Europe India UAE 2023 Real Estate Report

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Welcome

Welcome to our inaugural report detailing the state of the real estate markets across Europe, the United Arab Emirates, and India. As the industry adjusts to a return to a less frenzied market pace, we considered it timely to check in with leaders from across our global network to get a better understanding of their markets in 2023.

And we found plenty to be positive about. The mood amongst our network leaders is optimistic and energized—with several expansion plans taking place or on the horizon, new market opportunities, and various routes to residency available to overseas buyers.

In Greece, for example, the team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Athens Properties has recently entered the buoyant luxury rental market, while Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Orenda India has just opened a second office in the vibrant coastal city of Mumbai, building upon their success in Delhi.

At Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, connectivity across our network is paramount to our success—it allows network members around the world to foster firm relationships as well as gain exclusive access to remarkable properties in first-class destinations guided by local knowledge.

We enable this through dedicated programs like Global Open House and Behind The Listing, plus the network-wide virtual event that led to the creation of this report.

In the following pages, we discover how Greece, India, Italy, Portugal, Spain, the United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom are responding to the new market dynamics, geopolitical events, and global financial conditions—and learn about the most compelling real estate opportunities arising in each country.

So do take the time to read the expert insights contained in this report and make sure to connect with the dedicated leaders across the network to find out more about these exciting global markets.

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EUROPE • INDIA • UAE REAL ESTATE REPORT 2023 5 BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY HOMESERVICES Table of Contents Welcome An introduction from CEO Christy Budnick Greece Unprecedented demand for luxe vacation rentals Italy Generational changes bring new opportunities India Global superpower draws foreign buyers Portugal New Golden Visa rules not slowing investors Spain Local & foreign buyers seek luxury homes United Arab Emirates A high-net-worth haven United Kingdom London rebounds—slowly but surely ... 03 ... 06 08 ... 10 12 14 ... 16 18

As one of the most alluring countries in Europe, Greece has long been a vacation hotspot. Tourists are drawn to its extraordinary history, delectable culture, and stunning coastlines—and many are looking to plant permanent roots.

Joining the network in May 2021, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Athens Properties currently has two offices in Greece’s capital. The team, overseen by managing partner Kyriakos Xydis, is currently adapting to recent changes to the country’s Golden Visa program.

Xydis explained, “The Greek government announced in late 2022 that it would increase the investment amount needed to obtain a Golden Visa to €500,000, from €250,000. This won’t take effect throughout the whole country—just the most popular destinations, like Athens, and tourist destinations like Mykonos and Santorini.”

The reason for the change, he said, is that many Greek citizens are being priced out of the market due to overseas investment inflating prices. “In the past few years, investors have been snapping up properties,” Xydis said. “Especially in Athens, Greeks are being driven out of neighborhoods due to increasing rents.”

Greece’s ever-increasing popularity among tourists has also affected its vacation rental market. “It’s hard now to find good vacation rentals if you don’t look well in advance,” Xydis said. “You should try to schedule your vacation around six to nine months in advance in order to be able to find the ideal property.”

Seeing an opportunity to diversify and provide highquality properties to overseas visitors, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Athens Properties recently entered the vacation rental market. Xydis expanded, “We have signed a couple of great properties that we will exclusively manage. This is important as very few companies get exclusivity in Greece. We have also signed with a company that manages 500 villas in Greece—although these aren’t exclusive—and at the same time we are expanding our offering of luxury apartments in the center of Athens.”

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“You should try to schedule your vacation around six to nine months in advance.”
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Greece Unprecedented Demand for Luxe Vacation Rentals

Italy

Generational Changes Bring New Opportunities

“We have more castles available, or other special properties, than apartments in Milan right now.”

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Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices MAGGI Properties Agency became part of the network in January 2019, serving clients in Milan and surrounding regions. Last year, the company launched Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices ROMA IMMOBILIARE to meet the needs of clients within Italy’s capital city.

Marcus Benussi, managing partner and office manager at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices MAGGI Properties Agency, says that the timing has never been better for overseas buyers to invest in country and coastal properties in Italy. This is due to the financial incentives that the Italian government has put in place to increase foreign interest—as well as generational changes taking place in the country that is putting legacy properties on the market often for the first time ever.

“We have more castles available, or other special properties, than apartments in Milan right now,” Benussi explained. “So this is the right moment

for the emotional buyer—and also for the buyer who wants to change their personal life, or expand their business throughout Italy. And thanks to new legislation in Italy, whoever invests in these types of properties, if it’s a private investment, the incentives are extraordinary. Right now, newcomers are not only welcome, but all the incentives are geared towards them.”

