields.

    Rental Yields of real estate in Italy

    As the fourth most visited destination in the world, Italy is positively booming both in terms of its tourism and resulting real estate market. With yields as high as 12% in key locations, good research is of paramount importance to the investor wishing to purchase in a highly lucrative though safe EU property market. Italy has a strong rental market and it is possible to rent out any type of property.

    Mortgages–homes in Italy

    Bank mortgages are one of the most widely used forms of finance for purchasing property in Italy and banks will lend up to 80% of the property value. Italian mortgages are normally repaid over 15 years up to a maximum of 30 years and available up to the age of 75. Recent changes in the law have made it easier for borrowers to cancel a mortgage loan. Mortgages on houses in Italy are repayment mortgages where the borrower pays a combination of capital and interest back each month. Fees are usually clear and up-front and they will include a 1% arrangement fee, a 1% administration fee and a 2% registrations tax.

    Purchase Procedure for real estate in Italy

    The sale agreement is the first contract between vendor and purchaser and is laid out in detailed clauses. Upon signing the sale agreement, the purchaser will pay a sum as deposit which is agreed upon with the vendor. This deposit binds the vendor and the purchaser to enter into a sale contract. It is important to define the deposit, as this can have repercussions as to what happens should either party pull out of the agreement at a later stage.

    The notarized act is the contract of sale and shall be executed by a notary who shall also check the compliance of the clauses set forth in the sale agreement.

    Bank loans are readily available to both resident and non-resident buyers. The loan application procedure is rather complex and must include the floor plan of the property in Italy, a copy of the sale agreement and a copy of the insurance policy. In addition the bank must conduct a technical survey of the property.

    In recently introduced legislation any deposits or payments made on off plan properties are fully protected by law and are guaranteed by a bank or financial institution. Should completion of the property in Italy not come to fruition, for any reason, the buyer is safe in the knowledge that any paid monies will be returned in full.

    Purchase Tax applicable for homes in Italy

    Transfer tax or IIC (equivalent of stamp duty) charges are dependant on the location of the property in Italy and is charged at 10% of the value of the property. In addition, cadastral tax of 1% and if using a mortgage facility an additional charge of up to 2% is incurred.

    Taxation in Italy

    The taxation system is straightforward and follows patterns usually found in other European states. Non-residents are taxed only on income generated from Italian sources.

    Italian Income and Corporate Tax

    An individual is liable for tax on his income as an employee and on income as a self-employed person. Tax will be payable on income earned in Italy and overseas by an individual who meets the test of a "permanent resident" of Italy. A foreign resident who is employed in Italy pays tax only on income earned in Italy. The tax rate for an individual is 23% to 43%, and the standard rate of corporate tax is 27.5%. Income generated from property ownership is subject to the income tax regime with some allowable deductions.

    Capital Gains Tax in Italy

    As with most countries Capital Gains Tax rates vary dependant on several factors. However generally speaking, real estate in Italy sold after five years of ownership is exempted. Ownership of less than 5 years results in taxation under the Income tax system. On returns of less that 100,000 EUR 23% tax is payable and 33% for gains over this amount.

    Withholding Tax in Italy

    There are several withholding taxes applicable at source on certain payments: dividend withholding tax, withholding tax on interest and withholding tax on royalties. Progressive tax rates are subject to change and it is advisable to consult with a tax consultant for up to date information.

    Buying property in Italy
    VAT in Italy

    The standard rate of VAT is 20%, and there are reduced rates of 4% and 10% on basic products. The VAT is charged on assets and services in Italy as well as on imports into Italy.

    Inheritance Tax in Italy

    After a short absence, Inheritance Tax was reintroduced in 2007 and the tax rates are 4% to 8% of the asset value. Other depending factors are on the relationship between the two parties and the value of the estate.

    Municipal Tax in Italy

    Rates of the municipal tax range from 0.1% to 0.8% and are reviewed annually by each municipality.

    Tax on Property in Italy

    The tax is based on an assessment of the value of the asset by the tax authorities, and the rates vary from 0.04% to 0.07%.

    Italy at a Glance

    The country has the fourth largest population in the European Union with almost 60 million inhabitants. The gradual increase in population is mainly supplemented by immigrants and an increase in life expectancy. Italy has the fifth highest population density in Europe with 196 persons per square kilometer with the majority living in the Northwest of the country. Approximately two thirds of the population lives in urban areas which is much lower than other Western European nations.

    Calabria

    Located in the southern most part of Italy, right at the toe of the peninsula, is the region of Calabria. This region has a fascinating fusion of mountains and is surrounded by the crystalline waters of three seas, the Mediterranean, Tyrrhenian and Ionian seas.

    This undiscovered part of Italy is affordable, both in terms of the cost of property and daily living expenses it has something to offer to everyone. There are beautiful forests and rivers, spectacular mountains, a clear blue sea, natural spas, and magnificent national parks. Calabria is one of the most beautiful parts of the country and the property market has a lot to offer the investor. Prices are affordable, the climate is excellent and the countryside and beaches are mesmerising.

    The region has two airports, Reggio Calabria and Lamezia with the latter receiving mostly international flights. The Calabria region has always been a favourite holiday destination with northern Italians looking for sunshine, relaxation, peace and quiet. Now, due to the introduction of low-cost flights, tourists and overseas homebuyers from Europe and other destinations are on the increase. Thomson and Ryan Air fly regular to Lamezia and provide access to other European countries.

    Calabria is one of the hottest areas for investment in Italy and holiday homes. Despite being an emerging market, it is located within the excellently established Italian property market. Property in this part of Italy, as yet has not been affected by the booming Italian city markets and the intense overseas interest. Prices of property in Italy are substantially low compared to other Italian regions and most European destinations. Due to these low entry-level prices, capital appreciation is expected to increase between 15%-20% per annum over the next 5 years. Furthermore, Calabria’s increasing tourism is producing high rental yields.

    Sicily

    The Sicily property market is beginning to show signs of growth and as such represents a good opportunity for investment. This is the opinion of most international property experts.

    The main point of entry to the island is at Catania's Fontanarossa airport, served daily by British Airways from Gatwick . Further to this, Trapani Airport, located on the north-east side of the island receives budget flights from Ryan Air. There is also a new airport nearing completion at Comiso in Ragusa province with plans for an extension of the highway south to Ragusa which will cut journey times by up to an hour. There is also the possibility that a bridge connecting Sicily to mainland Italy will be built very soon, which would in effect aid the Sicilian economy and make the island more accessible and attractive to investors and realtors.

    Sicily has perhaps been overlooked in recent years. Property prices, which have been rising as much as 20% a year, are still affordable and reasonable. Sicily is guaranteed value for money, with its beautiful ‘Mediterranean’ properties and lots of open spaces all over the island. While still being an emerging market, the Island is situated inside an established Western European country, with all its laws, taxes and buyer protections. The cost of living here is very competitive when compared to similar islands such as Crete.

    Here, ‘living’ is not preached but practiced. All towns have their particular gastronomic traditions. It is an area where all enjoy life together - be it sitting in the piazza enjoying a coffee or a limoncello or out in the countryside.

    Sicily is one of the few remaining outposts of unspoilt Italian life that have yet to feel the full effects of the international property boom. Instead the Island continues to rely on a steady stream of mainland Italians, and the savvy foreign investors who have realised what treasures it hides.

    Tuscany and the North

    Italy is not just about Mediterranean beaches and endless sunshine. The North is a fascinating mix of cultures and regions that provide the most varied landscape. It is a gently hilly region, known for its vineyards and olive groves, with large houses or small settlements scattered around the low hills. Towns overflowing with Renaissance art and architecture complement the rich rolling landscape.

    The area is easily accessed from other European countries due to the number of airports and is served by both scheduled and low cost airlines from many destinations, including Ryan Air, British Airways and Easy Jet. Towns and cities from different areas in Italy are also connected by train and provide fast, cheap and efficient connections.

    North Italy continues to be a favourite location for overseas homebuyers, which is reflected in the strength of property prices that continue to rise making the region ideal for investment in Italy. The property market is developing rapidly but properties and land can still be acquired at reasonable prices. Good accessibility, a high level of local services and all year round activities make the area ideal for anyone searching for an ideal location in which to invest in and relax in at the same time.

    The north of Italy offers unrivalled opportunities especially for property renovators or anyone who loves doing up beautiful old houses. Strict planning permission laws within boundaries of regional and national parks led to the prices of new property to become more elusive and therefore more expensive. Many foreign buyers are investing in affordable renovation projects such as disused farmhouses. There are plenty of such properties in Italy still available but even these are being snapped up by foreign investors keen to own a property in an area which is becoming increasingly popular. Sound opportunities of investment in Italy can easily be found by the motivated investor and the availability of properties in some regions from as low as € 80,000, makes them more affordable than you may think. Also, as many of these farmhouses have barns and stables for converting into further living accommodation thus making it possible to accommodate guests or to provide rental income. The apartments in the area are ideal as holiday homes in Italy with the potential to make a good return from rental when not in use. That is because the area is a major tourism destination, especially from western countries and from the high end of the market with a lot of disposable income. Therefore solid rental can be achieved from being at the highest end of the holiday letting price scale.
    Buy property in Italy
    Language

    The official language is Italian, although English and German are widely spoken especially in business and trade fields.

