Property Inspector: Agents feeling optimistic about 2014

· 2013 is “hugely successful” for agents
· US recovery to continue next year
· Help to Buy to spark UK investment boom
· Golden Visas to drive Spanish and Portuguese property sales
· Demand for Cayman Island property predicted to climb
· 2014 could be “big year” for African capitals
· Interest in hotel sector remains strong in established markets
· Investment firm moves away from Detroit

Will US real estate continue to grow? What impact will Europe’s Golden Visas have upon international sales? Will hotels continue to be a strong investment sector? asks the agents who received the most enquiries on the overseas portal this year to give their predictions for next year and point buyers in the right direction:

Property Frontiers

Property Frontiers received almost 800  enquiries for the four-star AlpenClub hotel in Germany .

Has 2013 been a good year?

Demand for the AlpenClub in Germany has been excellent. This is reflective of broader demand that we have seen for solid hotel projects in established markets.

2013 has been a mixed year with successes in both established markets like the UK and USA as well as renewed interest in emerging markets.

What do you expect in 2014?

2014 should be a much better year than we have seen since 2007. People are positive again and the investment backdrop is much improved. We expect to see a lot of interest in UK property again as investors buy ahead of an expected boom created in part by the Help to Buy scheme and a generally improving economy.

Price movements in the US are also attracting back more cautious investors and we expect to see appetite continue to strengthen for quality emerging market properties. Next year could be a big year for African capitals.

What projects have you got planned for the new year?

We have numerous projects in the pipeline. These include buy-to-let opportunities across the UK, high yielding US portfolios and projects in emerging markets as diverse as Asia, East Africa and Central America.

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Select Resorts

Select Resorts enjoyed strong demand across a range of projects and property markets, from a building plot in the Cayman Islands and Veer Towers in Las Vegas to an off-plan resort in Brazil.

Has 2013 been a good year?

2013 has been hugely successful for us. The Cayman Islands continue to have a considerable attraction for investors drawn by the security of a land asset but also by the exciting developments taking place on island, where construction has really taken off in 2013.  The islands offer a fantastic opportunity for those looking to land bank or indeed now to construct in a shorter timeframe. We are seeing increasing interest from Asian buyers in particular.

Also in the Caribbean, a recent development in Panama has attracted great interest, while our citizenship-by-investment developments in St Kitts, particularly Kittitian Hill, continue to attract global investors.

In 2013 we also increased our offering of UK projects.  Our student projects have sold well, while we had tremendous response to our newest Care Home projects.  We sold out one project very quickly and have another selling rapidly for us at present.

What do you expect in 2014?

In 2014 we expect that the Golden Visa programs in Spain and Portugal will see a surge of interest in those areas – we are currently developing an offering in this area which will complement the Economic Citizenship program from St Kitts and Nevis.

What projects have you got planned for the new year?

We have recently launched the Eco Sites in the Cayman Islands – these master planned communities offer something very different in 2014.  We also expect to see the beginning of construction of a new residential development on Grand Cayman which is sure to be in high demand.

In the UK, we are due to launch a number of new opportunities, including our largest Care Home project to date, with over 100 rooms. We hope to introduce new offerings in the USA as well, a great project in Canada and also some new opportunities in Europe.

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Crystal Investment

Crystal Investment received more than 600 enquiries for building plots in Belize .

Has 2013 been a good year?

2013 has been our record year since our incorporation in 2008. We reported a record number of sales and also doubled our staff levels from 2012 and are looking now to increase our team even further.

Crystal will always be at the forefront of new projects, leading the way and setting the trends; we identified Belize as an area with huge growth potential with land values genuinely increasing by 20-30% per annum. The reasons for this are quite obvious: year-round weather, stable economy, ease of access for US and Canadian buyers and holiday makers, and their fantastic retirement benefit policies… We didn’t have to pull out and dust off our ‘Crystal Ball’ to see how people were going to make some great returns.

In addition to this, we were one of the first agents to start offering Greek property for buyers wanting to gain a Golden Visa; others have been offering this for Spain and Portugal, but Greece offers the buyers the chance to secure the visa for 50% less investment. This has grown our name in the Middle and Far East dramatically.

Our continued presence in Florida land investments, Thailand property and our on-going relationship with Ecohouse Developments for Brazilian Social housing investments has meant our reputation with our developers has also gone from strength to strength.

We have noticed a huge fall in Detroit properties and have now stepped away from this area, substituting these investments for a far more secure property Bond, most of the returns without the associated risks.

We have now taken on exclusive investment projects all over Portugal, working in close proximity with Barclays Bank PLC. Crystal have teamed up with Insight Investments to bring the best, low risk, financial opportunities available anywhere on the market, the first of which has all but sold out in a matter of weeks. We will be launching a series of these projects throughout 2014.

For the first time in Crystal’s history we also started identifying high yielding opportunities in the UK, taking on a care home offering 18% per annum on a 12 month investment and are currently looking at a car park and other high yielding opportunities.

What do you expect in 2014?

We expect the trends for 2014 to be quite similar to the end of 2013: with Greece’s Golden Visa, bank stock from Portugal, continued growth in Belize, the recovery of the US economy, 2014 promises to be another record breaking year for Crystal as we continue to grow in both size and reputation.

What projects have you got planned for the new year?

One project we have launched at the back end of this year is the Ocean Spa Resort in Rum Cay, the Bahamas. Crystal are strong believers in the recovery of Bahamian real estate, with the resort on Rum Cay arguably the best investment project on the group of islands.

As we continue our expansion, we are pleased to have secured what we believe will be the product of 2014:  Crystal have now secured the exclusive sales rights for the property investment market for CEREEF, the Continental European Real Estate Equity Fund for our sophisticated investors.  With names like Deloitte, APEX, Abn-Amro and all fully regulated by the CSSF, Luxembourg’s equivalent of the FSA, the fund will offer investors a minimum of 15% per annum, with realistic ROI of 40-70% per annum.  The fund will be open-ended, meaning clients can retrieve their money at any time if they are not happy with the results.

Crystal are currently speaking to agents to market the product and welcome any enquiries from established businesses.

For more information, visit’s Property Inspector will return in 2014.

Notes to Editors

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Contact Dan Johnson on 0207 952 7650 for further information.

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