Property in warm countries near the coast is traditionally in great demand, and for good reason: prices are often lower than in the UK and the lifestyle is unbeatable. For £200,000 (about €258,000), you could get a sea-view home in the South of Italy, a three-bedroom villa in Portugal, a townhouse in a Spanish resort or a sandstone villa in Montenegro. Here are the best countries to buy property for retirement according to Yulia Kozhevnikova of Tranio.com, an overseas real estate broker.
Spain: sunny and affordable
The sun shines 320 days a year in Spain and its climate is dry and hot, which is excellent for people with asthma and arthritis. There are lots of other advantages like delicious fresh food, golf courses, blue flag beaches and cheap flights. Most pensioners settle down along one of the country’s famous “costas”.
The Costa del Sol is hot and has many golf courses but the water is warmer and the beaches are better on the Costa Blanca. Life is cheaper on the Costa Dorada and there are good cultural attractions. The Balearic and Canary Islands are popular too, especially Tenerife. Houses in Spain start from around €200,000 and apartments from just €100,000. Sometimes good deals can be had on foreclosed property.
Italy: La Dolce Vita
The sun shines 300 days a year here. Many people retire to Italy because it is a rich country with vast heritage and endless things to do and discover. Renaissance art and architecture, wine tasting, pristine beaches and, of course, the Alps. Tuscany and Sardinia are the most popular regions.
Property in Italy can be expensive in popular destinations like the North. Houses in rural areas in Tuscany sell for about €230,000 but up to €600,000 near the coast. In Sardinia, houses cost upwards of €300,000 and villas by the sea can go for €1M. The Marches, however, West of Florence is much cheaper with homes in the picturesque countryside worth €200,000–250,000 and apartments by the beach for the same price.
Portugal: pearl of the Atlantic
The sun shines almost 12 hours a day here and many areas have a delightful sea breeze. Portugal has a warm climate, great history and astonishing coastlines, not to mention olive groves and rolling fields of wheat. The food, lifestyle and friendly locals are also excellent attraction points for anyone looking to settle down overseas. There are many good medical clinics that provide cheaper treatment than in many Western countries.
Most retirees choose the Algrave in the South and towns like Albufeira, Vale-de-Lobu, Vilamura and Praya-de-Roche are in great demand. Cottages in the Algarve cost upwards of €160,000 and apartments from €70,000. The northern town of Cascais, just 25 km from Lisbon is also popular. A two-bedroom apartment costs here €200,00–250,000 but prices are higher near the ocean.
France: The Soul of Europe
France is the heart of Western Europe and it’s no surprise that British are the country’s biggest segment of foreign buyers. There is fabulous food and wine, beautiful and varied scenery as well as one of the best medical systems in the world. With mountains, turquoise blue coasts and expansive country views, there is something for everybody here.
Normandy, Brittany and the Loire areas are some of the most popular regions in the northern half, while down south many buyers flock to the Dordogne, the Pyrenees mountains and the French Riviera. Depending on the state and location of the property, prices can vary. However it’s good to plan for an investment of €300,000 for a home and at least €100,000 for an apartment. Living costs are higher than in Spain or Italy for example, but the healthcare is free and very efficient.
Montenegro: the hidden gem
Montenegro is a small country just south of Croatia in Eastern Europe. Its climate is delightfully temperate and the nature is splendidly untouched. Nestled between the Adriatic and tall mountains, it is a lovely place to walk and admire the aquamarine waters. The best beaches are located in Bar, Becici, Budva, Ulcinj and Herceg Novi. The most popular city for overseas buyers is in the bustling town of Budva, the country’s biggest resort. While still rather unknown, Montenegro is very popular with continental Europeans and still has very competitive property prices.
For small budgets, Ada Bojana, Petrovac, Rafailovici, Sutomore and Ulcinj are a good choice. Those with medium budgets and above will be able to find some beautiful ancient sandstone houses in Budva, Milocer, Przno and around Sveti Stefan island. Two-bedroom flats in Montenegro cost upwards of €70,000, €90,000 near the sea and €150,000 for sea-views in new-builds or refurbished buildings. House prices vary enormously from €60,000 to several million for a majestic villa or captain’s house with a private pool, eight bedrooms and a personal chef.
via Yulia Kozhevnikova – Tranio.com