    Religion

    Around 95% of native-born Italian citizens are practising Roman Catholics. There are also established Protestant and Jewish communities and a growing Muslim community.

    Safety in Italy

    Italy is a political and economic stable country, which makes it a safe place to live. It is a relative crime free country with a low crime rate. Petty thefts, however, are frequently brought to the attention of the authorities.

    Education in Italy

    School is mandatory for children aged 6 to 18 and level of education is extremely high. With excellent facilities and a wide choice of courses to choose from, education is free. There are two stages of education: primary and secondary. Private or state-funded school attendance are available to all.

    Italy hosts a large number of long established universities and the system operated is very similar to that of a UK university with most courses lasting 3 to 5 years. There are also a small number of private-funded universities who are able to confer academic degrees.

    Health Care in Italy

    The World Health Organization ranks Italy as one of the top 10 countries for quality health care services. The health system is administered through local health authorities and provides low cost health care and a high standard of medical assistance. These services are extended, free of charge, to all EU citizens.

    Italian Politics

    Italy has been a democratic Republic since 1946 when the monarchy was abolished. Currently the Italian political system is made up of the Chamber of Deputies, the Lower House, which is elected by popular majority vote at national level and the Senate of the Republic, the Upper House, which is elected by popular majority vote at regional level. Both are elected for a 5 year term and the government must have overall majorities in both houses to remain in power.

    Italian Economic Policy

    Since the end of World War II the economy in Italy has seen a gradual shift from the mainly agricultural based market to the industrial based market. Italy has the seventh largest market economy, is one of the Group of Eight industrialized nations, a member of the European Union and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Italy's closest trade ties are with the other countries of the European Union. The country’s largest EU trade partners are Germany, France and the United Kingdom.

    Traditionally, Northern Italy has made up the core of Italian industry due to its accessibility to the rest of mainland Europe. In the Southern regions the economy is less developed compared to the industrial north owing to the extensive agricultural activities carried out by a section of the country's population.

    In the past Italy has seen slow economic growth but recently has seen great improvements with an annual GDP of US $1.8, trillion, per capita GDP of US $31,000 and annual GDP growth of 1.9%

    Cost of Living in Italy

    The cost of living in the South of the country is reasonable and substantial cheaper than in the most European countries whilst the cost of living in the North and the coastal areas is higher and similar overall to most European countries. There are plenty of local markets where the prices of fresh fruit and daily food products are much lower than the prices in the supermarkets.

    Italian Currency

    The official currency is the Euro and has been adopted the 1st of January 2002.

    Climate in Italy

    The climate in Italy is highly diverse depending on the location. The inland northern areas of Italy have a continental climate typically classified as humid subtropical.

    The coastal regions where most of the large towns are located have a typical Mediterranean climate with mild winters and warm generally dry summers. The length and intensity of the summer dry season increases southwards. Between the North and South there can be a considerable difference in temperature especially during the winter.

    Getting to Italy

    Italy is well served by many airports having Rome, Milan, Pisa, Naples, Turin, Bologna and Venice as the main hubs. From these, internal flights connect to the smaller regional airports and to the islands of Sicily and Sardinia.

    The country is easily accessed from all over the world with a wide variety of direct budget flights arriving into major cities such as Rome, Venice and Milan. Regular flights from Alitalia, which is Italy's national flag carrier, British Airways and Easyjet provide access to Rome, Venice, Milan and Pisa whilst Ryanair flies to some of the smaller airports such as Calabria, Genoa, Trieste, Verona, Brindisi and Pescara.

    It is also possible to get to Italy by ferry,with daily connections from many European countries.

    Driving in Italy

    Driving is on the right hand side of the road and the roads are of a good quality especially in and around the major cities. Almost all the motorways are toll roads. Travelers driving in Italy need their driver's license and an International Driving Permit.

    Railways cover a larger relative area than the UK or the USA, they are cheap, clean, fast and efficient. They come in a range of different classes from Eurocity to Regional trains.

    Italian Visas and Permits

    Nationals of EU countries can stay in Italy for an unlimited period and nationals of Australia, Canada and the USA can visit Italy for stays of up to 90 days if the purpose of their trip is tourism or business-related. Several types of visas are available dependant on the visit purpose, duration and nationality of the applicant. Regulations are subject to change and it is advisable to check regulations with the Embassy.

    Country Fact File
    Population
    Population

    Population: 58,145,321 (July 2008 est)
    GDP per capita: €19,433 (2007 est)
    Inflation: 1.7% (2007 est)
    Unemployment: 6.7% (2007 est)
    Tourist Trends
    Tourist Trends

    Tourist Arrivals: 41.1 million (2006)
    Tourist Expenditure: €23.1 billion (2006)
    Primary Tourist: N/A

    Carriers

    Click Air, Easyjet, Finnair, KLM, Jet2.com, Ryanair, Thomsonfly, BMI Baby, Flybe, My Travel Airways, SAS, TAP Portugal,A er Lingus, First Choice Airways, Thomas Cook, Monarch Airlines, Alitalia, Lufthansa, British Airways, Air Malta, Emirates Airlines, Turkish Airlines.
    Climate
    Climate

    Predominantly Mediterranean, Alpine in the far North while hot and dry in the South
    Medical
    Medical

    The country's national health service is an efficient and uniform health system, covering the entire population irrespective of income or conributions, employment or health conditions. It provides free / low cost health care to all resident. European Health Insurance Card entitles EU nationals to free or reduces cost medical care.
    Education
    Education

    The state sector is the backbone of the Italian education system and this is also free for the children of foriengers living in Italy, irrespective of whether they are registered residents. Qualifications are of great importance in Italy. However, despite boasting one of the highest proportions of university students in the world, the percentages of students who graduate from university or even obtain secondarry school qualifications is low compared with other EU countries.
    Cost of living
    Cost of Living

    The cost of living in Italy has increased considerably in the last decade. Generally speaking the cost of living is more expensive in the Northern part or the country than the southern section.

    Disclaimer

    The information provided is for reference purposes only. Although all efforts have been taken to be correct at the time of being published, changes may have occurred in its course and thereafter. It is advisable to confirm the details with independent authorities. Propertyline International disclaims responsibility for the information provided and does not hold itself responsible for any loss or damage sustained.

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    Investment in Malta

    Malta property
    Fact File
  • Capital Growth: 10% - 15%
  • Rental Yields: 2.85%
  • Mortgage: Available up to 90% LTV over a term of 40 years (maximum 65 years of age)
  • Income Tax: Progressive rates up to a maximum of 35%
  • Capital Gains Tax: 35% (or 12% Withholding tax)
  • Inheritance Tax: None
  • Wealth Tax: None
  • Municipal Tax: None
  • Value added Tax: 18%
  • Property market in Malta

    It is not only the sun and the crystal-clear sea that attracts thousands of visitors to the Maltese Islands – the friendliness of the local English-speaking inhabitants; the rich history and culture; relaxed lifestyle and leisure facilities all contribute to Malta’s charm. With Europe’s largest budget airline Ryan Air now running frequent flights from the UK and three weekly from Stockholm, Pisa and Dublin, demand for immovable property, already on the increase since Malta joined the European Union in 2004, looks set to boom.

    Malta properties are one of the safest investment. The fact that the island is such a popular choice with those seeking to live overseas, those looking to reduce their business and personal taxation burden and even those wishing to retire to the sun, means that the real estate market in Malta is a hive of activity.

    Malta’s stable economy is greatly dependent on tourism and the country’s strategic location is ideal for property investments looking for blue chip corporate lettings. A large number of multi-national companies with offices in the Middle East are setting up base and relocating employees to Malta using the island as a stepping stone to tap into emerging markets. Further to this, an enviable climate, stunning scenery, beautiful architecture and a wealth of historical treasures, not to mention welcoming and friendly locals, ensure a steady stream of visitors and in turn, excellent buy-to-let opportunities.

    Since the Euro succession on the 1st January 2008, Malta has become even more attractive to foreign investors. Membership in the euro zone has made the island part of a large single market with a single currency, where investors can do business throughout the area with minimal disruption and can also take advantage of a more stable economic environment.

    Propertyline International developments and properties are located across the length and breadth of the Islands of Malta and Gozo. Offering numerous opportunities to suit all sorts of investors, from new build apartments to historic Palazzo’s, fully finished properties to renovation projects, the Maltese property market has something for everyone.

