Looking ahead to 2017.
What a year we have had. In fact no, what a six months we have had. The first part of the year seemed to sail by with a rising economy, stability, growth…. Then the 23rd June hit, and instability and uncertainty were the watch words. A few months later, Donald Trump becomes president elect in the US. That’s some going in terms of the political outlook of two of the most influential countries in the world.
I always maintain, however, that wherever there is change, chaos or uncertainty, there is always opportunity, for someone, somewhere. It’s a case of finding what it is for you. Those few months’ post Brexit saw our International lifestyle sales slow a little, as buyers from the UK took stock of what was happening and re-evaluated their budgets following falling sterling values which made house prices abroad seem substantially more expensive. Our UK investment property business, Select Portfolio, however, saw an upsurge as overseas buyers from the Middle East, Asia and Europe sought to take advantage of the fall in sterling by buying UK assets which were suddenly 15-20% cheaper in real terms.
As I write, the value of sterling appears to be on the rise and our lifestyle buyers are making more enquiries. Under our Select Resorts Properties brand, we have further developed our offerings in Spain, particularly on the Costa del Sol. Let’s face it, one thing that is unlikely to change is the weather here in the UK. Elsewhere, Lisbon will continue to be of strong focus for us, particularly the city centre and Troia Resort on the peninsula. Cyprus also retains a particular attraction for British buyers. New markets are always important to us, with the German market identified as hot for 2017. We are excited to offer a new investment project in Frankfurt, a great city building its reputation for financial services.
For Select Portfolio, we are also proud to be offering Afan Valley, a new holidays and activity park which has just been launched. This new development features a 100 bedroom hotel and lodges set amongst woodland and forest in South Wales. A highlight of the resort is the Bear Grylls Survival Academy, which will offer visitors an outstanding variety of outdoor survival activities.
2017 will be another year of opportunities for property investors. The challenge for us and our investors is to identify where those opportunities will fall. The UK and global property markets are fluid, so staying alert to changing dynamics is key. Select Resorts, with nearly 35 years of property experience, are well placed to provide valuable assistance whether you are looking for your dream home on the continent or to develop a portfolio of property in the UK or overseas. In the meantime, may all of us at Select Resorts wish you all a very Happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year.