A Turkish Delight… Lira Plunge Makes Now a Good Time to Pick up a Property Bargain

Things got particular hairy earlier this month, with the Lira falling as much as 20% against the US Dollar in a single day as the US increased steel and aluminium tariffs against Turkey in response to the country’s continued detention of U.S. Pastor Andrew Brunson.

But while Turkey’s currency crisis may have left many in the country reeling, the collapse in the Lira presents a golden opportunity for those in the market for a Turkish property.

The Guardian reports that in some cases the sell-off of the Lira in mid-August saw apartments that cost £55,000 a month ago fall below £37,000.

The fall in prices has also been exacerbated by the fact that it follows a property boom which saw house prices in Turkey skyrocket between 2010 and 2017. Average prices rose 150% nationally and were up by a whopping 200% in Istanbul during this period.

Understandably this has prompted property investors to flock to Turkey, with the result that direct flights to Istanbul were fully booked in mid-August as buyers looked to leverage the dive in the Lira into major savings on local real estate.

Cameron Deggin, who runs PropertyTurkey.com sums up the current buying frenzy, suggesting that inquiries on his site have doubled in the past couple of weeks as buyers look to take advantage of the falling Lira.

Deggin adds, ‘It’s a buyer’s market right now, and buyers are rushing in as if properties are going out of fashion… Buyers are clearly looking for opportunities before the drop in lira is compensated – at least partially – by increases in asking prices.’

And there’s no reason that individuals shouldn’t also look to take advantage of the Lira’s woes to score themselves a Turkish property bargain.

Can Emlak Properties, in the resort town of Bodrum, suggested that they were fielding hundreds of calls from Brits in the area as prices for properties with a pool plummeted from £500,000 a year ago to just £350,000, while two-bed apartments could be found for as little as £40,000.

However, you’re advised to act fast if you wish to secure your own Turkish property bargain. Developers of new homes, whose costs are often denominated in US Dollars, have already begun to raise their prices – with increases of as much as 20% in some cases in order to compensate for the weakened Lira.

And if you want to take action now you can make your purchase even more affordable by using a leading currency transfer provider.

With better foreign currency exchange rates than high street banks and none of the additional charges that often come tacked on, Foremost Currency Group can help you save a substantial amount on your currency transfer.

With Foremost Currency Group you can also freeze an exchange rate for up to two years with a forward contract, so even if you aren’t ready to purchase just yet, you can still take advantage of the Lira’s current weakness.

To discuss your currency transfer options, get in contact with Foremost’s dedicated foreign exchange brokers at +44(0)1442 892060 or at info@fcgworld.co.uk.

Calling all France holiday home owners…You could be subject to additional surcharges on your local rates!

Introduced under President Hollande and maintained by President Macron, this surcharge on the taxe d’habitation of résidences secondaires has existed since 2015. This law gives local councils the choice of whether to impose a surcharge, and an increasing number have decided to do so.

Originally when introduced in 2015, the permitted percentage increase was a uniform 20%. However since 2017, the law allows councils to increase the tax by between 5% and 60%. But only councils located in communes of more than 50,000 inhabitants where there is an imbalance between the supply of and demand for housing (leading to difficulties in accessing existing housing), can implement the surcharge.

The areas that this law really affects are:

  • Ajaccio
  • Annecy
  • Arles
  • Bastia
  • Bayonne
  • Beauvais
  • Bordeaux
  • Draguignan
  • Fréjus
  • Genève–Annemasse
  • Grenoble
  • La Rochelle
  • La Teste-de-Buch–Arcachon
  • Lille
  • Lyon
  • Marseille–Aix-en-Provence
  • Meaux
  • Menton–Monaco
  • Montpellier
  • Nantes
  • Nice
  • Paris
  • Saint-Nazaire
  • Sète
  • Strasbourg
  • Thonon-les-Bains
  • Toulon
  • Toulouse

The main purpose of the tax is to try and counter the growth of short-term holiday lettings offered via platforms such as Airbnb and HomeAway.

However all is not grim! If you choose to rent your home out to tenants on an annual basis, you will not be subject to the tax, which is then paid by the tenant.

