Rating of foreign property markets
Latvia: foreigners will acquire residence permit through the purchase of local property. Spain: housing sales are on the rise. The regular rating of foreign property markets, most popular among Russians, has been published.
The Prian.ru portal has prepared a report on foreign property markets, most popular among Russians in January-February 2010. Bulgaria has been leading the rating for a year and a half already. In comparison to the end of last year, the interest of Russians expressed towards the U.S. housing market has increased significantly. It has, however, slightly declined January-to-February. The interest in the Czech Republic has grown considerably. Latvia fell out the Top-10 and now occupies the 12th position.
Latvia: The Latvian Parliament has approved the initiative to grant residence permits to foreign investors. The right to apply for a permit will be particularly provided to persons acquiring property worth more than 100 thousand lat (€141 thousand) in Riga, Riga district and the cities of state importance. If the property is located outside the capital and beyond the specified cities, the minimum required amount of investments will be reduced by half - down to 50 thousand lat (€70.5 thousand).
Spain: According to the Spanish Ministry of Housing, Q4 2009 residential property sales have increased by 4.1%, compared to the same period last year. This has become the first annual increase of the indicator registered over the last three years.
USA: The National Association of Realtors (NAR) has published the January index of pending housing transactions. The figure has declined by 7.6%, compared with December. The index accounts the number of signed residential property sale contracts, deals for which have not yet been completed, and is an important indicator of market activity for the coming month.
Italy: over the past year and a half since the beginning of the global financial-economical crisis, the average cost of property in the country's major cities - Rome and Milan - has plunged by nearly 9%.
United Kingdom: in February, the cost of elite housing in central London has soared by 17%, compared to the same period in 2009. Over the past three years, the value of pound against euro has plummeted by 22%, which has made property in the central regions of the British capital particularly popular among buyers from Russia, Italy and Greece.
The average cost of housing throughout the country has decreased by 1.5%, February- to-January, according to Halifax, Britain's largest mortgage bank. Formerly the country's largest building society - Nationwide, has also reported of 1-percent price decrease registered in February.
China: in February, the average sales price of a property on the secondary housing market of the country's largest city - Shanghai - has increased by 11%, compared to January, thus setting a new record - 15.2 thousand yuan (U.S. $2.2 thousand) per a sq. m.
Commercial property: the CB Richard Ellis consulting agency has published a list of cities, which have demonstrated the highest office rentals in Q4 2009. The Top-5 of this rating includes London, Paris, Moscow, Geneva and Zurich.
An Argentinean, Tito Ingenieri has spent 19 years and six million empty beer bottles to build his home. In addition to the "residential" function, the house can warn of approaching floods. When a strong southerly wind, which leads to higher water levels in nearby river, comes, a whistling is heard from the bottlenecks.
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