The Best Countries to Buy Property in 2018

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Investing in property overseas can deliver great financial rewards through capital growth and rental income. Whether you’re keeping an eye out for the next great investment, a spectacular vacation home or the perfect retirement destination, the decision to enter the international property market requires thorough knowledge of what’s out there. From real estate hotspots with great bargains to more established markets, we’ve rounded up a list of the best countries to buy property in 2018.

Turkey

Selling Points

  • Strong foreign buyer interest with reported 23% year-on-year increase during the first half of 2018
  • Recent currency crisis has allowed holders of foreign currency to take advantage of favorable exchange rates and fetch prime properties at bargain prices.
  • Promising rental market with steady population growth and influx of tourists
  • Eligibility to receive Turkish citizenship for properties priced at US $1 million or higher
  • National value-added tax exemption for foreigners (18%).

Recommended areas

The capital city of Istanbul remains to be the top choice for foreign buyers. The coastal areas of Antalya as well as emerging areas like Bursa and Yalova are also worth looking into.

Prices

Prices in Istanbul’s best neighborhoods (Bagdat Avenue, Istilkal Avenue) range anywhere between $5,000-11,000 per square meter.

Panama

Selling Points

  • High-yields for those who want to venture into rental property investment. Demand is driven by expat retirees, multinational companies seeking employee accommodation, migrants from South American countries and tourists.
  • Prices have remained soft despite steadily rising sales and property values are now currently 10 percent below their peak before Panama’s global housing crisis in 2008.
  • The country has some of the most liberal immigration policies for foreign investors and expats can enjoy the same rights and privileges as local property owners.

Recommended areas

Established areas in the capital city like Punta Pacifica, Cinta Costera and Costa Del Este, as well as other emerging areas, Ocean Reef and Santa Maria attract a large segment of foreign buyers.

Prices

Apartment prices in Panama City range from $150-$200 per square foot but vary on the area and property type. Prime luxury condo units sell for about $300,000 to a little over $2 million.

Mexico

Selling Points

  • Strong residential and commercial market. Valuations are attractive and prices have steadily risen over the years
  • Popular investment area among retirees from North America due to proximity to their home country.
  • Foreign buyers who own property with a value in excess of $174,000 USD are granted a temporary residency visa. No required time in-country to maintain the visa.

Recommended Areas

In Mexico City the most desirable residential areas are Polanco and Lomas. Tourist-friendly destinations such as Puerto Vallarta on the Pacific coast has seen a development boom with increased demand from foreign investors looking for vacation or retirement homes. Tourist-friendly Playa del Carmen on the Riviera Maya is also another investment hotspot.

Prices

In Polanco and Lomas, the range is roughly $6,000 to $10,000 per square meter. Average price per square meter in Puerto Vallarta has steadily increased over the years due to foreign demand and is now around $3,000.

Brazil

Selling Points

  • 100% Freehold Ownership
  • 0% purchase tax or tax reductions for non-residents.
  • Nationwide price decline gives opportunities for foreign buyers to purchase below market-price
  • Growing demand for holiday residences and vacation villas. Retirement communities also offer another investment opportunity which is not subject to seasonal demand.

Recommended areas

Investment in urban areas like Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro are still the most reliable but coastal areas like Fortaleza, Natal and other areas of Northeast Brazil should be explored for holiday properties.

Prices

According to the FipeZap Index, the 2018 average price per square metre in São Paulo is about $ 2,340 (R$8,696) and in Rio de Janeiro it is around $2,685 (R$9,975).

France

Selling Points

  • The Parisian real estate market is one of the most reliable areas in the world to build long-term wealth through property investment, surviving price dips in the toughest of markets.
  • No restrictions for foreigners buying property in France
  • Strong investment returns in the tourism and rental market as one-third of the population are renters.
  • In-country financing is available for foreigners. Interest rates for French mortgages are currently experiencing historic lows with loan to value ratios as high as 85% and interest rates as low as 2%.

Recommended Areas

The most popular areas in France for buyers are Paris, Île-de-France, and Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur. The southwest of France also offers plenty of bargains namely the regions of Auvergne, Charente and Limousin.

Prices

As of late 2017, the average price of apartments in Paris is €9,165 per square meter. The average price of homes in the southwest of France range anywhere between €1,090- 1,210 per square meter.

Portugal

Selling points

  • High rental demand for modern apartments and holiday homes in popular tourist destinations
  • Golden Visa scheme for non-EU nationals. EU visas and eventual passports for family members in return for a minimum €500,000 property investment.
  • Tax perks for those who spend half a year in Portugal and become tax residents, including an exemption on your pension or investment income for 10 years
  • No special requirements or paperwork for foreigners who wish to buy property in Portugal

Recommended areas

Aside from Lisbon, places like the Algarve coast,Porto, Faro and Tavira have attracted a lot of overseas buyers seeking properties with strong holiday rental potential and promising yields.

Dubai

One of the famous cities and destinations in the Middle East. It has a competing and compelling real estate market driven by remarkable economic growth.

Both ready & off-plan projects in Dubai are attracting real estate investors as of their high ROI and safe investment environment. 

Selling Points

  • Excellent investment returns particularly in areas near the site of Expo 2020
  • No annual property taxes
  • Offers the best price points when compared to other major cities in the world. Prime properties in Dubai cost about 40-50% less than those found in Singapore, Moscow, Tokyo and Paris.
  • USD 1 million can give you thrice the area in Dubai than what you can get for the same amount in New York or London.
  • Very competitive market has given rise to attractive offers and generous payment plans from developers
  • Two-year renewable property investor visa granted by the Dubai Land Department for buyers of freehold property valued at AED 1 million or more

Recommended Areas

Established areas such as Business Bay, Downtown Dubai, Dubai Marina, Palm Jumeirah and City Walk

Prices

According to a 2018 REIDIN report, the average price per square foot for prime apartment in Dubai is AED 2,100 or $ 570 while the average price for Dubai villas is about AED 1,500 or $ 408.

Published by Kidal Delonix (918 Posts)

Kidal Delonix is a contributor to Mr. Hoffman's blog. The views and opinions are entirely his/her own and may not reflect Mr Hoffman's views.

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