The hope is that the tax will incite second-home owners to let their property out on an annual basis, although it seems highly unlikely as owners of holiday homes are always keen to use their own properties over the course of the year.

As of July this year 207 councils have decided to impose the charge. The overwhelming majority have imposed an increase of 20%, although a small number have set it at the maximum rate of 60%!

Those councils that have set it at the highest rate are:

  • Mouans-Sartoux
  • Saint-Nazaire
  • Bidart
  • Ghethary
  • Ustaritz
  • Gaillard
  • Saint-Cergues
  • Saint-Julien-en-Genevois
  • Vetraz-Monthoux
  • Paris
  • Bagnolet
  • Montreuil-sous-Bois
  • Ferney-Voltaire
  • Saint-Genis-Pouilly
  • Collonges-sous-Salève
  • Nice (to come into effect in 2019)


On a departmental level, the departments with the largest number of councils who have imposed the surcharge are

  • Alpes-Maritimes
  • Haute Savoie
  • Pyrénées-Atlantiques
  • Whole of the city of Paris


So make sure you keep yourself in the loop with French tax law and always speak to a tax specialist before you purchase your French property.


View properties in France

Buying Property in Spain – From Expat to Estate Agent

I´ve been asked to write a personal view of moving from the UK to mainland Europe, with the purpose of helping your move to be as pleasant and as successful as possible.

If you take on board the philosophy of life to “laugh all your laughter, cry all your tears…” (Kahlil Gibran1883-1931) then moving to mainland Europe is a pretty good way to do it.

That said, a few unbiased observations from somebody who has tread the route beforehand is arguably the best way to ensure that some of the tears are tears of joy!

My first experience of Spain was as a very young man. My fiancé and I were invited for a couple of weeks family holiday in a new villa at Marbella, a city already shiny with very wealthy British, German and Arabic buyers – some famous, some not famous, some downright infamous.

Back to Spain decades later I started to look around for an area where my wife and I might settle after life became free of living kids or dying parents.

First painful lesson: Spain is big, varied, and except for the coastal strip, is (why should it be a surprise) very…. Spanish. So I recommend learning some of the language before buying here; the idea of “just picking it up” doesn’t work.

That said, most of Spain is remarkably welcoming of people who haven’t taken the trouble to be polite enough to communicate the basics – far more tolerant than we Brits!

It’s a very varied country in landscapes, lifestyles and weather, so it’s worth checking the many internet pages with unbiased info. Estate agencies are usually based locally and don’t necessarily have the basic info you need if you are at the beginning of your search.

Tiredness is the greatest enemy in the home search, followed ironically by the huge amount of choice in this country. Spend time in a place, visit several times if possible before making a decision. It is sometimes easier to make a list of “not wanted” for example “city life, traffic, rain, beach” or “small village life, nothing to do, too much sun, mountains”.

That said, the finance is in a category of its own: whether borrowed money or cash, around 12% needs to be allocated for tax, lawyers fee, etc. (purchases after first purchase have their own demands) and you need to secure your purchase costs against constant variations in euro-sterling rates.

It’s a common idea that sellers sometimes used to demand a percentage of the purchase price in cash thus minimising taxes. Although of course it’s not legal, the unavoidable result in addition is that if you come to sell a property bought in this manner, then you will probably be paying higher capital gains. I am informed by the older generation of a number of Spanish people that the practise of under-declaring value of property and land sizes was made common at the time of the Spanish civil war when some considered it civic duty to pay as little as possible to the Franco regime.

I was asked to make some independent comments for sterling- based buyers interested in buying property in Spain. Aforementioned are just some very few basics, and to summarise I suggest the most important points are first to get the finance right, second take time to look around and find what’s the best area and property for you (there’s an enormous choice – stay clear of weariness, and rushing) and bear in mind that Spain is Spanish, even on the more internationally populated coastal strip. It’s a foreign country; recognise and respect that the Spanish do things their way, not ours!


For independent property finding of all sectors of property, and for current listings contact:






This post was written and provided to us (Foremost Property Group) by Tim from Costa Property Spain.

Are you planning on buying a property in Spain to holiday let? Then you need to be aware of the changing laws!

