Handbook provides expert advice for property investors

The current weak economic outlook has resulted in many South African investors now seeking opportunities for economic growth outside the country’s borders.
Handbook provides expert advice for property investors
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“With this background of currency volatility and decline in business confidence, a new investment strategy that focuses on greater global exposure makes good sense for high net worth South Africans,” says Sandra Woest, senior manager at Henley & Partners South Africa.

“Considering the current economic outlook for the country, it’s wise to review your investment strategy and to reassess where you invest, both in terms of the location of the investments and in regards to asset classes,” advises Woest.

Insight into international real estate

Henley & Partners’ International Real Estate Handbook (IREH) provides insight into this complex area of international real estate for individuals buying property abroad, as well as their private bankers, tax consultants, lawyers and fiduciaries. For those with the means to do so, acquiring property in another region, such as Europe, is worth considering.

In addition to an investment in a solid asset class known to perform over time, you may be able to acquire a passport or residence permit from the destination country. “This offers major benefits to those who travel regularly or who have business interests across borders. Residence or citizenship in the European Union (EU), for example, allows you to travel to all 28 member states without the delay of applying for visas and can give you extensive visa-free travel in many other parts of the world,” Woest continues.

For instance, Malta, a Mediterranean archipelago consisting of five islands with a small population of just 400,000, is one of the Eurozone’s better performing economies, with a growth expectation of over 3% for 2015. The Malta Individual Investor Programme (MIIP) offers investors the opportunity to gain an EU passport, with visa-free access to more than 160 countries.

Country-specific chapters

The handbook provides 18 country-specific chapters, unique tables with international overviews and comparisons, covering topics including purchase costs, tax rates and inheritance laws relating to real estate, and other relevant aspects.

“This is a really useful tool for anyone exploring the idea of acquiring property outside South Africa. You’ll gain an understanding of the tax issues and inheritance laws applicable and an overview of some of the key residence and citizenship programs, so it’s a good starting point when carrying out your research,” Woest concludes.