    Capital Growth- Investment in Malta

    The safest investment on the Maltese islands is property. The Maltese property market is totally different from any other, in that so far it has never experienced a drop in the value but a stead capital growth of between 10 - 15% per annum; naturally this is dependent on the Maltese property type and location. This is due to a very active and strong local market and due to the small size of the island (17 miles by 9), with the economic principle of supply and demand playing a very important role.

    Rental Yields of real estate in Malta

    The Maltese rental market offers several opportunities for overseas homebuyers who can enjoy the property in Malta for personal use or to rent out during the vacant periods thus receiving an attractive rental income or for both rental and use The Maltese rental market is a year round market, fuelled by a large number of overseas nationals working on the island. Many retirees stay on the island throughout the winter months to avoid the cold and wet Northern European climate.

    Mortgages of Malta homes

    Overseas homebuyers avail themselves from local mortgage facilities with Banks financing up to 90% of the value of the Maltese property, with flexible repayment terms of up to 40 years. A variety of mortgages products, such as Home Loans, Buy To Let Loans, Equity Release are offered from HSBC, Bank of Valletta plc, Banif Bank, Lombard Bank and APS Bank Ltd.

    Buying property in Malta
    Purchase Procedure of Property in Malta

    The method of purchase is simple. On finding the right Maltese property and agreeing on a price a preliminary agreement (convenium) is signed, binding the vendor to sell and the purchaser to buy the property at the agreed price within a stipulated time and under other terms agreed upon by the parties to the agreement. The agreement must be subject to the acquisition of the A.I.P. permit (in the case of non-residents). It is the practice that 10% of the purchase price is paid on the convenium either by way of deposit or earnest as agreed between the parties. The preliminary agreement is normally for a period of three months (however this can be of any duration as agreed by the parties) during which period the Notary Public nominated by the purchaser carries out searches to ascertain the validity of the title. On the expiration of the agreed period if all the conditions of the preliminary agreement are satisfied, a final deed of sale will be entered into between the parties to the agreement. The same process is repeated for the sale of property in Malta.

    EU nationals and any other nationalities are entitled to purchase only ONE residential property in Malta or Gozo (unless one purchases in a Area such as e.g. Portomaso, Madliena Village, Tigne project, Cottonera Waterfront, Tas-Sellum, Pender Gardens, Madliena Village and Chambrai in Gozo, here they may acquire any number of Maltese properties and do not require any permit from the government to purchase if they are buying as a second home) and is subject to the acquiring of an Acquisition of Immovable Property Permit (A.I.P Permit) from the Ministry of Finance, which normally is issued within three months. Subject to the conditions listed below:

  • The purchase price must be at least € 99,043 in the case of an apartment, masionette, penthouse and € 165,024 in the case of any type of house.
  • Proof that funds for the purchase of the property have originated from abroad.


  • However if a E.U. citizen is going to reside in Malta permanently or is purchasing for commercial use them:

  • No minimum purchase value requirement applies; however, this only applies if they do not own another property within the E.U. or if they have already resided permanently on the island for a period of five years.
  • Non-Maltese E.U. citizens residing permanently in Malta for a continuous period of 5 years may acquire a second property.
  • Property acquired for commercial use can be rented out freely.


  • Kindly note that the conditions for non-EU citizens are that :

  • The purchase price must be at least € 99,043 in the case of an apartment, maisonette, penthouse and € 165,024 in the case of any type of house.
  • Proof that funds for the purchase of the property have originated from abroad.


  • Purchase Tax applicable for homes in Malta

    Tax at 5% is payable on prospective investors on acquisition of a Maltese property. This is payable immediately on the signing of a contract. Should the investor seek to purchase a property in Malta for his permanent residency then the tax due is 3.5% on the first €116.468 and the balance is taxed at 5%. In this manner the investor would then be considered as domiciled and resident in Malta.

    Taxation for investment in Malta

    Malta has signed a considerable number of Double Taxation Treaties. The properties in the Maltese Islands benefits from one of the most interesting fiscal set-ups in the world and there is no wealth tax, no inheritance tax and no municipal tax payable. Tax rates and liabilities can vary dependant on your residency status and advice should always be taken from a tax lawyer.

    Maltese Income Tax applicable to properties in Malta

    Income earned through renting out property in Malta is taxable at the normal income tax. The current marginal tax rate is 35% for both personal (the sliding scale principle is adopted) and corporate income. The tax is calculated on chargeable income, capital gains arising in Malta and on foreign income remitted to Malta.

    Buying property in Gozo

    Capital Gains Tax in Malta

    If a person resides permanently in a property in Malta and is selling his sole primary residence after a period of three years, then no capital gains tax is charged. If an owner selling a holiday or commercial property within five years of ownership, the seller can choose either to pay capital gains tax, at a rate of 35% on the profit less deductions (a sliding tax scale applicable), or to pay a flat rate withholding tax of 12% on the sale price. If the Maltese property is sold after five years, then a 12% withholding tax on the sale price is applicable.

    Withholding Tax in Malta

    In Malta, a withholding tax of 15% is payable on local interest.

    VAT in Malta

    VAT is set at 18% with reduced rates of 5% for certain services and goods and 0% on food and medicinal.

    Malta at a Glance

    The Maltese islands lie at the centre of the blue Mediterranean Sea, 93 km south of Sicily and 300 km from North Africa. The archipelago consists of 3 islands: Malta, Gozo and Comino. Malta is easily reached by air, from any major European city and by sea. The climate is typically Mediterranean, with long warm summers and mild winters, having 300 days of sunshine a year.

    Malta has always been recognized as strategically important due to its location and natural harbours. The island has a long historical trading background stretching from 5000 B.C, from the Phoenicians to the Romans, the Normans, the Arabs, the Knight of St. John, the French and the British till gaining Independence in 1964. Malta became a Republic in 1974, a member of the European Union in May 2004 and in 2008 the Island adopted the Euro as its official currency.

    Being a nation of traders has left a distinct mark on Maltese lifestyle, making it cosmopolitan and open to different cultures. Malta is fast becoming a centre for international business in the Euro-Mediterranean region. The number of European and North African companies that use the island as their base of operations in North Africa, has been increased over the last years.

    Gozo

    Gozo lies just 5km off the northern coast of Malta. However, it is noticeably more peaceful and rural, the pace of life is slower, the land is greener and the coast quieter. Unlike Malta, Gozo has not made a living from trade but for centuries the Island’s main activity was farming and to a lesser extent fishing. This is why villages are tightly packed on hilltops to leave the slopes and valleys for intensive farming.

    The Island is roughly circular in shape, 14km by 7km in area. Gozo's population of approximately 29,000 is not so much in evidence, except in the bustling little square in what makes for the main town Victoria. The sleepy pace of the Island is the right kind of medicine for those who have been deprived of tranquility. It is not for those who favour big cities, bright lights and traffic. On the contrary it is for those who love taking leisurely walks in quiet village streets, over green hills and through picturesque valleys, diving in crystal-clear waters, swimming in blue lagoons or simply enjoying the tranquil magic of the Island. Gozo is peaceful but not isolated. The island is well served with a variety of restaurants, cafes, bars, night clubs and for those who love folklore, Gozo is a hive of activity.

    First described by Homer in the Odyssey as the island “where even an immortal would pause to gaze in wonder and delight”. Gozo has several historical and UNESCO heritage sites: the historical Citadel in the Capital Victoria with its 360 degree view of Gozo; the Ggantija temples dating back to 5600 B.C.; Xlendi by day and night is magical and the Azure window and the Fungus Rock in Dwejra Bay are unique.

    Gozo enjoys warm summers and mild winters with little rainfall. It is an island that has stopped in time, historically rich, enjoys traditions, folklore & festas, and has a natural Mediterranean charm. Property in Gozo is very much in demand by both Maltese and overseas investors, searching for an attractive investment opportunity.

    Comino

    Sandwiched between the islands of Malta and Gozo, is Comino, whose name comes from the cumin herb that used to grow freely on the island. At only 3.5 km², it is the smallest of the three islands and is virtually uninhabited throughout the year. It is a very popular destination for day trippers during the summer months, who take advantage of its crystal clear waters, peace and tranquility.

    Language

    The official languages are Maltese and English, whilst Italian being widely spoken.

    Religion

    The majority of Maltese are followers of the Roman Catholic faith, however other religions are represented on the Island with Anglican Churches, a mosque, a Greek Orthodox Church and a Synagogue.

    Safety in Malta

    The environment is safe and the crime rate is very low. It a very safe place to live people walk the streets well into the early hours of the morning. Amazingly on Gozo, Malta’s sister island, it is still common to see keys left in the lock of the main door.

    Education in Malta


    Education is free and the level is extremely high. There are a number of different schools to choose from, ranging from Church schools to privately owned boarding schools and all tuition is in English. Malta has an internationally recognized University, which is one of the oldest educational institutions in Europe.

