It’s a better idea now than it has been in more than a decade to diversify your portfolio with properties with euro values.
The dollar and the euro are nearly equal, giving holders of U.S. dollars greater purchasing power than they have had in the eurozone since 2003.
Everyone is aware of the ongoing crisis in Greece, and Spain is still dealing with the devastating consequences of its ruptured housing bubble. Other markets in the area are recovering in the interim.
The property market in Ireland is booming, and Portugal is a prime example (Lief and I were so delighted during our earlier visit that we made an investment before leaving the country).
Our editorial team discovered the current per-square-meter cost to purchase in significant euro-based markets when conducting the study for our recently published Retire Overseas Index.
Where exactly in euro-land should the retiree or home buyer concentrate his attention at this time?
Here are some specific suggestions from our editors:
1: Abruzzo, Italy
The Italian region of Abruzzo is one of the most affordable in Europe and a great place to consider retiring. As attractive as Tuscany or Umbria, but less traveled, is this sparsely inhabited area where central Italy blends into this nation’s slower-paced south. In this lovely province, which offers both seaside and mountain lifestyle alternatives, you might purchase an apartment in a decent location for as little as US$1,015 per square meter. For as little as US$50,000, one can purchase a small yet livable village cottage.
2: Istria, Croatia
Croatia’s Istrian Peninsula is another incredibly affordable region of Southern Europe, where you might purchase an apartment in Pula, for instance, for US$1,313 per square meter.
Croatia, which borders the Adriatic Sea, provides retirees with two tempting lifestyle choices: one on the shore and the other inland in Istria, an area known for its meadows, vineyards, and olive groves. The Romans built some of their grandest structures in Istria, a fairy-tale region of fortifications and bell towers, including a sizable and completely preserved coliseum at Pula where lions and Christians once entertained. Later, the Venetians, who also left an architectural legacy, ruled over this region. In Istria, man and nature have collaborated for many years to produce something unique and nearly miraculous. In reality, Istria was known as Tierra Magica by the ancient Romans.
3: Valletta, Malta
Valletta, Malta, is only marginally more expensive. Malta, a three-island country in the Mediterranean, is a gleaming gem of the First World. Malta is practically a perfect EU member because its multilingual populace speaks English almost exclusively. Excellent healthcare is available, and travel throughout Europe is simple. The people of Malta are friendly and welcoming, and they have a distinctive culture. For an average price of US$1,320 per square meter right now, you might own a piece of one of the most historic towns in the world, Valletta, which was constructed in the 16th century under the control of the Knights Hospitaller, or Knights of Malta.
It should be noted that Malta has restrictions on foreigners purchasing real estate there. When purchasing an apartment, you must invest at least 104,737 euros, and when purchasing a home, you must invest at least 174,514 euros.
4: Algarve, Portugal
More than 100,000 expat retirees now call Portugal’s Algarve home. The region has always drawn foreign retirees. The Algarve has a longstanding reputation as a top summer destination among European sun-seekers and a leading winter refuge for those wishing to escape Northern Europe’s coldest months thanks to its 3,300 hours of sunshine every year, more bright days than virtually anyplace else in Europe.
The 100 miles of Atlantic coastline in the Algarve are broken up by craggy rock outcrops, lagoons, and vast stretches of sandy beaches, several of which have been honored with coveted Blue Flags from the European Blue Flag Association. These coasts have turquoise sea, and the views from the top of the cliffs are breathtaking. In other words, you may pass your days swimming, tanning, and boating here at the beach. In addition, the area is known as one of the top golfing destinations in continental Europe and has 42 golf courses within less than 100 miles.
Algarve real estate in Portugal is currently available for an average price of US$1,345 per square meter. We considered the little historic coastal city of Lagos to be the most intriguing from a lifestyle and investment standpoint, so Lief and I bought there this month.
5: Bucharest, Romania
The only area of Bucharest, Romania, that was spared by Nicolae Ceausescu’s bulldozers is the old town. This historic area has lately undergone some renovation. In addition to sharing Europe’s urban history, culture, and love of the arts, architecture, and education, Bucharest’s Old Town today provides strolling streets, sidewalk cafes, cathedrals, museums, and restaurants.
At the current rate of exchange between the dollar and the euro, the average cost of ownership in Bucharest is US$1,432 per square meter.
Be aware that despite being EU members, both Croatia and Romania have their own currencies. Croatia and Romania both use the kuna. However, real estate in Croatia and Romania is valued in euros, so dollar owners gain from the high dollar at the moment.
6: Budva, Montenegro
For as little as US$1,839 per square meter, you might get your very own house in Budva, a beach city in Montenegro. Budva is a 2,500-year-old city on the Adriatic, with a well-preserved medieval walled core. Beautiful sand beaches and a Mediterranean climate may be found along the Budva coast.