Where to Buy International Property - Best 39 Countries

Are you looking for an exotic vacation getaway, a good location to retire in, cultural enrichment, or a good investment opportunity? You may consider buying a property outside the United States.

If you are considering purchasing an investment property overseas, you need to find a good real estate lawyer who understands the country's laws, and is fluent in the local language.

Finding a good property deal in the U.S. is not easy. Are you an investor, retiree, or an adventurous buyer looking for international properties to invest in? Take a look at this list of top countries where you can purchase a property, before you start packing your suitcase. 

Europe - Best Countries to Buy Real Estate Property

Portugal

One of the best places to buy real estate overseas is Portugal. The country is located on the edge of the Iberian Peninsula and flanked by Spain to the east, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. 

It is possible for a non-resident to get a mortgage in Portugal. It is a nation with a history that is steeped in discovery and exploration. 

It has a beautiful sunny weather and an array of vast coastlines. The country is deemed a secret hot spot for a European retirement.

Portugal can offer any retiree the life they want. It has the appeal of having local water sports, golf courses and scuba diving regions. You can also relax by the beach if you want to.

The cost of living is relatively low in respect to other European countries. Portugal has a retirement program that allows expatriates residency in the country, provided they can afford a monthly income of €1,200 (~$1,350/month USD).

The healthcare system is good, pleasant climate, stunning cliffs, picturesque sandy beaches, friendly people, and low crime rates.

There are no foreign property ownership restrictions. The Portuguese government also offers 'Golden Passport' to attract investments. 

Where to look

Algarve, Porto, and Lisbon

Algarve
Tuscany

Italy

Italy is a south-central European country, with boot-shaped borders extending into the Mediterranean Sea. 

It is one of the best countries with a great diversity of art, culture and scenery. It is definitely an expatriate favorite. 

The country has low crime rates, little to no real estate restrictions and above average health care system.

Living in Italy will require a bit of learning the local language and familiarizing with its local expat community.

The country’s historical cities, world-renowned cuisine, and geographic beauty make it a popular destination for tourists.

Italy is home to Mount Etna, Europe’s tallest and most active volcano, and houses two countries within its borders – the Vatican and San Marino.

Italy has an ample amount of advantages for foreigners wanting to retire. It has some of the best real estate prices in Europe. There are no restrictions on who can buy property in Italy. 

Where to look

Abruzzo, Venice, Rome, Tuscany, Costa smeralda, and Lake Como

Turkey

Turkey is one of the best places to buy real estate in Europe. The country is enjoying strong economic growth as the population increases, and the middle class expands.

There is great investment potential in both tourism rentals and student rentals. The country has a low cost of entry for investments. 

A rental unit in this market can be within any investor’s budget. You can also access developer financing.

Where to look

Istanbul

Istanbul
Dublin

Ireland

The Republic of Ireland is an island nation in the Atlantic Ocean. It is separated from the United Kingdom on the east by the Irish Sea.

It has well-watered grasslands, and is known for its rich cultural traditions, lively pub scene, and its struggles for independence. 

The country comprises five-sixths of the island of Ireland. Ireland is offering residency to foreigners who buy properties worth Euro 400,000 or more.  

Where to look

Dublin

Spain

Spain comprises much of the Iberian Peninsula on the southwestern edge of Europe. It shares a border with Portugal.

It also includes the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea, the Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean, and two enclaves in North Africa.

The country has no restrictions on property ownership for foreigners, with the exception of military land and land near international borders.

Spain plans to launch a permanent residency program through investment scheme. 

Where to look

Barcelona, Madrid and the Balearic Islands, especially Ibiza and Palma de Mallorca

Ibiza
Cyprus

Cyprus

Cyprus is the gateway to Europe. The country offers residency permit on a minimum investment of Euro 300,000. 

In Cyprus, E.U. citizens are allowed to buy an apartment, a villa, and land. Non-Europeans can buy an apartment or a villa. 

The villa should be on a land of no more than one acre. Property buyers must apply to the Council of Ministers to enable the transfer of the title deeds from a Cypriot to a non-Cypriot.

The deed transfer permission is often granted within 6 months. Commercial use of the property is restricted for foreigners. 


United Kingdom 

A common language and historic connections help Americans feel familiar with the United Kingdom. 

The United Kingdom has a stable economy and real estate market. It is an attractive location for investors looking to buy a property as an investment.

