Property boom boosts bank balances

Whilst many countries around the world are facing financial turmoil, there is one market in particular rising high above the economic storms providing rich pickings for thousands of investors.

The USA economy that hangs in the balance, could have affected neighbouring countries, but has in fact, had very little impact on the emerging Latin American economy.

Structural changes to Brazil's economy are creating huge interest. The introduction of credit facilities such as personal loans and mortgage lending have pushed house prices up in both the domestic and commercial sectors. Designer shops are springing up all over major cities and over 60,000 new millionaires have emerged in the last year alone.  

Morgan Stanley's Emerging Markets Index now rates the Brazilian market as the largest emerging market and the discovery of oil reserves gives the country added income opportunities. As the global financial markets stand in awe at the country's array of commodities, it's booming property market and tamed inflation, Brazil is well on the path to becoming an investor's dream.

The bullish economy is naturally driving the Brazil property investment market. The housing shortage, which currently stands at 8 million, means demand is outstripping supply and as the population in and around the main towns and cities increase, so too does the requirement for more accommodation. Quality resorts and developments are under construction in and around the north east coast, most notably in Natal, in Brazil's Rio Grande do Norte region.

Obelisk client, Alan Roberts, who purchased property in Natal in 2007, comments, "I considered going into buy-to-let in this country (UK), but was concerned about continued good returns. I think the recent sub-prime crisis shows that my fears were well-founded."

International sports icons, such as Rubens Barrichello and David Beckham, are both contributing considerably to the development of Natal. Barrichello's new motor sports attraction and The David Beckham Academy will create heightened interest from international tourism. The worldwide awareness, created by these two projects alone, will not only add value to property in Natal, but will also increase demand for holiday rentals from the international and domestic tourism markets.

Property investment prospects have increased further in Natal after it was announced that the city is earmarked to host games in the 2014 Brazilian World Cup and Natal is expected to gain from a proposed development of a brand new football stadium.

Ten new golf courses are also planned and over US$1.8 billion worth of investment for new hotels and resorts in Natal indicate that levels of development funding are vast. In preparation, Natal's airport renovation and expansion, due to complete in 2010, will be able receive 5 million passengers, making it the largest airport in South America.

James Gonzalez, Market Analyst at Obelisk comments, "The outlook for Brazil's property market has been very buoyant for some time now. The news regarding the World Cup has heightened international interest and many areas, including Natal, have already seen the price per square metre increase by US$150."

Healthy economic growth, plentiful natural resources and an increase in disposable incomes, show that the party is just beginning with the carnival still in full swing for Brazil and Natal property investment.