Uber-rich Mainland Chinese business owners have been flocking to Hong Kong, and it's not just because it's the world's business and trade center. It also has some of the world's most sought-after real estate.
While demand is relatively high, supply is tight, given that this densely populated region spans only about 426 square miles. That explains why prices have risen faster than other country in the world in the past year. It also helps that borrowing costs to pay for these super-expensive homes is at record lows. Since December 2008, the base interest rate has hovered at a two-decade low of 0.5%.
But Hong Kong's government has been trying to quiet the real estate party, as part of its ongoing effort to fight inflation. In November, officials took its toughest steps by imposing an additional transaction fee of up to 15% on properties that are resold within two years. They have also required higher down payments for high-end home purchases.
Want to become a resident of the European Union? Just buy property in this Baltic State.
During the global recession, Latvia saw the world's largest fall in home prices, dropping an incredible 70%. But the market has bounced back in a big way, partly driven by a fairly new law (effective July 2010) that gives EU residency rights to non-EU citizens who buy property worth at least 70,000 euros (or $93,000) or invest in a business here.
That doesn't mean foreign investors are permitted to work in the rest of Europe. However, property owners can roam freely within Germany, Greece and 23 other countries that make up the EU's Schengen area.
Skip Nantucket. Let's vacation in Israel.
Israel has become one of the hottest real estate markets in the world. From Tel Aviv's beachside high-rise condos to the heart of Jerusalem, much of the demand has been coming from North American and European Jews in search of vacation homes. Similar to many other robust real estate markets, Israel's housing market is fueled by a shortage of properties and record low interest rates.
So far, Israel has dodged a housing market crash like the ones in the U.S. and parts of Europe mostly because it didn't experience the same credit booms in the years leading up to 2008. But that doesn't mean Israel's government isn't worried about it. Officials have been trying to bring the market boom to a soft landing by raising borrowing costs and putting tighter restrictions on some loans.
2011-06-07 10:28 编辑：kuaileyingyu