Where to look

London

London
Paris

France

Property in France is reasonably priced. France offers those planning on retiring abroad a wide range of lifestyle options. This is where Americans go when they follow their hearts.

Regardless of where you choose to live in France, you will have fresh food. There is also a steady supply of wine available at your fingertips, adequate medical care coverage, and a low crime rate.

As a foreigner, you may also experience some difficulties with the language barrier. Many small towns are not bilingual.

Foreigners are eligible for in-country financing. There are no restrictions on who can acquire real estate in France. You will get the same treatment as French citizens when buying property. 

Where to look

Paris, Cote d’Azur (French Riviera), and Bordeaux

Germany

The country has a solid economy and effervescent real estate market.

Where to look

Berlin, Frankfurt and Munich

Berlin
Bucharest

Romania

Real estate in Romania is priced in euros. The acquisition of apartments and buildings is not restricted for foreigners. 

Land is not allowed to pass to non-Romanians unless it is through a Romanian company (even 100% foreign-controlled). 

Some land, such as forest land, reserves and coastline, cannot be bought by anyone, regardless of nationality.

Where to look

Bucharest

Montenegro

You could own a home of your own in seaside town of Budva, Montenegro. Budva offers beautiful sandy beaches and a Mediterranean climate.

where to look

Budva

Budva
Athens, Greece

Greece

If you are looking to own a whitewashed villa on a Greek isle, this would be the time to shop. 

If you are looking to invest for good returns or cash flow, I wouldn’t recommend it. Your money could work better for you elsewhere.

Where to look

Athens

Slovenia

Slovenia is a more discreet and less travelled country. It offers many advantages for retirement. The country has a beautiful aesthetic appeal.

It has a Mediterranean coastline over 30 miles long and medieval architecture designs. 

The environment is exceptional, low crime rates, and low real-estate restrictions for foreigners looking to buy.

Slovenia offers a diversity of mountain top ski regions for the winter months, and warm lakeside scenery in the warm summer months.

The country has well established medical coverage plans. Having a global medical care is highly recommended for foreigners. 


Slovenia
Montenegro

Montenegro

Montenegro is located between Croatia and Albania in Southern Europe. The country has a unique and ancient architecture coupled with its mountainside terrains. 

It offers a beautiful view of the Adriatic sea. The country is desirable for retirees. It offers retirees a favorable tax environment. 

It has competitively low real estate opportunities, and low cost of living. It offers permanent residency opportunity through the citizenship by investment program.  


Switzerland

Switzerland is a small country in Central Europe made up of 16,000 square miles of glacier-carved Alps, lakes and valleys. 

It’s one of the world’s wealthiest countries. It is well-known for its neutrality.


Switzerland
Istria

Croatia

Croatia borders the Adriatic Sea and offers appealing retirement lifestyle options. Non-Croatians can purchase real estate if they have approval from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The approval is issued if Croatian nationals can buy a property in the country of the buyer. Approval can take up to 12 months.

It can be reduced if the property is purchased through a domestic company. The company can be entirely owned and controlled by a foreigner. 

Where to look

Istria

Malta

The three-island nation of Malta is in the middle of the Mediterranean. An EU member where English is spoken by the multilingual population. 

Health care is superb and you can fly to any part of Europe easily. The Maltese people are warm and welcoming. 

 Malta imposes restrictions on foreigners purchasing property in this country.

Where to look

Valletta

Valletta
Stockholm

Sweden

The Kingdom of Sweden is bordered by Norway to the west and the Baltic Sea to the east. 

It expands across much of the Scandinavian Peninsula. It is one of the largest countries in the European Union by land mass.

Where to look

Stockholm

Central America - Best Countries to Buy Real Estate Property 

Belize

Belize is one of the best places to buy real estate overseas. The weather is mild, it has a tropical landscape and numerous recreational opportunities.

It is a highly sought after destination for real estate investors, and vacationers. The Caribbean island offers a good location for rental investment.

Quality rental accommodation at a reasonable price is hard to come by. English is the main spoken language. 

It has well-paved roads, underground utilities, air conditioning, and high-speed internet access.

Some coastal areas and caves are restricted. You may require municipal approval for freehold sale. The real estate market is not regulated.

Government approval from the Ministry of Natural Resources is needed for any property purchase by non-locals.

Make sure to get as much help and advice from specialists with experience of property deals in this country. 

