Right now the U.S. dollar buys more in Europe than it has in over a decade. It means that this is a smart time to buy property in certain markets—including Ireland, Portugal, and Italy—according to the live-overseas experts at InternationalLiving.com.
A €100,000 property that would have cost $139,000 last March costs just $106,310 right now, a discount rendered by the currency-exchange rate alone.
“In good-value markets that made sense at ‘full’ price, this favorable exchange rate is effectively putting properties on sale, and the bargains can be unbelievable. The timing is right for Europe today,” says InternationalLiving.com’s real estate expert Ronan McMahon.
“For instance, the buying moment for a little cottage in Ireland’s Southwest is now,” McMahon says. “This area of Ireland attracts tourists regularly, and there may never be a better time to buy a home on this part of Ireland’s Atlantic coast. The peninsulas here have an island feel. Small towns are close-knit and welcoming. At night pubs fill with visitors and locals.”
Close to the town of Ardgroom on the Beara peninsula, a typical Irish farm cottage recently listed for €85,000 ($90,364). The cottage is a short stroll from the ocean and has great views of the headland beyond from the upper floor. The ground floor has been updated. The second story is, in real estate agent-speak, a blank canvas.
“I expect it could be bought for €70,000 ($74,400),” McMahon reports. “And for $25,000 more, you could create a charming, picture-perfect little Irish farm cottage on its own ocean-view plot.”
Portugal’s capital, Lisbon, is arguably the most affordable capital in Western Europe. A couple could live comfortably here for as little as €1,800 a month ($1,914).
“Lisbon is a place where you can enjoy a European lifestyle at Latin American prices, with history, romance, astonishing hospitality, and a seaside location to boot,” reports InternationalLiving.com editor Glynna Prentice.
“In many Lisbon neighborhoods, you can still rent a smart, comfortable one- or two-bedroom apartment for €500 to €700 (that’s $532 to $744 a month). Or you can buy a one-bedroom, renovated apartment for $115,000 or less.”
In Lisbon’s charming Alfama neighborhood, small studio and one-bedroom apartments list for €100,000 ($106,310).
It’s not just Ireland and Portugal that are on sale today. Apulia in Italy is worth a bargain-shopper’s attention, too. This is the region that forms the “heel of the boot” on the Italian map.
“Go now to Apulia,” reports InternationalLiving.com’s European editor, Steenie Harvey, “before everyone else discovers the low-priced properties they’ve been missing. There’s plenty on the market for under €100,000 ($106,310). In many places, one-bedroom apartments mostly rent for less than $500 a month.”
Apulia is, Harvey reports, “unspoiled, laidback, and endearingly eccentric.”
“In the city of Lecce, nicknamed ‘the Florence of the South’ due to its wealth of baroque churches and palaces, you’ll find bargain property prices and a low cost of living.”
Some recently listed were a refurbished studio (430 square feet) near the main square and its Roman amphitheater for €45,000 ($47,840). A more sizable apartment, with 1,021 square feet of living space next to San Matteo church, listed for €160,000 ($170,096).
The full report on the best places to buy property in Europe right now can be read here: Europe On Sale – Buy Now While The Dollar Is Strong. Also available: InternationalLiving.com’s comprehensive Global Retirement Index which ranks the best retirement destinations in the world in eight relevant categories, including real estate.
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