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It is often said that the best time to invest is yesterday and that applies across different sectors. As more people look for opportunities to invest in the diaspora, it is also important to know the best places to put your money.

Real estate has always been a viable sector to invest in, within and outside Africa. Offshore properties stand out among investment options because it’s a hard asset that provides diversification of asset class and likely currency. If you’re looking for an opportunity to generate cash flow while building real, long-term wealth, this might be it.

Whether you’re contemplating a first purchase overseas or looking to expand current foreign property holdings, here’s where you should focus your attention and capital this year.

Panama

Panama offers a lot of real estate opportunities especially in the areas of rental apartments and agricultural opportunities. Although the resale transactions have slowed, it is very much considered the buyer’s market in 2021. This is a situation of buying the dip.

Some South American buyers have helped stabilize the market and kept it growing in the last decade. Yield in the market continues to wax strong, though not as strong as before.

Panama’s relationship with China has been predicted to help fuel the economy to its next stage of growth.

Real estate investment in the diaspora

Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic is currently enjoying an increase in foreign investment which has helped strengthen its economy. With more people coming into the country to partake in the ongoing economic growth, the capital, Santo Domingo, is a current haven for both long stay and short stay rental apartments.

With a 10% increase in holiday-goers between July 2019 and July 2021, the DR’s tourism industry is set to hit new highs.

A furnished rental for either of these markets—the business traveller or the holiday-goer—can be an excellent source of cash flow and, if you buy right, should enjoy good capital appreciation.  

Portugal

Since 2015, the property market in Portugal has been on the move. Although some neighbourhoods in Lisbon are not overly priced, there is an opportunity in some areas of the city especially if you’re open to a renovation project.

Areas along the Algarve coast and Porto are good alternative options. Portugal is another country where a non-resident can get a mortgage.

Mexico

Mexico makes a good vacation and retirement destination for most people from the US or Canada.

Thanks to restricted travel and an expanding middle class, Mexico is enjoying good growth in the local tourism market in 2021.

All that combines to make Mexico a top choice for a property rental investment.

In places like Puerto Vallarta on the Pacific coast and Playa del Carmen on the Riviera Maya. In both of these popular tourist towns, a rental property can generate excellent yields.

Turkey

Turkey is having a record-breaking year for property sales, up 107% compared to May of 2020 thanks to foreign buyers. Foreign investment has increased in part due to Turkey’s successful CIP (Citizenship by Investment Program), but this accounts for only 20% of overall sales.

Turkey is also seen as an attractive destination for lifestyle and other investment opportunities. Half of this year’s property sales took place in the country’s most vibrant and historical city, Istanbul.

In addition to tourism growth, Istanbul and Turkey, in general, are enjoying strong economic growth as the population increases and the middle class expands. Turkish buyers are re-entering the market due to reduced interest rates. Both tourism rentals and student rentals are appealing rental investment options.

One of the biggest selling points for investments in Istanbul is the low cost of entry. A rental unit in this market is within most any investor’s budget.