The Best Countries to Buy Property in 2020

Posted On Tuesday, 17 March 2020 12:49

Whether you’re looking to diversify your long-term investment portfolio or simply eager to take advantage of a favorable market, real estate is an attractive investment. In 2019 the global real estate market recorded significant gains. These were partly owed to lower mortgage rates and rising demand from private capital. The trend seems to continue in 2020. Experts predict serious profits for real estate investors who get in the game now. Rapid socio-economic change is transforming the real estate space and is proving to the key value-driver in this industry. Here's a look at some of the top real estate destinations in 2020.

Panama

This small country has lately become a prime target of real estate investors. Panama offers investment opportunities in rental apartments, agricultural land, vacation homes and retirement venues. Places like Bocas del Toro, Boquete, Cordillera de Talamanca, Sierra de Veraguas and Serrania de Tabasara are some of the lucrative places to invest. The main incentive for buying property in Panama now is the low pricing. One can get a prime property in Panama for a third of what one would pay for a comparable investment in the US. Property prices start at around $100,000, and can exceed $500,000.

Another reason to look at Panama favorably is a multitude of laws which the country has enacted to guarantee the property rights of foreign owners. There has been quite a stir of investors in beachfront condos, high rise apartments, and breezy mountain retreats. In Panama it takes about six weeks to finalize the purchase of a property. Expect to pay an additional 2% in taxes, 3-5% in real estate agent fees, and about 2% in legal fees.

Spain

The global financial crisis resulted in a sharp drop in property prices in Spain; as much as 30% in places. The market is starting to recover, which makes it arguably the best time to invest. The real estate market in Spain is dominated by a demand for rental properties. This is fueled by a profusion of short-term holiday lets on platforms such as Airbnb and others.

Property ownership by foreigners in Spain is legally allowed and protected. Outsiders can invest in residential property, commercial real estate, and land. What’s more, investing upwards of €500,000 qualifies one for Spain’s coveted golden visa. Under this program property owners become eligible for a residency. Some of the best areas to buy property in Spain are Alicante, Andalusia, Murcia, Valencia, and Costa Blanca. There is a 6-10% property tax, 1-2.5% for notarization and registration, and 1-2% legal fees. Property prices start from €50,000.

France

The housing market in France took two major dips, one in 2009, and another in 2013. It is now evidently recovering. France offers many investment options. Foreigners can buy real estate in Lyon, Marseilles, and other French cities. Paris is one of the most expensive property markets in France. It is also potentially the most profitable due to the high demand for housing. Like some other places in Europe, rental properties are popular in France.

There are no restrictions for foreigners on owning properties in France. A two bedroom apartment can cost anywhere from €295,000 to €750,000. Additional costs of buying property in France include public registration fees (0.60-4.89%), taxes (20% of purchase price), and land registry fees (about 0.10%)

Portugal

Nearly 75% of Portugal’s residents own their homes. Foreigners and foreign residents don’t face any restrictions on property ownership in Portugal. Like Spain, buying property for €500,000 or more make one eligible for a residence permit aka golden visa. After 5 years one may apply for a permanent residence. Good places to invest in Portugal are Costa del Sol, Lisbon, the Island of Madeira, Silver Coast, Algarve, and Lagos. Prices of flats hover around €1,561 per square meter. Villas go for about €1,294 per square meter. When buying property budget for added costs such as lawyers’ fees, land registry fees, and stamp duty.

Other destinations

Many countries currently have similar conditions which make real estate markets attractive. Cyprus, Greece, Bulgaria, Malta, and Turkey are worth looking at. Owning real estate in a foreign country is a sizable investment. Moving money across borders is part of its cost. An efficient money transfer channel can save you a bundle. A versatile service like Ria money transfer can optimize your transaction. For international bank to bank transfers Ria offers the lowest fees and unbeatable exchange rates.

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