Where to look

Ambergris Caye, San Ignacio, the rest of the Cayo District, and Placencia

San Ignacio
Granada, Nicaragua

Nicaragua

Nicaragua has a rich history, warm weather, freshwater lake, and low cost of living. It is a charming region for travelers and full-time residents to enjoy.

Foreigners have the same rights as Nicaraguans regarding property ownership. Avoid the autonomous regions where the government needs to consult the indigenous people. 

Where to look

Granada

Panama

Panama is a Central American nation that is home to the Panama Canal. The Canal is a hub of global trade and transportation that joins the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans through the Caribbean Sea.

Purchasing a beachfront property on the Pacific west coast of Panama City can give you a good chance of gaining capital appreciation and rental income. The country is one of the best places to buy real-estate overseas.

Individual investors can participate in organic plantations in fertile interior lands for turnkey profits. 

Property within 6 miles of international borders is restricted. There are also restrictions on some island and waterfront properties unless it is situated in one of the Tourism Zones. Some beaches are nationalized.

Beachfront properties must provide a right of way. Building over the water also requires a permit. 

Low taxes and low living costs may lure you to Panama. There are few limitations on what foreigners can buy in terms of real estate. 

Where to look

Panama City beaches

Panama City beach
Tamarindo Beach

Costa Rica

Costa Rica is close to the United States, has a good airline connection, a high-quality health care system, and a crime rate lower that other parts of Central America.

It is a great location for Americans to buy holiday homes. The cost of living is much lower than the U.S. 

Where to look

Herradura Beach, Dominical, Uvita, Tamarindo Beach, the Papagayo Peninsula, and Escazu and Santa Ana, in San Jose

North America - Best Countries to Buy Real Estate Property 

Mexico

Mexico is a top destination among Canadians and Americans for both tourism and retirement. 

The country is enjoying good growth in the local tourism market. The country’s middle class continues to expand.

Foreigners are not allowed to buy real estate within 62 miles of an international border or 31 miles of the coast. 

You can also buy real estate through a Mexican land trust, or a Mexican corporation.
Land granted by the government to Mexico’s indigenous people cannot be owned by foreigners. 

Tourists stay for long periods, driving the need for rental properties. You can buy a home for personal use or for rental. 

Where to look

Puerto Vallarta ,Tulum, Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Cabo San Lucas, Acapulco, and La Paz

Puerto Vallarta
Vancouver

Canada

Canada takes up about two-fifths of the North American continent. It is the second-largest country in the world after Russia.

The country is sparsely populated, with most of its 35.5 million residents living within 125 miles of the U.S. border. 

The country has a good reputation of welcoming immigrants. English is widely spoken. The country’s real estate market and economy are growing. 

There are few restrictions on foreign ownership of property in Canada, apart from land belonging to the British crown.

The restrictions are at provincial or territorial level. Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, and New Brunswick, the other east coast provinces, as well as the provinces of Quebec, Ontario, and British Columbia do not have restrictions on foreign ownership or real estate. 

Where to look

Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Whistler BC

Caribbean Islands - Best Countries to Buy Real Estate Property

Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic offers a high-quality lifestyle at a not-so-high cost. The country is enjoying continued strong growth, and an increasing foreign direct investment.

You can invest pre-construction in an apartment intended for the business traveler market. 

A furnished rental can be an excellent source of cash flow and capital appreciation. It is possible to qualify for financing as a non-resident.  

Where to look

Santo Domingo, Samaná Peninsula

Santo Domingo
Nassau

Bahamas

It is easy to get a residency permit in this English-speaking, income-tax-free country. You can buy property as investment and for personal use.

Non-Bahamians must register any purchase with the Foreign Investments Board, and special permits are required.

Foreigners should register any property investment with the Exchange Control at the Central Bank of the Bahamas if they wish to sell and take the proceeds out of the country. 

Where to look

Nassau and Freeport

Jamaica

Do you like white sandy beaches, watching dolphins and whales, scuba diving and snorkeling, along with a vibrant night life? 

Try the English-speaking island nation of Jamaica. It’s also the home of reggae music.

Where to look

Montego Bay and Kingston

Montego Bay
Turks and Caicos

Turks and Caicos

Turks and Caicos is part of the Caribbean islands and has crystalline water and white sand beaches. 

It is one of the best places to buy real estate overseas. Banks in the Turks and Caicos will lend to non-residents.  


Cartagena

South America - Best Countries to Buy Real Estate Property 

Colombia

Low prices and great weather year-round may lure you to Colombia. 

