Zoe Dare Hall looks at where is hot to buy this year...
"We're realistically looking at 7-8 per cent growth a year and, as the properties are already built, we can get rentals of £70 a night," says Herbert.
For a place that builds ski slopes in the desert and the tallest man-made structure in the world, having a property market that lurches from one extreme to another is fitting. Dubai's stratospheric success several years ago was matched only by the speed at which it crashed after 2007.
Now it's on the up again with 2012 seeing surprising growth, especially at the top end, with Knight Frank reporting property prices rising by 19 per cent in prime locations such as Downtown Dubai and Palm Jumeirah and Hamptons citing price rises of up to 30 per cent.
With a return of confidence among investors - particularly Middle Eastern buyers seeking a financial 'safe haven' - come rising prices and a rash of new projects (253 developments are still on hold since the crash), though in a more measured way than in previous years.
The Central Bank's proposal to cap loan to values at 50 per cent for expats and 70 per cent for locals should also eliminate speculators from the market and keep the market in check.
New studio apartments in Dubai Marina cost from £116,000 - a popular spot for expats seeking long-term rentals - and a one-bed flat at Lofts East in Downtown Dubai for £206,000, both through Cluttons Dubai (www.dubai.cluttons.com)
Thailand's economy is one of the fastest-growing in Asia and tourism is booming, with 22 million overseas visitors last year. Its property market is still emerging, but there is significant overseas interest in that too.
At the luxury Laguna Beach in Pattaya - due for a 2015 completion in the less-developed East Thailand, away from the West's well-known resorts such as Phuket and Koh Samui - 164 British investors have bought apartments starting at £16,400 since 2011.
"Some are buying multiple units, either to combine into bigger apartments for personal use or as investments to take advantage of the high capital growth and strong, managed rental returns in this resort," says Luke Smith, MD of Crystal Investments and Real Estate (investmentandrealestate.com), who adds that this is the developer's 10th project, giving investors further confidence.
Property is still low-priced in Pattaya (a 12-hour flight from the UK and a three-hour drive from Bangkok) and tourism is growing. The Thai Government is also easing up on restrictions for foreign ownership of property. Laguna Beach's flats are freehold, furnished and expected rental returns are 10-12 per cent.
"The construction standards are far higher than other emerging markets considered for investment as Egypt or Brazil," says Smith.
Pattaya is also on the radar for Knight Knox, who are selling condo flats from £15,500 (www.knightknox.com).
"It's the nearest coastal town to Bangkok, it offers the best value for money and we're finding great interest from Russia, India and China. Pattaya has a spent a lot of money on infrastructure, which is pushing prices up," says Knight Knox's Samantha Jones, who recommends buying off-plan in Thailand to get the best value.
"A typical completed studio will sell for £30,000, but investors who are prepared to take the risk can pick up a unit off-plan for £15,000," she says.
She also recommends investors buy a property with full, freehold title. "It's the easiest and cleanest way to buy and 49 per cent of condos on any developments can be owned in this way by foreign nationals," she says.
In Phuket, Beach Projects (www.beachprojectsuk.com) are building Silver Beach, a new luxury condo resort ready in summer 2014 with properties from £117,000.
"While capital appreciation is currently minimal on land and villas, according to the Bank of Thailand, condos have increased in value by 10 per cent on average over the past five years. Buyers can realise that 10 per cent anticipated return if they buy off-plan and sell on completion or take advantage of income between 8-12 per cent a year thanks to a 250-day high season," says Roy Hanif, a Partner in Beach Projects.
Munich is pricey (up 15 per cent last year), there's little available and the market is pretty impenetrable if you don't speak German. But historic Hamburg has more to offer - and with prices rising by 30 per cent a year and its former port, HafenCity, seeing massive regeneration and interest from foreign investors, there's big potential. At Harvestehuder Weg 36 on Outer Alster Lake, apartments ready this summer start at £303,000 (cluttonsresorts.com).
Germany does have one sexy city: gritty, cutting edge Berlin is full of opportunity with property prices still yet to catch up with other European capitals due to low level of property ownership.
English property broker Jason Thackray (yourplaceberlin.com) recommends Mitte and cultural Kreuzberg. In Mitte, he is selling a three-bed penthouse for £856,000 (5 per cent yield from long-term rental), or there's a two-bed new flat in Mitte, for £323,000.
|This features appears in the Spring 2013 edition of A Place in the Sun magazine, on sale now at all good newsagents