    Buying property in Malta


    Health Care in Malta

    The World Health Organization ranked Malta in the fifth best health care system of the world. The health service includes a number of hospitals, which form part of the National Health Service, and three private hospitals, all offering the latest in medical science. Hospitals are modern and supported by a regional network of health centers. The Ministry of Health is responsible for the financing and provision of publicly funded health care services, providing a free service to all European Union citizens residing on the island.

    Maltese Politics

    Malta became a Republic in 1974 with a President as Head of State. The President in Malta is a figurehead and the Government is headed by a Prime Minister and his Cabinet of Ministers. The Island is very stable politically and there are two main political parties: The Nationalist Party, which is a democratic party, and the Malta Labour Party, which is a social democratic party.

    Maltese Economic Policy

    The tourist industry is the island’s main economic pillar. The island has traditionally enjoyed high employment, low inflation and consistent GDP growth. The economy has yet to feel the full benefit of EU membership in terms of Structural Fund projects, being € 885 million for 2008 – 2013.

    The economy is being directed towards the financial services and related companies. Also with plans for the creation of the world’s second Smart City, it is envisaged that there will be an increase in the service sector creating a lot of new jobs in the technological field.

    Cost of Living in Malta

    The cost of living is generally cheaper than other major European cities. Water and electricity are metered and no rates or council taxes are applicable.

    Currency in Malta

    Malta officially adopted the Euro as its official currency on the 1st January 2008.

    Climate in Malta

    The climate is Mediterranean, being generally warm and moderate. It is an ideal location for breaks from the often long and harsh Northern European winters. There are no biting winds, fog, snow or frost and rain falls for only short periods. The temperature averages over 14° C in winter and 32° C in summer. The sun shines for more than 10 hours in summer and the hottest period is from mid July to mid September.

    Getting to Malta

    Since the Island’s tourist authorities gave the green light for an open skies policy, Malta is easily accessed from other European countries with daily flights operated by Ryanair, Lufthansa, British Airways, Transavia and Swissair. The national airline, Air Malta, operates regular flights to and from all major airports in Europe, North Africa, the Middle East and the Gulf States. On the 30th March, Luton-based airlines Easyjet started to operate flights to the Island and will be flying on a frequent basis from Manchester and Gatwick. Other low-cost airlines, offering flights to Malta, include Spain’s Vueling flying from Madrid three times a week: Italian airline Volare four times a week; and airline Norwegian from Oslo three times a week.

    The island is also easily accessed by sea with daily crossings to different ports in Sicily. Cruise ship passenger arrivals have shown consistent increases and the prospects for the future are looking extremely bright. Another area of growth is being experienced in the Fly Cruise sector.

    Driving in Malta

    Driving is on the left hand side of the road and road signs are written in English. Any foreign national holding a valid E.U. driving license and over the age of 18 is allowed to drive in Malta. Foreigner nationals who hold a valid non-E.U. driving license and who are over the age of 18 can drive for a period of twelve months.

    Malta Visas and Permits

    Citizens of EU member states can visit Malta freely under the Free of Movement of Persons regulations stipulated by EU legislation. For stays of longer than three months foreign nationals need to register with the authorities but only as a formality. Malta is also now part of the passport free ‘schengen area’ meaning that no sort of identity checks are required when passing through border controls for flights deriving from and departing to ‘schengen’ airports.

    Regulations covering visa requirements are subject to change and it is advisable to check with your Embassy.

    Despite accession to the European Union in 2004, EU citizens and non-EU nationals still need to apply for a work permit before commencing employment on the Island. This transitional agreement is likely to remain in force till 2011.

    Country Fact File
    Population
    Population:

    Population: 403,532 (July 2008 est)
    GDP per capita: €14,544 (2007 est)
    Inflation:
    0.9% (2007 est)
    Unemployment: 6.8% (2005 est)
    Tourist Trends
    Tourist Trends

    Tourist Arrivals: 1.24 million (2007)
    Tourist Expenditure: €984.1 million (2006)
    Primary Tourist: British

    Carriers

    Air Malta, Ryan Air, Lufthansa, EasyJet, British Airways, Vuelling, Emirates, KLM, SAS, Norwegian Air Shuttle, SN Brussels, Air Berlin, ClickAir, Finnair, First Choice Airways, Thoms Cook Airlines, Thomsonfly, XL Airlines
    Climate
    Climate

    Typically Mediterranean; mild, rainy winters and hot, dry summers.
    Medical
    Medical

    Malta's reputation is that of excellent medical services, including medical facilities and doctors and specialists from various disciplines. Along with the main general hospital, there are a number of health centres open all day and night to care for patients' needs.
    Education
    Education

    The standard of education in Malta is very high and there are a number of different schools to choose from, ranging from Church schools to privately-owned boarding schools. All tuition is in English.
    Cost of living
    Cost of Living

    The cost of living in Malta is generally cheaper than most European countries. Water and electricty is metered and there are no council taxes.

    Disclaimer

    The information provided is for reference purposes only. Although all efforts have been taken to be correct at the time of being published, changes may have occurred in its course and thereafter. It is advisable to confirm the details with independent authorities. Propertyline International disclaims responsibility for the information provided and does not hold itself responsible for any loss or damage sustained.

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    Investment in Morocco

    Morocco property
    Fact File
  • Capital Growth: 15% - 30%
  • Rental Yields: 8.0%
  • Mortgage: Available at 70% LTV with a maximum of 15 years
  • Income Tax: Progressive rates up to a maximum of 44%
  • Capital Gains Tax: Progressive rates up to a maximum of 20%
  • Inheritance Tax: None
  • Wealth Tax: None
  • Municipal Tax:10%
  • Value added Tax: 20%
  • Property market in Morocco

    Located directly opposite the Costa del Sol and separated from Spain by just a thin stretch of the Mediterranean Sea, is Morocco, a vibrant and exotic destination that is gradually emerging as a leader in the international real estate market.

    King Mohammed VI has invested billions of dollars presenting Vision 2010 as Morocco’s tourism strategy. Included in this ambitious project is the development of infrastructure – with the construction of new highways, the increase of telecommunications, electricity, banking, insurances along with improvements in education and health care. Six major areas of the country have been earmarked for immediate investment with the focus on five-star luxury facilities aimed at increasing tourism. Further to this, the Government has introduced new laws to encourage investment in the country. In fact, by 2010 the number of visitors is expected to increase by 15% each year to reach some 10 million tourists per annum.

    The real estate market in Morocco has recently come to the attention of Northern European investors, looking to secure a second home. With Morocco property prices 50% lower than European destinations, the country offers purchasers an opportunity for excellent capital appreciation and a very low cost of living.

    Moroccan resorts have been carefully designed to create an up-market appeal with high standards and emphasis on 5 stars luxury lifestyle throughout. It is this luxury lifestyle at such competitive prices that is proving so popular amongst investors. Even the world's rich and famous are purchasing property in Morocco, not only due to the fact that it is a sound investment, but also because they can continue living in the same luxurious lifestyle in Morocco as they can enjoy in traditional locations like St Tropez or Monaco.

    Propertyline International developments occupy a strategic location along the Moroccan Riviera. Moroccan houses offer an incredible and truly panoramic view of the Mediterranean; all units are built to high standards, which will ensure that the purchaser receives the best quality property. Conveniently set in highly sought-after areas, the Moroccan properties will feature on site facilities, including top class restaurants, bars, boutiques, shops and fitness and within easy reach of Tetouan Airport. With private transportation to the links and beaches provided free of charge for residents, these developments are conceived for sun worshippers and those who want a buy-to-let investment in Morocco.

    Morocco provides a perfect solution for overseas investment and promises excellent returns on investment. Today, Moroccan property is a promising emerging market and a huge influx of property investors to the area is living proof of this.

    Capital Growth- Investment in Morocco

    Morocco has enjoyed steady capital growth over the last few years and predictions of continued growth of 15-30% per annum should be easily achievable.

    Rental Yields of real estate in Morocco

    Average rental yields in Morocco can be as high as 8% in key locations. With a reported 85% rental occupancy during the high season and the number of tourists set to grow faster than the number of available accommodation, this figure is expected to grow meaning larger occupancy levels for investors and potential growth in rental income. It is expected that mortgage payments and bills can be supported from the rental income achieved during the peak season months alone.

    Mortgages of Morocco’s homes

    Non-Moroccan residents can arrange a mortgage for up to 70% of the purchase price and are available with loan terms of up to 15 years. The government’s desire to attract overseas investors coupled with competitive interest rates and a widening mortgage market should ensure Morocco’s property market continues to be a major player for overseas investors.

    Buying property in Morocco
    Purchase Procedure of property in Morocco

    As it is in many countries, it is important to have totally independent legal advice to ensure that the contract of sale is above board.