Spain has always been a popular country for British expats to buy a second home in, and having the option to offset investment costs against a holiday rental service appeals to many. However, rental laws in Spain are changing and vary across the regions, so make sure you know what is required before making your investment.

Most regions require properties to be licensed and those that don’t, overseas buyers don’t typically buy there (such as in Rioja and Extremadura). It is best to make sure you have everything in place before you rent out your property otherwise you will face large fines.

Andalucia is the latest region to introduce holiday rental licenses. To qualify, the property has to fulfil certain requirements, such as having central heating and air-conditioning. This is costly and can be hard to install in many properties if it hasn’t been previously.

If you are looking to buy and rent in Barcelona, you can only rent out properties that are already licensed. So if you are looking to buy here, add this to you list of criteria.


Once you have decided which area of Spain you would like to buy in, make sure you take some time to look over the admin side of renting a property and what you need for your region. You must have adequate buildings and contents insurance and be paying the correct tax (you must declare your rental income and pay the appropriate income tax to the Spanish tax authorities), but there could be region specific requirements you need to be aware of.

It is possible to offset mortgage interest costs and expenses as an allowable expense in the UK and Spain, but you must document income and expenditure with proof (an HMRC certificate of tax residency in the UK), and submit this to the Spanish tax office.


Over the last few months property prices in Alicante, Granada and Seville have risen by over 7%, while traditionally popular regions, such as the Balearics and Catalonia, have seen a decrease, which is thought to be due to the fall in demand because of the new holiday letting laws.

So if you are buying a property in Spain in the next year or so, make sure you are up to date with the holiday letting law that is relevant for you. Whether you intend to rent out your property or not, keep this in mind as it could impact how you use your property in the future.


View some of our properties for some inspiration.











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4 Best Places to Live in New Zealand as an Expat

Want to know where New Zealanders think the best 4 places to live are? Read on below.


The second largest city in New Zealand, so it is understandable that those who emigrate here are usually looking to work not retire. Famous for its culture and history, with an excellent climate and facilities for both adults and children to enjoy, Christchurch is certainly a lovely place to live, especially for families. As Christchurch is close to the coast, it is perfect for those who love water sports and the majority of locals don’t find it hard to balance their work and social lives.

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Bay of Plenty

Bay of Plenty has recently been increasing in appeal among New Zealanders who are looking for somewhere to enjoy 2260 hours of sunshine every year. With the coastal areas offering a micro climate with an average summertime temperature in the mid-twenties (perfect for fruit cultivation), the Bay of Plenty is great for those who would like to take a slower life course and perhaps retire here.

View properties in Bay of Plenty

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Waikato is a very fertile region, so great for those looking to work in the agricultural industry. Housing is more affordable in the majority of the region, with towns such as Hamilton being far more affordable than in Auckland. There are increasing employment prospects across the region and good educational facilities, making it a good area for families to consider.

View properties in Waikato

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Although Dunedin doesn’t have the best climate compared to the rest of New Zealand, it does have lots to offer in employment and education opportunities. With its rich Scottish heritage, beautiful old buildings and great walking routes, what it lacks in climate, the scenery definitely makes up for it.

View properties in Dunedin

View rental properties in Dunedin


If you are moving to New Zealand and you’re really not sure where you want to go, hopefully these 4 places have given you more options to explore than just Auckland.

Download our Guide to Buying and Renting in New Zealand

Talk to our sister company – Foremost Currency Group to see how much your money converts to.

4 Best Places to Live in Australia as an Expat

Listed below are what we think are the 4 best places to live in Australia.


With its friendly country feel, pleasant climate and affordable real estate, it is no wonder that the capital of South Australia is growing in popularity. Job opportunities are good, with Adelaide recruiting a minimum of 5,000 skilled migrants a year, especially in the healthcare, education and manufacturing sectors.

You’ll find a varied cultural scene to enjoy, chill out at the beautiful Adelaide beaches or travel out to the Barossa Valley vineyards to sample the delicious regional food and wines.

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Australia’s third largest city – offers all the excitement of city living but is more affordable than Sydney and Melbourne. Although Brisbane is a city, it does also have many nature spots due to the popular water sports haven of the Brisbane River. If you want to get out of the city for a bit, the Gold Coast and the Great Barrier Reef are easily reached.

