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If you're considering buying a home to retire in, it's worth looking at some stunning areas worldwide that could also attract rentals in the meantime. There are actually a good number to choose from, but a good rule of thumb is to deal only with a reputable developer, especially one that has a record of delivering quality products on time.
''Transact only with licensed real estate brokers,'' says Jacqueline van den Ende, Managing Director of Lamudi Philippines. ''Location, as always, is important, and for foreign retirees, seek help to ensure that every transaction is fair and legal.''
Ashwinder Raj Singh, CEO of Residential Services at JLL India, warns buyers not to fall for the marketing hype. ''Investigate every option thoroughly from every angle,'' he says.
For retirement investment in tropical Philippines, ideally retirees should settle in an area with decent accessibility, says van den Ende. ''Metro Manila will be a great option as it has top hospitals, an international airport and central business districts within reach, but traffic and pollution are drawbacks.''
South of Manila in the provinces of Laguna and Cavite are estates ideal for retirees. ''Examples include Greenfield Estates, situated on the slopes of Mount Makiling, and the Nuvali. Both are directly connected to the South Luzon Expressway, which makes them very accessible to Metro Manila.''
Further south is the island of Cebu. With its malls, including one newly completed that is the world's eighth largest, and new planned townships, Cebu City is attracting interest.
''Cebu City has malls, hospitals, good schools and universities and is close to Lapu-Lapu City, which hosts the Philippines' second busiest airport,'' van den Ende says. ''It's also a tourist haven with white sandy beaches.''
For somewhere cooler, there's Baguio City in the mountains of north Luzon. For the best returns, she recommends Laguna and Cavite. ''For those who want to be close to Metro Manila, the city of Tagaytay in Cavite is a good place. Nuvali in Laguna is also a good option.''
Average price in Tagaytay is 8.1 million Philippine pesos (Dh622,600) and up to 53 million pesos for homes with views of Taal Lake. In Baguio, houses average 7.5 million pesos, but prime areas are up to 95 million pesos. Houses in Cebu City are worth up to 150 million pesos, while citywide the average is 8.5 million pesos.
In India, some real estate agents suggest apartments in retirement projects. A.S. Sivaramakrishnan, Head of Residential Services at CBRE South Asia, recommends af fordable retirement housing projects in the outer suburbs. ''This ensures availability of utilities, best-in-class healthcare facilities and other requirements,'' he says. Beachside areas like Goa, hill towns like Shimla and Dehra Dun, and suburbs on the outskirts of Kolar near Bangalore or Lonavla near Mumbai, are popular for second homes.
Sivaramakrishnan recommends renting or buying residential property customized for the elderly. ''While buying such a product offers better returns and services and care, rentals offer more affordable options for seniors after retirement.''
Singh of JLL says other retirement destinations include Kasauli and Kerala, with Wayanad most sought after in Kerala. He says there is increasing demand for weekend homes in Lavasa, Lonavala, Alibaug and Igatpuri near Mumbai. Other popular areas are Mussourie, Ooty, Coorg and Haridwar.
Areas that attract tourists year-round have potentially the highest returns, says Singh, with Goa as the best option, provided the property is close to a popular beach.
In December, the Reserve Bank of India's House Price Index increased by 13.73 per cent year-on-year. The final quarter saw the greatest HPI increases in Delhi, Ahmedabad and Chennai.
With the UK's booming property market, areas west of London in Wiltshire county are popular for retirement investment, agents say. ''Marlborough is a picturesque and historic market town in Wiltshire — a county widely regarded as one of the most popular locations for retirees,'' says Johanna Cole, Manager of Hamptons International Marlborough. ''Its pretty high street is characterized by period buildings and is lined with upmarket boutiques, coffee shops and art galleries. There is also a biweekly market. This, matched with beautiful countryside nearby and a host of property types to suit all budgets, is why many people choose to retire to Marlborough.''
Closer to London, other options include Weybridge, Surrey or areas further out like Guildford. Commutable to London by rail, Guildford has beautiful parks, cafés and shops, plus numerous medical facilities and a hospital. Prices are upwards of £800,000 (Dh4.18 million) for a home in Marlborough, says Cole, According to Home.co.uk, average flat price in Weybridge is £483,500 with the average three-bedder at £701,121 and four-bedder at £1.05 million.
Areas in Australia's Tropical North Queensland attract retirees, with beachside towns like Port Douglas and Palm Cove particularly popular. Daryl Franklin of PalmCove Prestige, says many people move there because it's cheaper than Australia's cities and has a more relaxed lifestyle. ''Lower cost of living, access to airports, good medical and transport facilities and the prospect of a relaxed and enjoyable lifestyle are major considerations. Far North Queensland offers all these — plus an international airport 30 minutes away.''
In Palm Cove, houses near the beach costs around A$650,000 (Dh1.63 million), while apartments are generally from A$200,000. House prices on the mountainous side of the suburb are more than A$450,000. Median house prices in the larger tourist town of Port Douglas, north of Palm Cove, are A$530,000, while average rent is A$420 per week.
Source: Andy van Smeerdijk, Special to Property Weekly