    On finding the right property, the purchaser is to sign a booking form or reservation agreement. This form or agreement will essentially reserve the property until such a time as the preliminary contract is signed. At this stage a booking deposit is to be settled and though the amount can vary, 10% of the value of the property is a guide.

    On signing the preliminary contract, a first stage payment of around 30% of the new property in Morocco purchase price is required. Furthermore the contract will indicate the stages of the next payments and the date of the final deed of purchase.

    On signing the final purchase deed, the title to the Moroccan property is officially registered and shortly after the new owner will receive the registered deed to the title.

    Legislation was introduced in 2003 offering protection to investors buying off-plan properties. This legislation indicates how contracts of sale are to be drafted by developers and contracts not following these guidelines are invalid under Moroccan Law. One of these guidelines stipulates that a developer cannot sign a binding agreement until planning permission for the property has been granted.

    Purchase Tax applicable for homes in Morocco

    Generally in Morocco around 5% - 6% is required in addition to the property purchase price to secure a property. These additional charges are a 2.5% transfer tax, 0.5% notary fees, 1% legal fees and land registry fees of up to 2% of the purchase price.

    Taxation for investment in Morocco

    Morocco has double taxation treaties with a number of other countries and currently does not levy Wealth Tax. Taxation rates can vary dependant on your residency status. Individuals are considered to be tax resident in Morocco if they spend more than 183 days per calendar year in the country. It is always advisable to contact a tax consultant for the most up to date information.

    Various tax incentives attract more investors to purchase properties in Morocco. Low capital gains tax is paid if the property is held for ten years and none to pay after this period. There is no property tax or tax on rental income for the first five years ownership.

    Moroccan income Tax applicable to properties in Morocco

    Non-residents are exempt of paying income earned through renting out their Moroccan property for the first five years of ownership. Thereafter, income tax ranges from 22%- 44% and is based on 60% of the income.

    Capital Gains Tax in Morocco

    Property sales are subject to capital gains taxation, however the rates vary dependant on length of ownership. Ownership of less than 5 years results in tax of 20% of any profit, with a minimum tax of 3% payable. After five years ownership 10% tax is payable and there is no capital gains tax if the property is held for more than 10 years.

    Withholding Tax in Morocco

    There are several withholding taxes applicable at source on certain payments: dividend withholding tax, withholding tax on interest and withholding tax on royalties. Progressive tax rates are subject to change and it is advisable to consult with a tax consultant for up to date information.

    VAT in Morocco

    The standard VAT rate is 20% with reduced rates of 14% and 7% for certain services and goods.

    Inheritance Tax in Morocco

    Inheritance tax is not levied between family members.

    Municipal Tax in Morocco

    An annual “Garbage Tax” is levied at 10% of the annual rental value. Again there is a five-year exemption period.

    Property Tax in Morocco

    Property Tax in Morocco is paid annually but for the first 5 years owners have full exemption, after that period tax is based on the annual rental value of the Moroccan property and is charged at progressive rates from 0%-30%. If the property is the permanent home or personal vacation home this tax is reduced by 75%. Property Rental tax is also payable at 13.5% if the owner does not live in the property at all and is also based on the annual rental value of the property.

    Buying property in Morocco
    Morocco at a Glance

    Morocco, with a population of almost 34 million has a coast on the Atlantic Ocean that reaches past the Strait of Gibraltar into the Mediterranean Sea. Beautiful golden sandy beaches, many deserted and totally unspoiled stretch for hundred of miles around the country’s coastline.

    Throughout the ages, Morocco’s location at the northwest corner of Africa opposite Spain has attracted invading forces. Phoenicians came to trade and settle, then successive waves of Romans, Vandals, Visigoths and Byzantine Greeks arrived to dominate and rule. Morocco was granted non-NATO ally status by the United States in June 2004 and has signed free trade agreements with the United States and the European Union.

    Language

    The official language is Arabic, although French is widely spoken. In the northern regions Spanish is also widely used.

    Religion

    The official religion is Islam and the majority of the population comprises of Sunni Muslims. Even though freedom of religious faith is permitted, there are very few other religions. Safety in Morocco

    Morocco is, generally, a safe country, safer than many European countries. Crime rates are low and violence uncommon. Despite this, it is necessary to take prudent security precautions appropriate for any African country.

    Education in Morocco

    The Moroccan Government has been investing in the entire education system, which helped to increase the level of education dramatically. The country allocates approximately one-fifth of its budget to education. Much of this is spent on building schools to accommodate the rapidly growing population. Education is free and compulsory through primary school. Classical Arabic is the main language of instruction whilst English is increasingly becoming the foreign language of choice for those attending private schools.

    Health Care in Morocco

    Due to the fact that the Moroccan Government has invested intensely in its medical health care system there are good medical facilities in all main cities throughout the country, including emergency pharmacies and clinics in major hospitals. State hospitals provide free or minimal charge emergency treatment. Facilities in the major cities are generally very good, with English speaking staff, offering modern, specialized equipment.

    Buy property in Morocco
    Moroccan Politics

    Morocco is a Constitutional Monarchy and the current ruler is King Mohammed VI, the chief of the state who appoints the Prime Minister and Cabinet Ministers. The two largest parties are the Independence Party and the Justice and Development Party. Parliament is split into two chambers, The Upper House or Assembly of Councilors’, who’s members are elected for a nine year term and the Lower House or Assembly of Representatives who’s members are elected by popular vote for a five year term.

    Moroccan Economic Policy

    The Moroccan economy has enjoyed steady growth, which makes it very attractive to investors. The aim of the Government is to establish a close relationship with other countries of the European Union. The current Government is encouraging reform, liberalization and modernization of the economy to stimulate growth and employment.

    The current main pillar of the economy is the agricultural sector. The government’s vision is to move its economy away from agriculture and develop a more stable economic basis for its growth. The tourism market shows a steady growth as well, where significant amounts of jobs are being created in the construction and service sectors, which will later be transferred to the tourism sector.

    The International Monetary Fund recently labeled the Moroccan economy ‘remarkable’ due to its improvements and growth.

    Cost of Living in Morocco

    Cost of living is substantially cheaper in comparison to continental Europe. There are usually plenty of cheap locally produced foods and household goods of excellent quality.Fresh food is very inexpensive as well.

    Currency in Morocco

    The official currency is the Moroccan Dirham.

    Climate in Morocco

    The climate varies according to season and region. The coast has a warm, Mediterranean climate cooled by breezes coming off the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. Inland areas have a warmer, drier climate. In the south of the country, the weather is very warm and dry throughout most of the year, although small amounts of rain falls between November and March in the coastal areas.

    Getting to Morocco

    Morocco is served by most major European airlines, such as British Airways, Lufthansa, KLM, Air France, Alitalia, Sabena and Swissair daily flying to several airports. There are also several budget and charter airlines operating from Europe to Morocco including Atlas Blue, which is North Africa's first low cost airline.

    The “Open Skies” policy saw a dramatic growth in low cost flights to the country, which makes the country easily accessible and affordable from all the major European cities as well as creating a sharp increase in demand for rental properties. Ryan Air’s recent announcement for 20 new routes to Morocco is a major boost to the tourist industry, as it will increase arrivals by one million passengers per year. There are also several car and passenger ferry services, which offer routes between Spain, Gibraltar, France and Italy.

    Driving in Morocco

    Driving is on the right hand side of the road and is safe, offering a fairly well developed road system. The network is excellent with good highways connecting all the major cities through the entire country. Road signs are clearly visible and are mostly in French. A full driving license issued by your home country is required for any rental and an International license is recommended.

    Moroccan Visas and Permits

    Morocco has regulations that allow citizens of a range of countries to enter the country without requiring a visa for a stay of up to 3 months. There are several forms of visas applicable dependant on nationality, the length and reason for visiting the country. The regulations covering these visas are subject to change and it is advisable to check with your Embassy.

    Country Fact File
    Population
    Population:

    Population: 34,343,219 (July 2007 est)
    GDP per capita: €2,382 (2007 est)
    Inflation: 2.1% (2007 est)
    Unemployment: 15% (2007 est)
    Tourist Trends
    Tourist Trends

    Tourist Arrivals: 6.6 million
    Tourist Expenditure: €6 billion (receipts)(2006)
    Primary Tourist: French

    Carriers

    Clickair, Easyjet, British Airways
    Climate
    Climate

    Mediterranean, becoming more extreme in the interior
    Medical
    Medical

    Adequate medical care is available in Morocco's largest cities, although not all facilities meet high quality standards. Most ordinary prescriptions and over the counter medicines are widely available, however specialized prescriptions may be difficult to find.
    Education
    Education

    Education in Morocco is free and compulsory through primary school. Morocco has more than 4 dozens universities, institutes of higher learning, and polytechnics dispersed at urban centres throughout the country.
    Cost of living
    Cost of Living

    Cost of living is reasonable and Cost of living is reasonable and substantially cheaper in comparison with European destinations.