Brisbane’s economy is booming, with workers in hospitality, health, manufacturing and tourism the most in demand.

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The capital city has fewer than 400,000 residents, giving it an almost small-town charm with its pretty tree-lined streets and real estate is some of the most affordable in the country, which surprising as this is the capital.

In summer, Canberra’s residents like to visit Lake Burley Griffin to enjoy picnics, bike rides, fishing and sailing. The city has a great restaurant and bar scene, some interesting cultural attractions, such as the National Gallery of Australia, and no end of adventure activities.

View properties in Canberra

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The second oldest city and situated in the south of the country on the banks of the Derwent River, giving it slightly cooler summer temperatures. With a relaxed pace of life and a great range of real estate, Hobart is popular with families and retirees alike.

Hobart doesn’t have a rapidly growing employment market, but it does offer stable job prospects for skilled expats in the construction, viticulture and engineering industries.

View properties in Hobart

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So what are you waiting for? Make that move Down Under today.

Download our Guide to Buying and Renting in Australia

Talk to our sister company – Foremost Currency Group to see how much your money converts to.





Latest Update on the French Property Market

“April 2017 saw a very positive outlook and figures from the Notaires of France stated that 2016 had been a bumper year with a 7.7% increase in sales. I have a feeling that this may have slowed slightly for 2017; but 2018 is starting to look like it will also be a good year as viewings and sales are very strong for the first 3 months.

It is too early to predict if this will continue to the middle of the year; but with May and June already filling up it feels quite positive. It is also worth noting that the end of 2017/beginning of 2018 has seen in my opinion a significant interest from Britons moving from Spain to France; something that I have not noticed previously.

The British remain very strong in the French market; albeit with slightly less to spend than previously due to the exchange rate. They still love France and still want to put their hard earned cash into their French dream; whether that be a permanent of holiday home.”

Cathe Bower, Property Sales in France

For more information on the French property market or for a properties in the Vienne, Haute Vienne, Charente and Indre departments, visit Property Sales in France today.

Visit Property Sales in France

Discover Costa Blanca

Could you tell us a bit about your company and what you do?

Brilliant Real Estate has been established for 2 years in Moraira, Costa Blanca, Spain and helps find properties for buyers from all over the world.

There are around 3,500 properties on our website www.brilliant-realestate.com, all from a small selection of agencies in the Costa Blanca North. As we share agency fees with our partner agents when we sell properties, there are no additional fees for our clients.

Not only are there no additional fees, but we also help our buyers through the whole buying process and even after they have purchased their dream home in Spain.

What are the key features within a home your buyers are seeking?

Most of our clients look for a second home for holidays and with the option to rent it out. And of course most of them love the beach, sun and the sea, which is why they choose this region.

Do many of your buyers rent out their homes to the holiday market?

Yes. We also do rentals and about 80% of our clients buy to invest and put their property up for rent as an investment.

Which is the most popular area of the Costa Blanca that  people buy in and why?

The most popular is Moraira and its surrounding areas. They call it the Monaco of Spain, the pearl on the Costa Blanca, the place to be.

What do your clients look for in properties in this region?

Most of our clients like the villas with sea and mountain views, which are close to the beaches, cafes, bars and restaurants.

Has there been a change in what clients look for? If so, why?

Yes, after the housing crisss in these areas, they started to build new villas again and mostly modern ones to try and boost the housing market once again. However, we have found that many of our clients like to buy properties which are dated and they refurbish them into new beautiful villas.

Have prices moved in the past year? If yes, please explain

Yes, with the last housing crisis, prices have been dropping drastically but they are slowly rising again. It is a great time to buy now because prices will go up in the next few years!

Have you seen a shift in the type of buyer over the past year?

Not really, the older people want to sell there villas and want to buy a smaller apartment in a town with less maintenance. The younger generation like more modern, large villas.

Are British buyers different in their needs than other buyers?

No absolutely not, our experience is that at the end of the day, all North Europeans clients want the same thing! Sun, sea, the beach and to live the good life…

Has Brexit impacted on property sales at all?

