Where to Buy Cheap Property Abroad in 2011

By Rhiannon Davies Published on 5th January 2011 .

As sterling tries hard to recapture some of the ground it’s lost in recent years against the dollar and the euro, Britons with a few quid spare and a desire for an alternative investment could now look overseas for property investment prospects.  We know that the huge appetite we Brits had for overseas real estate just a few years ago has diminished, but the underlying dream of owning a home abroad has not died completely.

If you want to know where you can buy cheap property abroad in 2011, read on to discover a few secret locations where prices have plummeted and where the estate agents and developers are trying hard to hide it, and refresh your memory about where else in the world has bargain homes for sale.

Even if you’re not currently cash rich, but you have an eye for a bargain, some of the following destinations may push you into reorganising your finances to free up the required capital to invest in a cheap property abroad.  We also give you the top tips you need for making an investment property pay maximum dividends.

Where in Europe Can You Buy a Cheap Property in 2011?

Britons have been hammered in terms of their buying power in Europe over the past few years as the pound has floundered pathetically in the face of a strong euro – however, the recent crises around the eurozone have seen the once robust euro waiver.  This has of course had a significant knock on effect through many economies – not least in Spain, Greece, Ireland and now Portugal.

Despite the fact that the data is being kept quiet, property professionals in Portugal are all in agreement that their real estate economy is bordering on crisis.  Properties coming to the market are up in number, buyer activity is down, prices are being squeezed from all angles, and still there is a lack of investment in Portugal that’s seeing its once rock solid real estate market falter.

Determined and desperate vendors are having to slash the cost of their homes in a bid to get any interest at all – meaning that if you want to invest in a nation with an extremely strong tourist economy, now is the time to begin bargain hunting.

It’s a well-known fact that Portugal’s Algarve region has year round tourism appeal thanks to its glorious weather, stunning beaches, beautiful resorts – and thanks even more importantly to golf!  So, if you want to cash in on this fact, why not look for a resale apartment or villa, depending on your budget, and get as close to the golf courses as you can for maximum ‘rentability.’

Greece, Spain and Ireland have had untold damage wrought on their economies and their once strong or even booming (in the case of Spain and Ireland) property economies have been deeply undermined.  If you want a second home abroad then Greece has a wealth of stunning destinations to choose from – but if you want improved long-term investment potential then Spain and Ireland are probably better bets.

In Ireland look to Dublin and well located real estate that will have maximum rental appeal to professionals in the city for example.  In Spain, buy as close to the beach as you can in a completed development or resort where the property has clear title deeds and a proven track record as an attractive tourism let.

Where Else Can You Buy Affordable Property Abroad in 2011?

If you follow the path of the economic hurricane that sought to destroy economies over the past few years you will find the debris of bruised and even broken property markets.  America is the prime example – many parts of the United States have been severely affected by the economic storm.

This means in the likes of Florida, which has international and year-round tourism appeal, you can really buy a bargain property which has strong rental potential.  One thing to bear in mind however, is the fact that you’ll be buying into a market where competition for investment returns will rise…so you need to buy the best you can in terms of location and appeal. 

This means getting close to the parks and/or the beaches and resorts and getting a property with as many bedrooms as you can afford if you want to appeal to the maximum number of future tourists.

Further off the beaten track and Argentina still represents an excellent and affordable destination.  However, rental potential is relatively restricted depending on where you buy of course, and you will be a long way away if you want to manage your property effectively. 

This brings me neatly to the point of thinking carefully about where you look for bargains.  If you want to rent to a tourist market, you need to be within the ‘golden hour transfer window’ from an airport ideally – and you need to be located close to amenities, facilities and attractions if you want to appeal to the maximum number of renters.

If your focus is more on gaining capital appreciation then you need to take an alternative approach and ensure you find an investment you can add value to.  There is little in the air to suggest that any currently bargain basement economies are going to boom so spectacularly in the short-term that you will be able to make money in any other way.  So, rather than looking for real estate inflation to carry your dreams, look for where you can add maximum value – oh, and where you can make a very cheeky offer too of course.

Rhiannon Davies's photo

Rhiannon Davies

Rhiannon is the Publishing Director at Shelter Offshore. With extensive experience as a technical author, Rhiannon's expat life began in Frankfurt with Deutsche Bank. Later as a freelance writer she was able to realise her ambition of living in some of the World's most beautiful locations.

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