    Disclaimer

    The information provided is for reference purposes only. Although all efforts have been taken to be correct at the time of being published, changes may have occurred in its course and thereafter. It is advisable to confirm the details with independent authorities. Propertyline International disclaims responsibility for the information provided and does not hold itself responsible for any loss or damage sustained.

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    Investment in Portugal

    Portugal property
    Fact File
  • Capital Growth: 15% - 20%
  • Rental Yields: 6%
  • Mortgage: Available up to 70% of the valuation of the property spread over a term of 5-20-25 years
  • Income Tax: Progressive rates up to a maximum of 42%
  • Capital Gains Tax: Progressive rate up to a maximum of 42% (25% for non-residents)
  • Inheritance Tax: None
  • Wealth Tax: None
  • Municipal Tax: Progressive rates up to a maximum of 0.8%
  • Value added Tax: 21%
  • Property in Portugal

    An old favourite on the overseas property market, Portugal continues to offer the overseas buyer a solid market in which to invest. At a time when some property markets in other countries are stagnating, this European jewel seems to be very much on the up. Prices have risen and are set to continue rising leading to greater investment opportunities in Portugal. Portugal is an exceptionally pleasant place to live and certainly lures back scores of holidaymakers year after year.

    The country is presenting foreign buyers with very attractive property prices. The tourism industry, with cheap daily flights daily from all over Europe, is solid. Tourist arrivals are anticipated to enjoy a steady increase of 3% per annum between 2008 and 2017, according to the World Travel and Tourism Council.

    Nowadays, the property in Portugal market is thriving in the most sought after areas by international buyers – first in the Algarve, followed by Lisbon and its environs. Where in some places in Europe the property market has shown signs of slowing down, this was definitely not the case for the Algarve. This southernmost region is most popular with holiday makers and second home owners due to the region’s inimitably fine weather, stunning scenery and its thirty perfectly kept golf courses. Because of the rise in popularity of the Algarve, property prices have actually risen quite sharply.

    The market of property in Portugal is driven by a number of factors that inspire investor confidence, namely, a growing demand, a sustainable tourism industry and multiple attractions of the nation make it a location worth considering for buyers with plans to invest in foreign real estate.

    Capital Growth in Portugal-Investment in Portugal

    ‘A Place In The Sun’ rated Portugal third out of twenty best property investment locations, with an incredible 360% potential return on investment over the next 10 years. Portugal’s capital growth has remained a consistent 10% to 15% year-on-year since 2000.

    Rental Yields of real estate in Portugal

    Low purchasing costs and deposits of 20% means that the average investor may enjoy a 37% annual return from a combination of both rental income and capital growth. Average prices of property in Portugal have increased by almost 20% since 2000 and rental yields reaching a maximum of 10% in key locations.

    Mortgages on properties in Portugal

    As Portugal has such a well-established property market, banks loans are readily available to the overseas property investor buying a home in Portugal. One of the most dynamic names in the mortgage market in Portugal is Barclays Bank. Barclays have had a presence in Portugal for twenty years and have even developed a unique range of home loan facilities for people planning to buy property in Portugal. They have highly competitive variable rates and interest only mortgages and have also launched an exciting mortgage called “leasing product” which allows eligible borrowers to borrow up to 80% of the valuation price for up to 30 years.

    Generally speaking, most mortgages are available between 5 to 25 years and most banks will consider lending up to 70% of an existing or off-plan valuation and up to 40% of a land valuation.

    Buying property in Portugal
    Purchase Procedure of real estate in Portugal

    Once a purchaser has decided on a property in Portugal, he will be required to pay a holding deposit. This deposit can vary from 10% – 30%. It is important to note that should the buyer default on the sale agreement the seller is within his rights to retain any deposit paid. However should the seller default on the agreement they are legally required to pay back twice the value of the deposit.

    First of all, a solicitor is to check the registration status of the house in Portugal. This is a process that may take up to 4 months but essential in order to ensure the property in Portugal is duly registered and prepared for foreign purchase. The solicitor is to ascertain whether there are any outstanding debts registered against the property as well as to ensure that all real estate taxes levied against the property in Portugal are fully paid and up to date.

    After inspections and payment of taxes, a new title from the Registry is obtained and the contract is to be register through the courts which is a process that costs around €600.

    Nationals of European Union states, who are investing in the Portuguese property market can do so freely without restriction. Nationals of non EU countries are required to apply for a residency card before they can purchase real estate.

    Purchase Tax applicable for homes in Portugal

    Stamp duty is applied to all real estate transactions in Portugal and currently amounts to approximately 0.8% of the purchase cost. Additionally real estate transfer tax, which is a local municipal charge, applies on a sliding scale up to a maximum of 8%.

    Taxation in Portugal

    The Portuguese taxation system is quite straightforward and follows patterns usually found in other European countries. Double taxation agreements exist with over 40 other countries making life a lot simpler for both resident and non-resident investors. Currently the Portuguese government does not operate a Wealth Tax system and Inheritance Tax is chargeable only in certain cases. Tax rates can vary dependant on residency status and hence individuals who are in Portugal for 183 days or more in any calendar year will generally be considered a resident. It is always advisable to contact a tax lawyer for the most up to date information.

    Portuguese Income Tax and Corporate Tax

    Portugal offers a much simplified Income Tax system and the charges are dependant on residency status. For non-residents a flat tax rate of 25% is applicable on income derived from rental property and for residents rates are set on a sliding scale ranging from 10% - 42%.

    Capital Gains Tax in Portugal

    Capital Gains in Portugal are payable under the Income Tax system. In calculating a Capital Gain, account is taken of the rate of inflation from the date of purchase until the date of sale. For non-residents the sale of a property located within the country will be subject to Capital Gains Tax, payable at 25%. For residents there are a number of allowances available when calculating the tax due and, again, professional advice should be sought to minimize any tax liability.

    Withholding Tax in Portugal

    There are several withholding taxes applicable at source on certain payments: dividend withholding tax, withholding tax on interest and withholding tax on royalties. Progressive tax rates are subject to change and it is advisable to consult with a tax consultant for up to date information.

    Buying property in Portugal
    VAT in Portugal

    The standard rate of VAT is set at 21% with reduced rates of 12% and 5% respectively for certain services and goods.

    Inheritance Tax in Portugal

    Inheritance tax was abolished in 2004 for transfers between close relatives. Stamp duty of 10% is payable when the transfer is not to a close relative.

    Municipal / Property Tax in Portugal

    Municipal tax, or IMI, in Portugal is payable annually by the registered owner of the property and is charged on a progressive scale from 0.2% - 0.8% dependant on the type and value of the property.

    Portugal at a glance

    Portugal has a rich history of seafaring and discovery. Due to the fact that a lot of different cultures have established themselves during the past 3000 years, Moorish and Oriental influences in architecture and the arts are visible everywhere. The Phoenician, Greek, Celt, Carthaginian, Roman and Arabic cultures all left their imprint. During the 19th century the economy faltered and republicanism took hold. National turmoil led to the abolition of the monarchy in 1910 and the founding of a democratic Republic. Nowadays Portugal is planning to focus on deepening relations between Europe and Africa, fully taking on political responsibilities among its former colonies.

    Language

    The official language is Portuguese, with English and Spanish being widely spoken. The language is official in nine countries and it is the fifth most widely spoken language in the world, by over 200 million people. Many people in Portugal speak at least one more language and it is therefore easy for non-residents to settle in this country.

    Religion

    The most predominant religion in Portugal is the Roman Catholic faith with approximately 84% of the population being Roman Catholic.>

    Safety in Portugal

    Portugal is a political and economic stable country, making it a safe place to live in. The country is considered safe with a low crime rate.>

    Education in Portugal

    The education system is regulated by the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education and there are both private and public institutions at all levels of the education system. The Portuguese government has been investing intensely in the entire education system which helped to increase the level of education dramatically.>

    Health Care in Portugal

    The quality of health care is generally good and has improved considerably in recent years. Nowadays it is of a high standard. There are many English-speaking and foreign doctors in resort areas and major cities who are all using the latest medical sciences.

    Portuguese Politics

    The President of the Republic is directly elected for a term of 5 years by popular vote and his role is mostly ceremonial. The Prime Minister is the head of government and is elected by parliament on a motion by the largest parliamentary party or coalition.

    Buying property in Portugal
    Portuguese Economic Policy

    Portugal in an excellent country to set up business since the country enjoys high levels of free trade. Nowadays, the country is Europe’s largest producer of cork oak and is also one of the biggest producers of olive oil and exportation of canned food.

    Since the economic growth, the country has made some positive changes. The unemployment rate is one of the lowest in Europe, incomes have been raised and the standard of living has improved dramatically. After joining the European Union, a large number of structural funds, private capital, and direct investment have helped to increase the development of the country.

