What a funny old world we are currently in. The world has been forever changed by the worst international financial event since world war II, and also since the internet and high speed communications saw the world become completely connected and interdependent.
I watched a film the other night called shank, about a London in 2015 where the gap between rich and poor had become so pronounced that the rich lived in safe-zones and the poor in slums, where everyone was in a gang and all were fighting over food to survive - not money and drugs as you'd expect.
The film looked at this from a fantastical slant of surrealism, but as we proceed into 2011, with property prices in London and the affluent south having grown significantly during the crisis, while the rest of Britain grew slightly, stagnated or fell, no one is missing the widening gap between rich and poor in the UK.
And it is not just the UK, around the world capital cities and surrounding areas are seeing property prices grow much faster, Paris and Ile de France saw prices grow over 10% last year, while prices in France as a whole grew just 0.6%.
But an even greater gap is presenting itself, the gap in economic growth between emerging markets like Turkey, Egypt, Indonesia, and even the big ones like China and Brazil all seeing strong growth while established markets struggle to crawl into recovery mode -- of course there are some exceptions to this on both sides.
These are the two great differences that will define property investment in 2011 as we see it. In fact the convergence of the two differences is seemingly where the smart money is; capital/major cities in emerging markets.
According to Moodie's, Istanbul was the fastest growing city in the world in 2010, with GDP growth of 5.5% and employment growth of 10%. Around the world's emerging markets there is a common formula; under-valued property meeting populations growing rapidly in affluence and numbers, meeting stable banks willing to lend increasing amounts on property.
As for lifestyle buyers, 2011 is still not to late to bag a bargain. According to the latest research by Global Property Guide, on a country level half the world is now enjoying price growth, while the other half saw falls in 2010. But we don't buy property at the country level, we can't buy property in England or the UK, we can buy property on Bromley Street, in Manchester, in the Midlands in the UK.
What I am saying is, there are pockets in most established markets where prices have fallen harder and are not coming back up so well. Across Spain equity funds are saying wait because prices will fall further, but if you have the cash to buy and the desire to enjoy a property in Spain then why should you wait if you are getting value?