invest in 2021

Buying a house abroad: where to invest in 2021

Have you put aside your savings and are you thinking of investing them? Are you planning to buy a holiday home outside the country, or maybe you want to enjoy your well-deserved retirement abroad after a life of work?

Buying a house abroad can be a choice dictated by various reasons and can represent a series of rich opportunities, it all lies in knowing and knowing how to untangle the most popular foreign destinations in which to make an investment.

We have already talked to you extensively about all the opportunities and ways to sell your home abroad, but in this article, we are going to deal with the other side of the coin: we offer you a complete overview of all the foreign countries in which to invest in brick is more advantageous and the main reasons why it is convenient to buy a home abroad.

Why buy a house abroad?

According to the independent Institute Scenari Immobiliari, there were over 48,000 real estate investments abroad in 2019.

The reasons why you might decide to buy an apartment abroad could be:

  • Job
  • Tourism
  • Pension
  • Annuity (buy to rent)

In particular, the latter motivation is the one that most pushes Italians to buy a second home outside our national borders, since many nations can offer a more permissive and therefore economically convenient property tax regime than the Italian one: especially after the crisis. world economic 2008/2009, after years the taxation on the brick shows no sign of reducing, also thanks to maneuvers inherent to the taxes on indivisible services.

Looking for an apartment in a foreign land has become much easier in recent years, thanks to the presence of dedicated web portals, real estate crowdfunding platforms or specialized agencies in the foreign market, of which we will mention some “random” names:

  • Gate Away
  • idealist
  • Italy Home Luxury
  • Crowdestate
  • Housers

These platforms allow you to invest in apartments abroad even starting from small sums in the case of crowd investing, finding low-cost opportunities that move more and more European investors and beyond.

A particular interest, which also comes from the 87% of Italians who consider the house the most important property.

The taxes to be paid in Italy on the home abroad

It should be remembered that an Italian with a home abroad has different taxation, which varies according to the location of the property but is independent of its category.

The taxes to be paid are :

  • The IVIE: replaces the IMU, to calculate it you will have to take the cadastral value of the foreign property as a basis, reduce it by 50% and multiply it by 160. For example, if the cadastral value of the house is equal to 1,000, we will have to take it as half of the calculation basis, i.e. 500, and multiply it x 160 = 80,000.
  • Irpef: will be calculated on the basis of the average market value of the property.
  • If the property is rented, the Italian tax authorities allow the owner to benefit from some deductions: for example, any renovation costs and taxes paid in the foreign country will be deducted from the rents collected.
  • If the property is not rented and has not produced any rent, the owner will have to pay the IVIE calculated according to the formula already indicated above.

Payment methods for buying a house abroad

As for the payment methods, you will have to choose whether to open an account abroad or pay with cash, bearing in mind that it is not possible to carry more than 10,000 euros per person undeclared or to make an international transfer. Banks usually charge an exchange rate surcharge.

This is a margin that does not go unnoticed even for small transactions in foreign currency, which is notoriously expensive. So let’s not talk about what the impact of currency exchange can be in large-amount transactions, such as the payment associated with the purchase of a house.

Buying a house abroad: the countries in which it is worthwhile to invest

There are many places in the world where it is convenient to buy a second home.

Many of these are particularly popular due to the positive activity of the real estate markets, others for a lower cost of living than the Italian one. In other cases, countries with evident economic growth are observed.

Below we show you the countries where, according to WeAgentz, it is more convenient to invest.

  • UK
  • Spain, Canary and Balearic Islands
  • France
  • Portugal
  • Greece
  • Croatia
  • Albania
  • Estonia
  • Eastern European
  • United States of America
  • Asia
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Dominican Republic
  • Australia

We continue step by step.

United Kingdom: England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland

Thanks to a strong dedicated incentive policy, the UK property market has experienced a major rise in property values and in some areas house prices have reached dizzying heights.

This is especially noticeable in some of the major cities such as London, Manchester, Cardiff, Ipswich, Canterbury and Edinburgh and in their outlying districts, where the cost of a home reflects the cost of living and services offered.

It is recommended to invest in the United Kingdom as the costs incurred when buying a home, for the intermediation of the real estate agency and for registration, are much lower than those that are paid in Italy for the same. services.