    Cost of Living in Portugal

    Since the country joined the European Union in 1986, the cost of living has increased slightly but it is still one of the cheapest countries in the EU. Many daily items remain more reasonably priced than in Northern European countries, including fresh food, alcohol, dining out and general entertainment.

    Currency in Portugal

    The official currency is the Euro and was adopted the 1st of January 2002.

    Climate in Portugal

    With an average 300 days of sunshine per year, Portugal offers a mild climate. The climate is a mixture of Atlantic and Mediterranean elements. Mild winters with temperatures averaging around 15 degrees and warm and dry summers with temperatures around 30 degrees with coastal areas benefiting from the cool Atlantic breeze. There is a difference between the climate in the north and that in the south as the south tends to be warmer and the north cooler.

    Getting to Portugal

    Portugal has fourteen airports spread across the country, out of which three cater for international flights accessible from all the major European cities, thanks to both scheduled and budget airline carriers. Easy Jet, Ryan Air, Jet2.com and Flyglobespan all offer cheap flights on a regular basis. The government has also invested billions of Euros into the development of national and international train links as well as into the expansion of main airports in order to improve accessibility. This will in turn increase tourism traffic and is definitely good news for anyone thinking of investing in property in Portugal.

    Driving in Portugal

    Driving is on the right hand side of the road. The minimum driving age is 17 years and driving licenses issued in other EU member states are valid.

    Portuguese Visas and Permits

    Nationals of EU countries can stay in Portugal for an unlimited period. Portugal is in the Schengen Area, which is an area of free movement created through the European Union. A uniform type of visa, the Schengen visa, is issued for tourist, private or business visits. There are several forms of visas for non-EU nationals dependant on nationality, the length and reason for visiting the country. The regulations covering these visas are subject to change and it is advisable to check with your Embassy.

    Country Fact File
    Population
    Population:

    Population: 10,676,910 (July 2008 est)
    GDP per capita: €13,666 (2007 est)
    Inflation: 2.4% (2007 est)
    Unemployment: 8% (2007 est)
    Tourist Trends
    Tourist Trends

    Tourist Arrivals: 11.3 million (2006)
    Tourist Expenditure: €2,068,743,600 (2006)
    Primary Tourist: British (2005)

    Carriers

    Aer Lingus, BMI baby, Easyjet, Flybe, SAS, KLM, Finnair, Flyglobespan,Jet2.com, Ryanair,Clickair, TAP Portugal, Thomsonfly, First Choice Airways, Monarch Airlines, My Travel Airways, Thomas Cook, Xl Airways, Alitalia, British Airways, Lutfhansa, Egyptair, Turkish Airlines
    Climate
    Climate

    Maritime temperate, cool and rainy in the north and drier in the south
    Medical
    Medical

    The quality and care facilities are generally good. Portugal has a public health system, providing free or low cost health care for those who contribute to Portuguese social security plus their families and retirees. European Health Insurance Card entitles EU nationals to free or reduces cost medical care
    Education
    Education

    The education system offers private and state run institutions at all levels. There are a number of international schools with a mixtureof international and portuguese pupils throughout the country.
    Cost of living
    Cost of Living

    Has risen in the last decade and in major cities is now around the EU average, although still relatively low in rural areas.

    Disclaimer

    The information provided is for reference purposes only. Although all efforts have been taken to be correct at the time of being published, changes may have occurred in its course and thereafter. It is advisable to confirm the details with independent authorities. Propertyline International disclaims responsibility for the information provided and does not hold itself responsible for any loss or damage sustained.

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    Investment in Turkey

    Turkey property
    Fact File
  • Capital Growth: 21%
  • Rental Yields: 9% average
  • Mortgage: Available up to a maximum 80% LTV with a maximum term of 20 years
  • Income Tax: Progressive rates up to a maximum of 35%
  • Capital Gains Tax: Progressive rates up to a maximum of 35%
  • Inheritance Tax: Progressive rates up to a maximum of 10%
  • Wealth Tax: None
  • Municipal Tax: Environmental Tax is levied at various scheduled fixed amounts.
  • Value added Tax: 18%
  • Property market in Turkey

    Turkey is one of the most important tourist destinations thanks to its numerous attractions, food and natural beauty, coupled with low cost of living and plentiful opportunities for properties investments. It is a land of historic wealth and boasts an incredibly diverse landscape that consists of sunny Mediterranean beaches and mountainous terrain that harbour many excellent ski resorts. Geographically and politically located in a position of strategic importance to Europe, Asia and the Middle East, Turkey benefits from investment, business, travel and tourism interest from all three vast geographic regions, which translates into significant and broad interest across all residential and commercial real estate sectors.

    With many new developments in progress along the coastline, the attractions of Turkey’s beautiful seashore and relatively low costs are seen to be unbeatable. The real estate Turkish market here quickly attracted the interest of European buyers after the introduction of new government laws enabling foreigners to buy land in Turkey. These new laws and Turkey's progress on adaptation to the European Union has made the possibilities for investment more attractive. Although interest from overseas buyers and investors is currently focused almost exclusively in areas that lie along the Aegean and Mediterranean coast, the demand for holiday Turkish homes is fuelling an unprecedented but well managed building boom.

    With average temperatures at around 25 degrees and low cost daily flights from all over Europe, Turkey has gone through explosive growth of foreign investments in real estate in Turkey over the past four years, which has produced endless opportunities for those looking to maximize their investments.

    Propertyline International offers a wide choice of Turkish properties for sale in a varied range of locations. These developments provide a fantastic opportunity for successful investment in Turkey, offering the very best in design, quality, facilities and value for money. All units are in a league of their own, the perfect living space in the perfect location. With easy access to the supremely popular golden sand beaches and the busy town centers, all developments have been designed to fit naturally in the local surroundings while still retaining their luxury and convenience. A full range of leisure, fitness, restaurants, onsite facilities and much more, residents can be assured that they will enjoy their investment in Turkey all year-round. It is a well-known fact that the Turkish population is rapidly embracing a western lifestyle enjoying improved employment prospects meaning that demand is increasing, affordability is improving, mortgage lending is expanding and an investor has a sustainable base upon which to rely for a future exit strategy.

    Capital Growth- Investment in Turkey

    Turkey is in the early stages of a significant property boom, prices rose between 15%-20% over the last 12 months and according to many investment experts, capital appreciation has been averaging at 21% over the last few years. All indicators show that this is just the beginning and prices are expected to rise sharply over the next 5-10 years.

    Buying property in Turkey
    Rental Yields of real estate in Turkey

    Over 25 million tourists visit Turkey each year, boosting the Turkish property market and creating strong rental possibilities. As a result, the rental market is strong as more and more people are turning their backs on tour operators and large hotels in favour of organizing their own holidays in their own space. Turkey presents good opportunities for buy-to-let investors, with current yields of 7% to 10%, while property in coastal areas can yield 13% to 16%. With the ever-increasing demand for housing coupled with the increase in tourist demand, an upward curve in the rental market is projected.

    Mortgages of Turkish homes

    A law passed by the Turkish government in March 2007 now makes mortgages more accessible to more people and more flexible as well, with local mortgages available at up to 80% LTV. Thanks to the recently ratified legislations, mortgage finance is now available over long periods of time to residential Turkish property purchasers and many believe this is the first step on the path to a total overhaul of the mortgage market which will transform the entire landscape of the real estate market in Turkey. The law allows for variable rates of interest to be applied to home base finance and it is expected that the mortgage market will now expand significantly. Foreigners can now also borrow money in Turkey to buy properties and the very first local mortgage made available to a non-resident buyer was granted in July 2007.

    Purchase Procedure of property in Turkey

    Before embarking on the purchase process one should seek the advice of an English speaking Turkish lawyer.

    The District Land Registry office should be notified and an application made to purchase a particular Turkish property. Whereas it was impossible for non-Turkish citizens to purchase properties that were outside municipality boundaries (which left out rural areas and some villages), since 2003 it has been possible to do so, provided that permission is obtained from the military. However it is still not possible for non-Turkish citizens to purchase property in areas classified as “military zones”.

    In general, one may pay for a property in Turkey in any currency and from any bank, Turkish or foreign, since there are no restrictions on transferring foreign or Turkish currency.

    In 2008, the Turkish Government enacted legislation disallowing the purchase of real estate or land by foreign owned companies.

    It is important to note that since 1999, it is compulsory, to take out earthquake insurance against one’s property.

    Purchase Tax applicable for homes in Turkey

    There are a few taxes that have to be paid when purchasing a property in Turkey. A 1.5% transfer tax on property is payable by both the purchaser and the vendor. Furthermore, a stamp duty is payable, up to a maximum of 0.75%.

    Taxation for investment in Turkey

    Turkey properties have double taxation agreements with over 60 other countries offering great incentives for investors. Taxation rates vary dependant on your residency status. Individuals who spend more than 6 months in any year will generally be considered tax resident in Turkey and therefore subject to taxation on their world-wide income. Non-residents are taxed only on their income generated in Turkey. Currently the Turkish government does not operate a Wealth Tax system.

