Five-Cities-to-Watch-in-2019

Five Cities to Watch in 2019

28.01.19

As the global economy ebbs and flows in various regions, so to do the top places to live, work and develop. New cultural hubs, emerging art enclaves and investment opportunities are making these five urban centres places that you’ll want to keep an eye on

These five locales, selected by Christie’s International Real Estate as cities to watch in 2019, offer a broad range of enticements for every kind of property buyer. From Paris, which is emerging as a new European tech hub, to Atlanta, where several major company headquarters are relocating, these promising locations—and their desirable properties—are well worth a look.

  1. Tokyo, Japan

“In anticipation of the 2020 Olympics, this city is seeing vibrant transformation and growth,” says Sonny Saito, CEO of Japan Capital Realty Inc., the exclusive affiliate of Christie’s International Real Estate in Japan. As is often the case with a major sporting event, the city has been regenerating to meet the renewed real estate demand.

As The Wall Street Journal recently noted, there is increased demand from foreign buyers who want upscale amenities and a safe place to invest. Consequently, the recent strength and stability of the Japanese yen is an important factor. While the city offers everything luxury high-rise living, you’re just 90 minutes away from the hot spring district of Yugawara, where classic traditional Japanese Ryokans still exist along the Chitose River.

“The second-hand residential market is also showing an increase in real estate values due to significant demand in anticipation of the 2019 Rugby World Cup and casino resort developments. Plus, land scarcity is also pushing up prices,” adds Saito.

Tokyo’s most luxurious neighbourhoods are located in an area known as the three As: Azabu, Aoyama and Akasaka in the Minato ward. Azabu is an exclusive enclave preferred by diplomats and executives, and is home to a massive residential redevelopment in its sub-district Azabudai. Aoyama is more cosmopolitan, while Akasaka is an established upscale business district close to entertainment venues.

  1. Hong Kong

Safe and prosperous, Hong Kong has a vibrant blend of British colonial history and Chinese culture. This cosmopolitan financial hub ranked as the most luxurious housing market worldwide in the Luxury Defined 2018 Global Luxury Real Estate Report for the second year running. Property values are notoriously high but remain rock solid in the city-state’s thriving, tax-friendly economy, while the World Bank lists it in fourth place globally for ease of doing business. Meanwhile, wages are the highest in Asia-Pacific, according to HSBC’s Expat Explorer Survey.

Exclusive residential districts like The Peak and Repulse Bay have spectacular water views, as do luxury condos in Deep Water Bay and elegant high-rises in Pokfulam.

“Victoria Harbour is a truly remarkable waterway, separating the skyscrapers of Hong Kong Island from the busy streets of Kowloon,” says Yuky Chung, senior director of Landscope Christie’s International Real Estate, the exclusive affiliate of Christie’s International Real Estate in Hong Kong, “The exciting opening of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link, which connects Beijing and Hong Kong via Guangzhou and Shenzhen, in September 2018 and the new Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge in October 2018 provides greater convenience for commuters.”

  1. Santa Fe, New Mexico, United States

Four seasons of mild weather, mountain views, starry nights—all good reasons to buy a vacation home in Santa Fe. Fitness enthusiasts are attracted to the city’s excellent air quality: the American Lung Association gives it an “A” for safe ozone levels, which explains the local enthusiasm for hiking,

But this outdoor-oriented city holds its own as a cultural hotspot, too: Santa Fe was rated as having the most vibrant arts community among medium-sized American cities in the National Centre for Arts Research’s 2018 Index. The appointment of Canadian Opera Company’s Alexander Neef as artistic director of Santa Fe Opera is a further indication of the city’s growing arts and cultural influence.

Santa Fe also ranked as the world’s hottest second-home market for prestige property in the Luxury Defined 2018 report, recording levels of luxury home sales not seen since before the recession in 2008.

“Santa Fe Summit and Sierra del Norte offer spectacular views, as do Casas de San Juan and Monte Sereno,” says David Barker, CEO and owner of Barker Realty, Inc., the exclusive affiliate of Christie’s International Real Estate in the region. “What’s notable for 2019 is the excellent value you get for your money here, along with the thriving arts scene that emerges in a tri-cultural city.”

  1. Paris, France

The City of Light isn’t just for romantic getaways. Paris has top-notch universities, transportation, gastronomy, and fashion—all part of the booming French economy. Additionally, in-progress infrastructure improvements ahead of the 2024 Olympics make it even more attractive for those seeking to make Paris their home. With France emerging as the tech start-up capital of Europe, Paris is the new Silicon Valley of 2019, attracting upwardly-mobile talent and foreign investment.

“We’re right in the centre of Europe, with easy access to London,” says Marie-Hélène Lundgreen, director of Daniel Féau Conseil Immobilier, the exclusive affiliate of Christie’s International Real Estate in the region. “The luxury market is performing very well due to factors such as Brexit, the surge of French expats returning home, and international buyers who want turnkey properties with a concierge service.”

Paris was ranked as the fifth hottest primary property market worldwide in the Luxury Defined 2018 report, and each of the city’s neighbourhoods has its own distinct charm. Le Marais is a trendy hub of art galleries, bistros, and boutiques, while Saint-Germain is known for its cafes, bookshops, and antiques. The Golden Triangle, bordering the Champs-Elysées, is prized for its fashion houses—Dior, Gucci, Chanel, and Saint Laurent, among others—as well as its grand hotels and gourmet restaurants.

  1. São Paulo, Brazil

The beating heart of Brazil and the largest city in the southern hemisphere, São Paulo has an effervescent nightlife and a food scene driven by celebrity chefs and destination restaurants. It’s also the country’s finance and transport hub, with noteworthy architectural monuments and a stunning skyline.

As Brazil climbs out of a lengthy recession, an encouraging report by fDi Intelligence names São Paulo as Latin America’s State of the Future for 2018-2019, ranking the city first for both economic potential and business friendliness. The New York Times notes that lower prices, more political stability, and an improving economy are bringing real estate buyers back to the market.

“Despite the recession of the past three years, the luxury market continues to perform well,” says Luiza Cazarin of Axpe Imóveis Especiais, the exclusive affiliate of Christie’s International Real Estate in the region. For hip urban living, she recommends São Paulo’s colorful Vila Madalena district, with its music venues, art galleries, and cinemas. For something quieter, there’s the leafy upscale district of Jardim Europa. The city has many exclusive enclaves, such as Vila Nova Conceição near Ibirapuera Park; and chic Itaim-Bibi, home to many trendy restaurants and expatriates.

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