Spain, Canary and Balearic Islands

In the first place for the convenience of mortgages, we find Spain. With an average fixed rate of 1.5%, it has a real estate market that has grown sharply since 2010, the year in which apartment prices have been reduced by up to 30%.

House prices have returned to the level of 2004 and are showing no signs of rising for now. That is why it may still be the right time to move in this direction! So let’s see what are the advantages of an investment in Spain:

  • Prices: medium-low
  • The complexity of legislation: medium-high
  • Income: average
  • Revaluation: high
  • Investment perspective: medium and long term

Highly requested cities are Barcelona, ​​where the cost is between 1,800 and 3,800 euros per square meter, and Madrid, where the cost of buildings ranges from 2,600 to 4,500 euros per square meter, both important Erasmus destinations, as well as the region of Andalusia – with the Costa del Sol – in strong financial growth.

It should also be noted a whole series of recent legislative reforms adopted by the Spanish government which make it possible to obtain a permanent residence permit for all foreigners who carry out one or more real estate purchases for an amount equal to or greater than 500,000 euros.

The Balearic Islands should also be mentioned, in particular Mallorca and Menorca, Gran Canaria among the Canary Islands. In these islands, there has been an increase in the sale of houses and apartments by Italian retirees, favored by a pleasant climatic and landscape environment, a relatively low cost of living and an efficient health system.

Another popular destination is Tenerife: a beautiful Canary Island, with its splendid views and whose real estate market is very interesting and is developing more and more. A popular destination for tourists that deserves special attention.


France deserves a separate discussion, as it is experiencing a very particular phase in the real estate market, with prices that are very unstable and that fluctuate considerably even over a period of just one year.

Always a real estate haven for those who had a nest egg, France could present an excellent prospect for you who are looking for a good investment abroad. In particular, Paris, the capital, allows excellent rents both for those who want to rent to students and for those who are looking for a classic tenant.

  • Prices: medium-high
  • The complexity of legislation: medium
  • Income: medium-high
  • Revaluation: high
  • Investment perspective: medium and long term


Investing in Portugal is also a possibility that you should consider if you are thinking of buying a house abroad . In general, the cost of living in all of Portugal is lower than in Italy.

Furthermore, the price per square meter of the properties is very convenient and taxation is currently very attractive.

Lisbon, its capital, is considered to be the most convenient place in Western Europe where it is possible to buy a good standard studio apartment, spending around 100,000 euros. The Algarve region and the island of Madeira are other very popular locations.


Fresh from the economic crisis that has hit it heavily, Greece has seen property prices fall by over 30% compared to 2006 and nothing suggests that they will rise in the next few years.

Therefore, investing in Greece involves:

  • Prices: very low
  • Complexity of legislation: medium
  • Income: medium-low
  • Revaluation: average
  • Investment perspective: long

For this reason, many foreign investors here have been attracted by the possibility of buying houses at discounted prices and then renting them to tourists, who continue to flock to the islands and major Greek cities such as Athens.

Interesting investment destinations can be the islands of Mykonos, Ios and Santorini of the Cyclades archipelago, Corfu and Kefalonia among the Ionian Islands. Greece can be an ideal investment abroad for those who have not huge capital and can be satisfied with very long-term prospects.


In Croatia, a few kilometers away from our Adriatic coasts, there has been a sharp drop in prices which has attracted numerous foreign investors, many of which are Italian nationals.

Real estate, in fact, does not have high prices – think of cities like Dubrovnik and Split where it is possible to buy properties at discounted prices – and especially in tourist resorts they have excellent present and future income prospects:

  • Prices: medium-low
  • Complexity of legislation: medium
  • Income: average
  • Revaluation: high
  • Investment perspective: medium and long term

The kuna, which is the local currency, has a convenient exchange rate against the euro and this favors the influx of tourists both in the maritime cities and on the islands. Even in these places, therefore, investors usually buy houses with the aim of renting them for the holidays.


Albania is experiencing a period of economic recovery that looks very promising. The prospects are really interesting both from the entrepreneurial point of view and from the point of view of real estate investment.

The price of living is low, the taxation very advantageous, the price per square meter of the houses is just as low and therefore interesting. Precisely for this reason, when thinking of investing abroad, one cannot help but take into consideration this country, so close and linked to Italy.