“Younger generations in Italy are preferring to rent,” he added. “They want smaller homes rather than their grandparents’ big villa—the likes of which are often unaffordable, too big, and don’t suit their needs.

“Therefore, we have an increase in inventory of homes that would have continued to remain in a particular family but, due to these generational changes, they are actually penetrating the market. We’re getting properties in the mountains or countryside that you would have never expected to see on the market a few years ago.”

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Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Orenda India joined the network in 2021 to serve Delhi National Capital Region. After much success, in 2022, a second office was announced, in the “alpha city” Mumbai, also known as the commercial capital of the country.

With a focus on infrastructure development, improving logistics, and the growing tech industry, buyers around the world are earmarking India for commercial investment—one asset class they are able to purchase.

Sanya Aeren, Chief Advisor, Marketing and Communications, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Orenda India, says the share of foreigners acquiring real estate in India has been significantly increasing in recent years.

“It has been widely reported that 2021-22 recorded the highest ever annual foreign direct investment inflow... more than US$80 billion,” she said.

Among the many attributes drawing the attention of investors from around the globe, is India’s fast-growing

economy. Especially as it has been documented that the country is on track to become the world’s third largest economy by the end of the decade.

This has been helped by rising disposable incomes as well as “innovative governmental solutions to supercharge economic growth, including reforms to increase transparency in real estate,” she explained.

Emerging as a major manufacturing hub, the population of more than 1.4 billion is also growing.

“This is India’s story. There is so much work to be done, but this is the next frontier,” said Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Orenda India’s owner, Shrey Aeren. “This is where the action is.”

In the coastal metropolitan of Mumbai, the populous city is home to more than 20 million residents.

He describes these residents as professional and very hard-working, unassuming, and with a love for life.

“The vibrancy of the city is amazing,” he noted.

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India

Global Superpower Draws Foreign Buyers

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Aeren
“The vibrancy of the city is amazing.”

Portugal

New Golden Visa Rules Not Slowing Investors

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Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Portugal

Property and Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices

Atlantic Portugal have been helping clients achieve their real estate goals since October 2019 and April 2021 respectively.

All eyes have been on the country’s Golden Visa program since new regulations came into effect in January 2022, and the focus will remain as buyers adjust to the new stipulations. The revised rules have curbed residential investment in high-density areas, yet overseas buyers are still able to purchase commercial property in such locales, as well as residential properties inland and in low-density regions.

Andres Jennings of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices

Portugal Property notes the minimum investment for commercial properties in high-density areas in need of rehabilitation work is €350,000, while for properties not needing rehab, it stands at €500,000.

Residential properties in low-density areas can be purchased with a minimum investment of €280,000, and it must involve the purchase of a building at least 30 years old. For properties without rehab requirements, the minimum investment is €400,000.

In spite of the shift in requirements, Jennings says the demand for property in Portugal by foreigners is higher than ever. “It’s definitely a hot spot… it’s a very special country,” he said.

And while rules and regulations shift, so too are the areas of focus that buyers are seeking out.

Cesar Santos, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Atlantic Portugal, says that 20 to 30 years ago, The Algarve was the best known region in the country—possibly a more well-noted name than Portugal itself.

In the last 10 years, Santos explained that buyers have been looking further afield, and have become drawn to Lisbon, Alentejo, and Comporta. Each alluring, the regions offer unique amenities and lifestyles that have been attracting buyers from all walks of life.

Porto—which was named Europe’s Leading City in 2022 during the World Travel Awards—is also becoming a popular destination for buyers keen to enjoy coastal leisure pursuits as well as the famous port wine named after the city.

And south of Porto, Aveiro—otherwise known as the Venice of Portugal—is also experiencing rising demand, Santos said.

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Andres Jennings Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Portugal Properties
“It’s definitely a hot spot… it’s a very special country.”

Led by CEO Bruno Rabassa, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Spain has a fast-growing presence across the country—with real estate professionals serving the areas of Madrid, Barcelona, Marbella, Malaga, Majorca, and Costa Blanca.

The country is one of the most popular vacation destinations in the world, with scores of tourists making the journey to enjoy aquatic or mountain adventures, cycling, golfing, and exploring the vibrant city centers.

“Spain is a country that everyone falls in love with when they come… It is a country of gastronomy and good wine,” said Rabassa, adding the fact that the abundance of blue flag beaches enhances the appeal for those that like to bask in the warm Spanish sun.