This South American country has a rich history from coastal Caribbean cities with cobblestone streets, and colonial architecture to mountain cities.

It is also safe to live in Colombia.  

Where to look

Cartagena, Bogota and Medellin

Brazil

Brazil is a big country of many different property markets. The coastal region with gorgeous sandy beaches is a top destination for tourists and buyers.

Rentals targeting the local holiday market can earn better than 8% net yield. Non-Brazilians can buy almost any property in the country and enjoy similar rights to locals.

Foreign ownership of property situated in or near areas of national security, near the coast, and near borders with other countries is restricted. 

Where to look

Natal, Fortaleza and Sao Paulo

Fortaleza
Singapore

Asia - Best Countries to Buy Real Estate Property

Singapore

Singapore is a trading, education hub, and a popular holiday destination. Foreigners and companies buying residential real estate have to pay an additional stamp duty of 15 per cent of the purchase price.

The country does not offer residency to foreign buyers. It has world class infrastructure and high quality of life.  


Philippines

This country has lower living costs, and properties are available at reasonable prices. There are English-speaking Filipinos. 

It is also easy to rent properties to tourists. You can find a perfect holiday home here.

Where to look

Manila, Makati and Cebu

Cebu
Chengdu

China

If you want to buy property in China, plan on living there. Foreign buyers need to demonstrate that they have worked in China for at least a year and are buying the residence for personal use.

The country has a rich history and economic growth.  

Where to look

Shanghai, Beijing, Shenzhen, Chengdu, Chongqing, Hangzhou, Suzhou and Nanjing

Thailand

Foreigners are only able to own land leasehold .A foreigner can hold freehold title to the construction on the land. 

Property ownership for foreigners in Thailand is carefully controlled. Without special permission from the Minister of the Interior, foreigners are not allowed to own the land on which any piece of property is built.  


Thailand
Auckland

Australia and Oceania - Best Countries to Buy Real Estate Property 

New Zealand

New Zealand is an island nation in the Pacific Ocean southeast of Australia. There are a few restrictions for foreigners wishing to buy property in New Zealand.

Foreign property buyers must obtain approval from the Overseas Investment Commission, and from a Minister. 

The paperwork process is quick and can be completed within a month. 

Where to look

Wellington, Auckland

Australia

The Commonwealth of Australia occupies the Australian continent. The country also includes Tasmania. Australian citizens and permanent residents can acquire any type of property.

Foreigners not living in Australia, and corporations, can acquire up to 50% of residential developments. 

Foreigners are allowed to purchase new property or land for building. This is as long as construction starts within 12 months of purchase. 

It is important for foreign nationals to get approval from the Foreign Investment Review Board. This application takes forty days. 

Where to look

Sydney, Perth

Perth
Nairobi, Kenya

Africa - Best Countries to Buy Real Estate Property

Kenya

Kenya is home to the fastest growing economy in Africa. The country is located on the eastern shore of Africa facing the Indian Ocean.

It has an outstanding landscape and beautiful sandy beaches along the coastline. It is a regional transportation hub, gateway to African continent, and the largest economy in East Africa. 

The country has a young, highly-educated, English speaking workforce. Kenya is making huge investments in transportation, telecommunications (high speed internet), energy, and grid infrastructure.

The East African nation is one of the best places in Africa to start a business and buy property. 

The country has strong property rights, a mature and diversified economy, and improving infrastructure.  

Where to look

Nairobi metropolitan, Kisumu, and Malindi

Ghana

Ghana is one of the most stable countries on Africa’s west coast. English is widely spoken here. It is one of the most free market economies in Africa. 

Foreign property ownership is allowed and real estate prices are fair. There are many investment opportunities available in real estate, telecommunications, financial services, energy and manufacturing.

If you want to live a modern, urban lifestyle, then Accra is the city for you. It has a booming real estate market, a fantastic culinary scene, multiple bars, and excellent shopping malls.  

Where to look

Accra, Kumasi

Accra, Ghana
Port Louis, Mauritius

Mauritius

Mauritius is a small island in the Indian Ocean. It is a hassle free, foreigner friendly island. 

The country is multi-ethnic, multi-religious, multi-cultural and multi-lingual. It is one of the top 20 countries for doing business according to the World Bank. 

It is a hub for financial services, and a beautiful island that attracts many tourists. Foreigners are allowed to own and develop property on the island.

Foreigners also automatically qualify for permanent residency if they invest more than $500,000.  

Where to look

Port Louis

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