You can buy houses at reasonable prices both inside tourist villages, at a cost of around 30,000 euros, and inside condominiums, where a newly built apartment costs around 40,000 euros.


In Estonia, it is possible to buy a house with an expense of fewer than 30,000 euros: a very affordable price. The cost of living is not remarkably high, which is why this country offers excellent investment opportunities for foreigners.

Eastern Europe: Romania, Bulgaria, Poland, Turkey

The enormous economic growth, which has seen Eastern Europe as a protagonist, has not affected the cost of living, which is still very low. This, in addition to the favorable exchange rate, allows you to invest in real estate better.

Houses at reduced costs can be found in Warsaw, the Polish capital, Krakow or Czestochowa, in Bucharest, the capital of Romania, Constanta or Iasi, while as regards Bulgaria it is possible to find advantageous opportunities in Sofia, the national capital, Burgas or Plovdiv, recognized as one of the oldest cities in Europe.

Last but not least is Turkey, another country in which investing in real estate is very convenient. On the other hand, in Turkey, there is a rather unstable economic situation that also weighs on the real estate sector, which makes real estate prices undoubtedly competitive.

United States of America

Moving overseas, we arrive in the United States of America, where in recent years many foreigners and not only Italians have returned to invest, due to the currency depreciation of the dollar against the euro.

Investing in America implies:

  • Prices: medium-high
  • The complexity of legislation: low
  • Income: high
  • Revaluation: high
  • Investment perspective: short and medium-term

US law relating to the purchase of real estate is particularly convenient.


In Thailand, known for low-cost properties, you can buy a single-family house near the beach for only 40,000 euros, or an extra-luxury villa with a swimming pool for 150,000 euros. In Phuket, it is possible to buy a property starting from 1,000 euros per square meter.

United Arab Emirates

In the United Arab Emirates, the real estate market is booming, but what attracts investments most is a regulatory system designed specifically to encourage purchases by foreigners and a much lighter tax system than European ones.

There are no income taxes and therefore there is no double taxation for foreigners.

Therefore, the potential investor, Italian in this case, who decides to buy a house in Dubai, will pay the taxes provided on the property only in Italy, and not in the United Arab Emirates.

Dominican Republic

One of the most popular countries in the Caribbean is the Dominican Republic, which has been experiencing a period of considerable economic growth since the early 2000s, due to the strong influx of tourists and which has attracted the attention of many foreign buyers of investment properties.

Valid destinations can be Santo Domingo, the capital, Santiago de los Caballeros and San Cristobal, cities where you can find a sea view villa for only 40,000 euros, or a multi-story villa for 150,000 euros. These are prices that, in principle, reflect the Dominican cost of living.


Australia can be the ideal country to live and invest in, thanks also to prospects for growth in real estate values ​​of 10% by 2022.

It is a nation with a mild climate characterized by economic and political solidity, and it is among the most coveted places to invest in brick, in particular in the capital Sydney and Canberra, metropolises in which it is more possible to perceive the growth that involves the entire nation.

Once you have made your decision and therefore chosen the foreign destination in which you will buy the house, we advise you to inquire about the laws relating to the sale: each country has its own regulations and it is right to read up carefully, so as not to run into very expensive trips.

How convenient is it to buy a house abroad?

Buying a house abroad implies a series of tax benefits and more.

Buying a property in a foreign land is worthwhile because it implies:

  • Traveling and discovering new cultures
  • Reduced taxation compared to the Italian one
  • Creation of a real estate annuity
  • Investment diversification

How to make money from a home abroad?

Earning by investing in a property abroad is therefore certainly possible. Interesting ideas to make the most of your investment abroad can be:

  • Rent: the most advantageous income
  • Capital gain on sale: this will allow you to sell the property at a higher price than the purchase price

… Not to mention the savings in relation to property taxation.

Buying a house abroad: our tips for investing better

After all, making a shortlist of tax advantages and the cost of living much easier than the Italian one, we can assert with certainty that buying a house abroad is convenient.

Stay up to date and follow our instructions to be able to make a profitable investment, thus making your dream come true: living abroad making the most of it in financial terms and beyond.