No…not at all, we are still selling to the British and we have found that actually not so many want to return to the UK now.

What types of properties are the best sellers and why?

Most properties we sell are the readymade villas and apartments, as our buyers can just move in straight away and start living the good life on the Costa Blanca in Spain.

Is there anything you would recommend clients do before purchasing a property?

No, we provide and take care of our client from A to Z. Which means the legal matters, mortgages, banking, currency exchange and so on.

Why should clients use your company?

Because we provide and take care of our client from A to Z. We are completely reliable, experienced and have all the contacts to provide what they are looking for. We are the only one in this region with 3,500 properties listed and we take care of our clients the BRILLIANT way.

Do you offer an after sales service?

Yes, whatever clients need after purchasing their dream house we will put them in contact with whoever or whatever they need to make their lives over here more comfortable.

Finally, why should people buy property in Spain?

The life feels like paradise, the sea has very clear water, nice beaches, and good restaurants. This region is one of the healthiest places in the world. And it is fun to be here.

Thank you Arthur for taking the time to speak with us.


A few of Brilliant Real Estate’s hot properties.

Click on the photos below to view more details.



















For more information on the Costa Blanca and the properties Brilliant Real Estate have available, please contact Arthur on the details below.

Arthur Karvink
0034 865 528 149/ 0034 681 645 919

Costa Rica – A Tropical Paradise

Could you tell us a bit about your company and what makes your company so special?

Yourvalleyhome has emerged with a vision which goes beyond a consultancy service related to real estate proposals into the field of design and construction for those customers requiring a specific space which suits their particular needs.

Our architecture seeks a balanced integration between us and our environment without ever losing sight of comfort and style which are always a priority for living.

Are you seeing more people invest in luxury/high end properties?

Costa Rica has long been a magnet for international celebrities seeking revitalization as well as the opportunity to invest in real estate. International celebrities range from football players, models and film directors to actors and writers including multiple Oscar and Emmy award winners.


What are the key features within a home they are seeking?

Most clients seek tranquility and privacy. Design requirements vary tremendously. Some opt for resorts providing a multitude of facilities such as tennis courts, golf course, swimming pools and proximity to the sea whilst others value absolute privacy and have opted to acquire land for custom built houses.


Do many of your buyers rent out their homes to the holiday market?

This varies greatly depending on the type of housing. Resorts or Condominiums typically offer a rental service via the administration of the complex which most buyers choose to use.

In other cases where the owners acquire a property that is not part of a housing complex, the tendency is to hire a company which manages the property. Services may include maintenance, security and vacation rentals amongst others.

Which is the most popular region of Costa Rica people buy in and why?

Guanacaste has long been a real estate Mecca for foreign buyers due to its climate, variety of stunning beaches and natural beauty.


What do your clients look for in properties in this region?

Climate, Access, Quality, Comfort…


Has there been a change in what clients look for? If so, why?

A new trend towards sustainability is emerging. Clients no longer search for merely comfort and style but also take into account factors such as recycling, conservation and renewable energy when making decisions regarding the purchase of real estate.


Have prices moved in the past year? If yes, please explain

Prices for real estate in the coastal areas of the country have remained relatively stable. The metropolitan area has witnessed the greatest appreciation both in commercial and residential development. This has led to a phenomenon of new local buyers investing in vertical apartment towers under the boutique living concept as well as the development of new class A and A + corporate complexes with prices ranging from $ 21 to $ 24 per m2 including maintenance.


Have you seen a shift in the type of buyer over the past year?

There has been greater participation and an increase in real estate sales in the younger generations who are opting for vertical housing in metropolitan areas.


Are British buyers different in their needs than other buyers?

I would say that that British buyers are more specific when it comes to expressing their needs and they are very determined when they have made a decision.


Has Brexit impacted on property sales at all?

Well, in Costa Rica, the British community is relatively small, which is why Brexit did not generate a mayor impact in our real estate market.

What types of properties are the best sellers and why?

Foreign clients favour the beach or mountain properties close to the sea.

The tranquility it generates; the sound of the sea; the temperature of the water; the intense colorful sunsets; the variety of natural species; healthy food which includes a huge variety of local fruit, vegetables and sea food are all big influences on clients buying these sorts of properties.


