Coastal Albania tipped as hot property spot for 2011

Albania is being tipped as a property market to watch in 2011 with some of the lowest prices and taxes in Europe.

Known as the land of the eagle, 2011 is the year for Albania, located in South Eastern Europe, just 45 miles across the Strait of Otranto from Italy, to realise its potential as an exciting, new and lucrative second home market, according to experts.
   
Over the past few years Albania and its people have worked hard to shake off their communist past. It has joined the United Nations and NATO and is working towards European Union membership in 2014.
 
Described by some as the hidden gem of Europe, it has weathered the economic downturn better than its neighbour Greece and other eastern European locations with 5% economic growth now predicted for 2010, twice the 2.6% previous estimates.
 
According to Ravin Maharajah, property developer and partner of Lalzit Bay in Albania, it has potential for buy to let real estate investors and lifestyle buyers.
 
‘Albania, in my opinion, has all the hallmarks of a prosperous property market with robust economic growth, FDI in the region of $400 million per annum, sustained domestic and international demand for accommodation, mortgage finance available and a rapidly growing tourism sector. This is certainly one to watch in 2011,’ he said.
 
The country has 362 kilometres of Adriatic and Ionian coastline and a rugged mountainous interior for hiking and adventure sports and is becoming an increasingly popular holiday destination. Direct flights from the UK to the capital Tirana operate daily by British Airways with a flight time of two and a half hours.
 
Recent investment in infrastructure and new coastal roads have made it easier to reach beaches such as Djiri Lalzit, home of Lalzit Bay Resort and Spa, some 30 minutes north of Tirana.
 
The first half of 2009 saw a 36% increase in tourist arrivals to 1.5 million compared to the same period in 2008 and according to the Albanian Government arrivals in 2010 have already doubled again to three million.
 
Low property prices and taxes are mixed with competitive rental yields of up to 6% per annum and 20% capital growth seen in the last five years, according to Maharajah. His company’s upmarket Lalzit Bay Resort & Spa, has one and two bedroom apartments from y €50,400 and three and four bedroom villas from €234,000.
 
They are designed by the international architects, Woods Bagot, and owners will be able to enjoy direct beach access and on-site amenities including an internationally branded hotel, luxury spa, swimming pool, sports facilities, restaurants, bars and shops. Mortgage finance is available and investors can also take advantage of a 6% rental guarantee for the first two years.