    Turkish Income Tax applicable for homes in Turkey

    Progressive Income Taxes are levied upon the worldwide income, of individuals and corporations resident in Turkey, ranging from 15% - 35%. Non-residents earning income in Turkey through employment, ownership of property, carrying on a business or other activities generating an income are also subject to taxation, but only on their income derived in Turkey.

    Turkish Income Tax law offers an exemption from rental income each year. This amount is reviewed annually.

    Capital Gains Tax in Turkey

    There is no Capital Gains tax on Turkish property sold after four years. Property that is sold before the four periods will be charged at the standard rate of income tax, calculated on the difference between the purchasing and selling price. The tax rate applicable to corporations is 20%, however after two years ownership the gain is tax exempt.

    Withholding Tax in Turkey

    There are several withholding taxes applicable at source on certain payments: dividend withholding tax, withholding tax on interest and withholding tax on royalties. Progressive tax rates are subject to change and it is advisable to consult with a tax consultant for up to date information.

    VAT in Turkey

    The standard rate of VAT is 18% with reduced rates of 8% and 1% for certain services and goods. Inheritance Tax in Turkey

    Turkish Property acquired as a gift or through inheritance is subject to taxes of between 1% and 10% of the valuation. Tax paid in another country on inherited property is deducted from the taxable value of the asset. Inheritance Tax is payable over the period of three years and in two installments per year.

    Buying property in Turkey
    Municipal Tax in Turkey

    Municipalities are authorized to collect an Environmental Tax as a contribution towards the financing of certain services such as garbage collection. This tax is levied at scheduled fixed amounts that vary according to the location of the house or office. Property Tax in Turkey

    Turkish Property taxes are paid each year on the tax values of land and buildings at rates varying from 0.1% to 0.3%. In some areas of Turkey the tax is charged at twice the normal rate. Turkey at a glance

    The Republic of Turkey is a country that stretches across two continents covering a vast piece of land from Europe to Asia. It borders three seas, the Black, the Mediterranean and the Aegean Sea. The country is defined as transcontinental as it contains the Sea of Marmara, which is commonly used as the defining point between Europe and Asia.

    The country has been the birthplace of some of the greatest civilizations of all times. These include the Ottoman, Armenian and Byzantine Empires. Turkey’s strategic location has placed it in the midst of two modern civilizations, the Western and the Eastern, and for this reason it is often described as the bridge between the two.

    The present democratic constitutional Republic of Turkey was established in 1921 and has since grown in international importance. Being one of the founding members of the United Nations and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe as well as the Council of Europe, it is now undergoing negotiations for accession to the European Union.

    Language

    The official language is Turkish with English being widely spoken. It is the westernmost of the Turkic languages spoken across Central Asia and is generally classified as a member of the South-West group, also known as the Oguz group.

    Religion

    Turkey is a secular country and although 99% of the population is Muslim, the government does not recognize nor promote any particular religion as being that of the nation. Safety in Turkey

    People always comment on the exceptional level of hospitality of Turkish people. Turkey is not only friendly but remains one of the safe countries on the continent since the country enjoys a very low crime rate.

    Education in Turkey

    The Turkish system of education falls under the supervision of the Ministry of National Education and since the Higher Education Law was passed in 1981, all academies, teacher training colleges and vocational schools have been reorganized. The system provides five stages of education; pre-school, primary school, middle school, high school and university and education is compulsory from ages 6 to 14. The main language of teaching is Turkish and there are a number of both public and private universities that conduct courses in English.

    Health Care in Turkey

    The Turkish Government has been investing intensely in heath care, which helped to increase the level of care dramatically. The hospitals in major cities are currently using modern medical facilities and doctors are well educated and speak English. This, along with the government’s ability to attract patients from Europe, the Middle East and Central Asia, is creating major investment in the country’s healthcare industry.

    Buying property in Turkey
    Turkish Politics

    Turkey is a democratic Republic and operates a secular parliamentary system of government. With a Head of State who is elected for a seven-year term. The Prime Minister who is the Head of Government and the Council of Ministers, whilst the legislative power is vested in both the government and the Grand National Assembly of Turkey exercise the executive power. Both are elected for a 5-year term and the government must have overall majorities in both Houses to remain in power.

    The Turkish Army has in the past played an informal political role in order to protect and maintain the secular system of government.

    Turkish Economic Policy

    Turkey has a free, dynamic economy that is oriented to Western markets. Its unique position at the crossroads of the world trade routes and its proximity to the developing energy producing regions in the Caspian and Central Asia are factors that further raise its potential for future years. Due to the economic recovery, the US Department of Commerce has identified the country as one of the ten most promising emerging economies and a recent World Bank study also declared Turkey one of the ten countries most likely to enter the top tier of the world economy.

    Cost of Living in Turkey

    The cost of living in Turkey is reasonable, with daily essentials such as basic food, electricity and water being very cheap. Fruit and vegetables are cheap, even in the tourist resorts at the coast. Turkey is one of the largest agricultural producers whilst the variety and quality of fresh produce in the many markets across the country is generally exceptional as well. Eating out is incredibly inexpensive and for some people it is cheaper to go out for dinner at a local restaurant than cook for themselves.

    Currency in Turkey

    The official currency is the New Turkish lira.

    Climate in Turkey

    The country is situated in large Mediterranean geographical location being generally warm and moderate which makes it a popular location for breaks from the often long and cold Northern European winters. While the coastal areas enjoy milder climates, with long warm summers and mild winters, the inland experiences extremes of warm summers and cold winters with limited rainfall.

    Getting to Turkey

    Low cost airlines are already planning new routes, lower fares and increased services to cater for the increased numbers of visitors. The main points of entry for investors in Turkey are Bodrum, Dalaman or Antalya, with bookings from Air Malta, British Airways, Thomas Cook, Excel Airways and Easy Jet. Turkish Airlines serves the major Turkish cities as well including the busy Istanbul-Ankara hubs. Availability of flights from other airlines such as, Onur Air, Fly Air, Pegasus Airlines and Atlas jet make travel around the country quick, easy and invariably cheap. As accessibility increases, Turkish property will become even more sought after and investors will inevitably see encouraging Capital appreciation.

    Turkey is easily accessed by sea as well, with numerous cruises in the Mediterranean Sea and several foreign shipping companies who have daily services to the country.

    Driving in Turkey

    Driving is on the right hand side of the road. Turkey is a modern country with a developed infrastructure in and around the major cities, with the highways providing a good connection between them. It is permitted to drive with a full driving license issued by one’s home country, which makes it unnecessary to obtain an international driving permit.

    Turkish Visas and Permits

    For short stays, nationals of many countries, including EU member states may enter Turkey simply by purchasing a “sticker visa” at their point of entry. Different visas are available if the person intends or is obliged to stay in Turkey for longer periods. Regulations are subject to change and it is advisable to check regulations with the Embassy.

    Country Fact File
    Population
    Population:

    Population: 71,892,807 (July 2008 est)
    GDP per capita: €5,893 (2007 est)
    Inflation: 8.5% (2007 est)
    Unemployment: 9.7% + underemployment of 4% (2007 est)
    Tourist Trends
    Tourist Trends

    Tourist Arrivals: 23.8million (2007)
    Tourist Expenditure: €4,306,961,964 (2006)
    Primary Tourist:
    German

    Carriers

    First Choice Airways, KLM, SAS, BMI baby,Easyjet, Thomas Cook Airlines, XL Airways, Monarch Airlines, Thomsonfly, My Travel Airways, Air France, Air Malta, Alitalia, Atlas Jet, British Airways, Egypt Air, Atlas Jet, Emirates Airlines, Lufthansa.
    Climate
    Climate

    Temperate; hot, dry summers with mild, wet winters, harsher in the interior.
    Medical
    Medical

    The standard of medical facilities throughout Turkey varies. While private hospitals with international standard facilities can be found in major cities, services can be limited elsewhere. Private hospitals generally require confirmation of insurance or guarantee of payment before admitting a patient. Costs can be expensive as well.
    Education
    Education

    Education is in the midst of a process of expansion. Many private schools, universities and institites of higher education are being established, offering excellent standards and facilities. Turkish schools display high levels of staff professionalism and dedication.
    Cost of living
    Cost of Living

    The majority of goods, items and services are cheap and affordable Certain goods are more expensive to buy than in other countries for example telephones, especially mobile phones and all related costs, petrol and the Internet.

    Disclaimer

    The information provided is for reference purposes only. Although all efforts have been taken to be correct at the time of being published, changes may have occurred in its course and thereafter. It is advisable to confirm the details with independent authorities. Propertyline International disclaims responsibility for the information provided and does not hold itself responsible for any loss or damage sustained.

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