Given its popularity and charm, many visitors make the decision to make Spain home. Rabassa noted about 25 percent of all real estate buyers in Spain hail from other countries.

The country offers an appealing Golden Visa Program for foreigners wishing to make a permanent move

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Spain

Local & Foreign Buyers Seek Luxury Homes

by investing in real estate. With an investment of €500,000, non-European Union residents can establish residency for not only themselves, but for family members.

This financial commitment allows the investor and their family residency and work in Spain for two years with the ability to extend for up to five years as long as the investment is maintained. It also enables the investor free mobility within the 27 countries that comprise the Schengen Area.

With Spanish banks well versed and ready to offer mortgages to foreign buyers, with a loan to value rate of up to 60 percent, and a processing time of approximately 20 business days, Spain’s Golden Visa program is indeed a popular option for those looking to make Europe home.

Rabassa reports an active luxury market across the country, buoyed by the strength of high demand from both local and foreign buyers. The challenge of limited luxe inventory, he said, started during the pandemic and is anticipated to continue as the demand for prime properties in Spain remains high.

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Rabassa Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Spain
“Spain is a country that everyone falls in love with when they come… It is a country of gastronomy and good wine.”

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Gulf Properties has been assisting buyers and sellers with their real estate needs in Dubai since launching in April 2019.

The most populous city in the UAE, Dubai has expanded rapidly in recent years, establishing itself as a global financial powerhouse, luxury tourism hotspot, and popular destination for expats and second-home buyers.

The city has the second-highest number of five-star hotels in the world, and currently holds the title for being home to the tallest building in the world—the Burj Khalifa.

“Not a week goes by without a US realtor visiting Dubai, calling and asking for more information on Dubai real estate,” said Phil Sheridan, CEO Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Gulf Properties.

“If you invest $200,000 you can apply for an Investor Visa,” Sheridan explained. “While a $540,000 investment can potentially secure a Golden Visa—both of which enable you to live, work, and operate in the UAE without the need for an employer to sponsor you.

“UAE residency may also provide significant tax advantages, in addition to a safe environment, high standards of living, global connectivity, great weather, plenty of recreation, shopping… the UAE has it all.”

One area of Dubai that has received ample spotlight since its inception is Palm Jumeirah, an archipelago of artificial islands constructed in the early 21st century that resembles a palm tree with a crescent surrounding it.

Detailing the make-up of the archipelago, Sheridan explained, “You have the trunk which consists of apartments, the fronds which is made up of villas, and 10-mile-long outer crescent which is where you will find hotels and brand residences.

“Palm Jumeirah is attracting many high-net-worth individuals which has positively driven up property prices in the past 12 months.”

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Phil Sheridan Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Gulf Properties
“UAE residency may also provide significant tax advantages, in addition to a safe environment, high standards of living, global connectivity, great weather, plenty of recreation, shopping… the UAE has it all.”

United Arab Emirates

A High-Net-Worth Haven

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United Kingdom

London Rebounds— Slowly But Surely

“The exodus from London by ‘lifestyle’ buyers was a genuine feature of our market for a while, but we’ve seen a reversal of this trend in recent months as those who moved out faced the realities of country living in isolated locations,” explained Cliff Gardiner, head of sales, Berkshire Hathaway London Kay & Co and Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Marler & Marler.

The mass departure from London during the height of the pandemic was actually fairly overstated by the media, Gardiner said. “In reality, a small section of the market made the decision to leave the city, thinking they wouldn’t have to come into London as often.

“It caused a spike in prices in areas where the market hasn’t traditionally spiked—and caused resentment in country villages outside of London towards ‘the London buyer’ who may prove to have paid far too much for their country properties. Those who moved out are seeing the disadvantages of relying on oversubscribed train services, having been called back

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into offices more often than they had anticipated for face-to-face meetings.”

While the property market is picking up in London, “buyers are understandably being quite cautious,” said Gardiner. “We are having to work hard to reassure property buyers that they are not about to see further price falls during this flat economic cycle and period of relatively high inflation. It’s actually a great time to trade up in property whilst prices are flat and the market is relatively calm.

“Inevitably, we’ll start to see a bit more stability in global politics and the beginnings of a positive economic cycle as we progress through 2023. The current climate encourages buyers to take much longer than usual over property buying decisions.”

“The buyers are out there,” Gardiner added, “we’re just working a lot harder than in previous years to get transactions over the line.”

London

Berkshire

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Cliff Gardiner
“Inevitably, we’ll start to see a bit more stability in global politics and the beginnings of a positive economic cycle as we progress through 2023.”
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