Tips on Purchasing Property Abroad

28th September 2016

Family, Money, Travel

Australia, Spain, and France have long been popular as both go-to holiday destinations and as places for those wanting to relocate to sunnier climes. Full of culture, stunning landscapes, and warmer climates, it’s no wonder they are rated amongst some of the most popular and enjoyable places to live and visit in the world.

Here at Asda Money, we’ve taken a look at which areas of these countries you are most likely to get more bang for your buck, whether you’re planning on retiring abroad, or purchasing a second property to use as a holiday home.

Property Prices in Australia

One of the most popular destinations for British expats, Australia is the world’s sixth-largest country. From amazing cities to beach resorts, the country offers plenty to see and do. Known for its outdoorsy culture, Australia attracts a diverse range of people, from retirees to gap year students.

Many cite “a better quality of life” as their reason for living elsewhere, and Australia delivers in spades on this front. Many factors are considered when establishing a location’s “quality of life”, from housing, health and average income, to education and employment statistics. According to the OECD Better Life Index, Australians are very satisfied with their lives, rating their satisfaction level as 7.3 out of 10, this is above the OECD average of 6.5. With these figures in mind, it’s no wonder that many people consider either purchasing a holiday home or moving there permanently.

The most popular areas in Australia are Sydney and Melbourne, but due to this, the properties in these locations also come with hefty price tags. As one of Australia’s largest cities, Sydney is full of amazing architecture, and is best known for its harbour front Sydney Opera House. As the number one city to visit in the country, it attracts millions of tourists every year. Due to its popularity, an average house costs around $750,000 (£424,825.71).

Melbourne is the second most populated city in the country, and is also very touristy. Although Melbourne comes in a little cheaper at around $590,000 (£334,196.23) on average for a property, it’s still pricier than many other areas within Australia.

If you’re looking at either moving out to Australia, or fancy purchasing a second property, there are many other fantastic, cheaper areas to consider aside from the tourist hotspots.

As reported in Real Estate, property trends for this year show that people are seeing greater value for money in Brisbane, compared to Sydney and Melbourne. Brisbane, which is the capital of Queensland, is a city full of art and culture, and an average property here costs around $480,000 (£271,888.45).

Another area which is seeing potential growth is Adelaide. The city is South Australia’s coastal capital, and boasts stunning beaches. An average property here will set you back around $413,000 (£233,937.36).


Property Prices in Spain

With a great climate, relaxed culture, and amazing cuisine, it comes as no surprise that Spain is popular with both expats and those just seeking a holiday retreat.

Madrid and Barcelona are known to be the most popular areas for property investments. However, due to high volumes of tourism, the property prices tend to be quite expensive.

Madrid is full of sophisticated boulevards and is renowned for its fantastic fashion scene. Filled with plenty of history through its art and architecture, it attracts many visitors. In Madrid, an average property costs around €490,000 (£411,385.80).

Barcelona is another fantastic city full of history. As the cosmopolitan capital of Spain’s Catalonia region, the city has boasted many famous artists and architects in its time, from Picasso to Gaudi. Despite being much cheaper than Madrid, and less than the average UK property price (around £200,000), in comparison to many other areas in Spain, Barcelona is still on the expensive side, with the average house costing around €189,973 (£159,494.28).

If you’re considering moving to Spain or purchasing a second property, as reported in Prime Location, the areas of Granada, Cádiz, and Seville are now on the property radar at a fraction of the price compared to some of the more popular areas.

Granada, at the base of the Sierra Nevada mountains, is situated in Spain’s southern Andalusia region. With a variety of medieval architecture, beautiful parks and gardens, it’s a lesser-known tourist spot with plenty to offer. An average property costs around €180,000 (£151,121.31).

The ancient port city of Cádiz is built on a strip of land which is surrounded by the sea, resulting in spectacular coastal views. Coming in much cheaper than some of the busier areas, an average property will cost around €133,939 (£112,450.21).

Seville is also located within Spain’s southern Andalusia region, and comes in as one of the cheapest destinations to purchase property in the country. Famous for flamenco dancing, the area is known for its entertainment and festival scene. An average property here costs around €112,860 (£94,753.06).


Property Prices in France

With France being our neighbouring country, it’s a popular spot for Brits who want to either move there permanently, or purchase a second property.

The south of France has long had a reputation for being a tourist hotspot, which means property prices can be very expensive, although they do tend to hold their value. St. Tropez and Nice are among the pricier destinations. In terms of cities, Paris still remains number one for expensive properties.

Both St. Tropez and Nice fall under the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, which is a region in south-eastern France. These glamourous resorts are very cosmopolitan areas, full of swanky bars, restaurants, and designer retail. On average, properties are listed at around €292,000 (£245,152.36).

Famous for its fabulous fashion scene, culture, and cuisine, Paris is the capital of France and attracts tourists from across the globe. The Parisian region of France is by far one of the most exclusive, with property prices on average costing €1,000,367 (£839,870.98) according to statistics from French Property.

If you fancy a taste of French culture, but don’t quite have that Parisian budget, there are plenty of other fantastic areas to explore. According to French Property Links, you can find some of the cheapest properties in the up-and-coming area of Limousin.

The region of Limousin is full of history and is mainly known for its agriculture. A sparsely populated region, its main city is Limoges. On average, a property within this region costs around €158,206 (£132,823.88).


Top Tips On Purchasing a Property Abroad

When purchasing a property abroad, there is plenty to consider. Depending on the country you choose, there will be differences in the buying process, so research is very important. In Spain, for example, taxes and fees usually amount to around 10 per cent of the total purchase price of the property.

If you’re considering permanent residency, it’s also crucial to do your homework on how to go about seeking citizenship. For example, in Australia there are certain criteria you need to meet before you can live there permanently.

Since the 1st of April 2016, anyone wishing to buy a second home, whatever the reason for the purchase, will pay a higher rate of stamp duty than someone buying a property as their main home. Therefore, those retaining a UK property should be aware of this potential extra cost.

*The above figures are provided for indicative purposes only and are based on the exchange rate, correct as of 14:45 on 01/09/2016.

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