Is there anything you would recommend clients do before purchasing a property?

Definitely. Visit the country, discover different regions, and eat different foods.

We will gladly help you coordinate your stay in the country, and if you need advice, we can talk in person while you are touring the area.


Why should clients use your company?

One of our main objectives is to provide exclusive attention for our clients. We aim to provide as much comfort as possible. Providing a personal service and getting to know our customers is of great importance to us.


Do you offer an after sales service?

Not at this moment, but our doors are always open to our customers and if it is in our hands we will gladly help you.


Finally, why should people buy property in Costa Rica?

Costa Rica is a place for rest, tranquility, relaxation and adventure sports. People who in some way appreciate the harmony between nature and lifestyle.

From the appreciation of whales and dolphins at the beginning of June, to the arrival of hundreds of turtles on the Caribbean and Pacific coasts, or the flight of colourful macaw parrots, toucans and quetzals which inhabit our tropical jungles and forests, or the colourful hummingbirds and butterflies which appear in the gardens of our homes.

If these characteristics are to your liking, Costa Rica is the ideal place to buy your international property.


A few of Yourvalleyhome’s hot properties.

Click on the photos below to view more photos.






                 Flamingo                                             Orotina                                                 Nosara

For more information on any properties shown through out this article, please contact Sheilyn and quote the property name.

For more information on Costa Rica and the properties Yourvalleyhome have available, please contact Sheilyn on the details below.

Sheilyn Chang
(506) 8979 57 22

Curaçao – The Blue Heart of the Caribbean

Could you tell us a bit about your company and what makes your company so special?

Hi I am Farah Kabbara and I am one of the Sales Associates for RE/MAX BonBini – Curaçao. What makes our company so special? We are a worldwide company, so I think that speaks for itself.


Where are your clients based?

Most of our clients come from Europe, predominately the Netherlands, but we do have lots of American clients also. We find that most people come to Curaçao for return on investment properties and this suits our client base.


Are you seeing more people invest in luxury/high end properties?

Yes definitely. Most of our clients are looking in the high end pat of our property range. Most are investors that come from abroad that want the beach, pool, hotel style apartments etc.


What are the key features within a home they are seeking?

Our clients look for the paradise life beach, sun, sea. But they also want to live there but feel like a tourist every day.


Do many of your buyers rent out their homes to the holiday market?

Yes. We also have a management side to our business that deals with return on investment.


Which is the most popular region of Curaçao people buy in and why?

The most popular is the Blue Bay development. This is on the golf course but also has the sand, sea and sun that is craved by our clients.

Click the image below to view more of this development

What do your clients look for in properties in this region?

Most of our clients like the ready-made developments as these have communities, pools, cafes, restaurants, spas etc so they can enjoy Curaçao life and not feel isolated.


Has there been a change in what clients look for? If so, why?



Have prices moved in the past year? If yes, please explain



Have you seen a shift in the type of buyer over the past year?

Since Trump was elected, there have been more investors from the US.


Are British buyers different in their needs than other buyers?

We only have a few British buyers and no their needs are not different. However, we are trying to open up connections with the UK so that we can help more British clients move here.


Has Brexit impacted on property sales at all?



What types of properties are the best sellers and why?

Ready-made, ready to move into properties, as our buyers can just move in straight away and start enjoying Curaçao.

Is there anything you would recommend clients do before purchasing a property?

No. Our buying process is straightforward and clear. Any international client looking to invest here can get residency for themselves and their families, so there are no issues with that.

Why should clients use your company?

Because we are reliable, experienced and have the most beautiful listings!


Do you offer an after sales service?

Yes, as previously mentioned we offer return of investment management.


Finally, why should people buy property in Curaçao?

Tropical paradise, clear water, white sand, sunny island, beautiful people!


Any final thoughts?

We are currently re-running the offer below, so take advantage of this great price!

Click on the image below to view this offer


A few of RE/MAX BonBini’s hot properties.






For more information on Curaçao and the properties RE/MAX have available, please contact Farah on the details below.


Farah Kabbara
Sales Associate
Tel. (+5999) 462-9770, Cel. (+5999) 690-8067