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The Top 10 Places to Buy Luxury Property Abroad

We recently attended The Luxury Property Show in London’s exclusive Hurlingham Club, where we met with Rightmove Overseas, the UK’s most popular website for those looking to find properties abroad. Tom Whale, account executive at Rightmove Overseas, gives us his personal selection, based on current market trends and his own extensive experience, of the destinations which are hot for investment and purchase right now. Get ready to pack your bags…

The French Riviera, France

Like many markets worldwide, the French real estate market was not immune to the economic downturn of the last few years, but lower exchange rates and discounted properties available has led to the tide turning in favour of buyers looking at French property.  Many prestige agents have discounted properties by as much as 40% off their prices in 2009, so now it really is a buyer’s market for French property.

French Riviera

4 bedroom villa, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur


With prices in the Emerald Isle at rock bottom, exchange rates in favour of Sterling buyers and with many bank owned properties, property sales in Ireland are mostly to buyers from outside the Republic. With English widely spoken, similar property purchasing system to the UK and prices for historic Georgian estate houses down by as much as 50% in the last 3 years, the Republic of Ireland presents a compelling case for any seasoned property investor.


5 bedroom house, County Cork


The USA has been a traditional destination for buyers looking for a new life or a good rental income. Florida has always been the most popular with UK buyers, but the Eastern Seaboard also offers investors great returns, as well as spectacular private estates at a vastly reduced rate.  On the other side of the country, properties in California hold their value well, especially in Malibu and Laguna Beach.


6 bedroom house, California


Italy, especially Tuscany, has always been a magnet for those looking for La Dolce Vita. With Italy’s economic problems hitting the front pages, many canny investors are looking to take advantage of this situation by snapping up below market value properties from sellers looking for a quick sale. The most popular areas on our website are Tuscany, Lombardy and Sicily.


35 bedroom house, Lucca

Istanbul, Turkey

Regarded by many as one of the world’s best place to invest in property, Istanbul has seen an explosion of developments aimed at the overseas market. Long term economic growth is forecast to be good and with a rapidly growing population and property shortfall, it is no wonder that many investors are eyeing up property in Istanbul. With a recent change in the Turkish property law that enabled buyers from many more countries to purchase, the demand for properties in Istanbul is only set to increase in the next few years.


6 bedroom villa, Istanbul

The Caribbean

The Caribbean is internationally recognised as one of the many destinations for second homes of the rich and famous. Properties in the Caribbean, especially in Barbados and St Lucia, hold their value well and tend to achieve good capital appreciation in the long term.  Buying property is relatively straightforward, although there are over 7,000 islands in the region that permit foreigners to buy, so the purchasing process can vary. Many islands, such as St Kitts and Nevis and The Bahamas encourage purchasers by allowing them to gain permanent residency if they purchase a property above a certain value, usually $500,000 and above.

The Caribbean

5 bedroom apartment, Barbados

Costa Del Sol/Costa Blanca, Spain

A firm favourite with buyers from the UK for decades, Spain offers year round sunshine, affordable flights and lower priced properties than the UK. The most popular areas for buyers from the UK are the Costa del Sol and the Costa Blanca, where due to an abundance of properties, prices have fallen considerably in recent years. Some agents are reporting falls of up to 50% on properties in desirable areas, such as Marbella and Puerto Banus.


7 bedroom villa, Marbella

Berlin, Germany

A favourite with buy-to-let investors, prices in Berlin have bucked the worldwide trend and are on the increase according to local agents. Apartments in Berlin have been reported to have risen 9% in price compared to last year and about 25% more than 5 years ago, according to the German Real Estate Association. Long term renting is a lot more prevalent in Germany than the UK, so not only do you get good capital appreciation; the rental yields are not bad either.


1 bedroom apartment, Berlin


The upmarket property market is Malta has remained strong over the past few years and seems to have weathered the economic storm battering the rest of Europe. A limited supply of properties, steady yearly property price increases and a flow of British renters escaping the UK for the winter, coupled with political stability and great weather, means that Malta should not be ignored when looking to buy property abroad.


10 bedroom house, Gharb

Algarve, Portugal

For golf lovers, sun seekers or those looking for a good property investment in the medium to long term, the Algarve ticks all the right boxes. Over 9,000 Brits buy property there every year according to the Portuguese Real Estate Association. When adjusted for inflation, prices for villas have fallen by as much as 11% from January to May 2012, according to The National Institute of Statistics for Portugal. Mixed with a favourable exchange rate, year round flights and a strong domestic rental market, the Algarve region has always been a great place to buy property.



4 bedroom villa, Algarve

Tom Whale Rightmove Overseas

Tom Whale is an account manager at Rightmove Overseas, the UK’s number one destination online to search for properties abroad. 

His primary responsibility is looking after agents based in Turkey, Asia and Ireland, advising them on best practice when advertising and selling to UK buyers.

He also produces a monthly search report outlining trends from the Rightmove Overseas website. 



Images courtesy of Rightmove Overseas.

For more information or if you have any questions, contact Tom directly on +44 1908 712 053 or by email.

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