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The Best Countries To Purchase Foreign Real Estate

No matter how you choose to approach it, diversifying your assets is a proven method that’s used to achieve more financial stability. You’ve probably heard about the amazing long term benefits of property ownership as an investment. Owning offshore real estate can provide you with extra side income along with an overall good return on your money; as long as the property appreciates.


Modern Day Real Estate

Let’s face it – not all real estate areas today in Canada and the US look attractive, or even affordable. Fortunately there are still plenty of inexpensive properties abroad that come with great opportunity.

The main advantage to purchasing real estate overseas is to spread out your financial risk so your capital gains aren’t solely tied to the CAN-US market.

We’ve learned through history that even the CAN-US economies face periodic downturns and moments of instability, so by branching out of these markets you won’t be as impacted if they fail.

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Opportunities Across The Globe

Not all countries develop at the same rate. Due to this fact, there’s an abundance of cheap “deals” around the world – as long as you know where to look.

We’ve created this article to inform you of present day opportunities that you may still benefit from. As always, it’s best to supplement your research with alternative information sources before you make such a large financial commitment.





Due to relative weak currencies and moderate economic expansion, there are numerous bargains to be found in South American countries.

Many South American nations show a lot of future promise, whether it’s in their potential output as a country or in their tourism sector.

As a general rule for South American investing, coastline properties can significantly out-price inland properties in most tropical zones. On the other hand, your return on investment can be much greater since these properties are most sought-after by visitors.



By investing in Brazilian real estate you can acquire a tropical, vacation-friendly property attached to a fairly inexpensive price tag. In terms of size, Brazil is massive. However, only a small fraction of the population lives in rural areas (over 86% of Brazilians reside in urbanization as of 2018). As a result, there’s plenty of room for future development and new property construction as city limits widen.

Another reason on why Brazilian property may be undervalued is that the country is steadily gaining tourism based on their historical tourist expenditure data. Brazil is experiencing a stable climb in visitor demand as shown over the past 10 years, even as the country’s exports were somewhat volatile.



Columbia’s urban sprawl and inner city properties still look very affordable to North American investors, especially due to our dollar’s strength in relation to their peso.

Cities such as Medellin, Cali, and Bogota are rising in popularity both with tourists and with North American retirees. These areas are slowly thriving as Colombia’s infrastructure develops and crime rates get progressively lower. Larger communities have decently-established public transportation and other social systems in place.

One of Columbia’s standout features is its perfect year round weather and climate. Life in Medellin consists of “constant springtime” as temperatures fluctuate in the 20 and 30s Celsius. The combination of these factors makes Columbia ideal for vacationers and retirees who don’t want to retire too far from home.



Unlike many of its South American relatives, Ecuadorian shoreline property is still generally regarded as affordable. In terms of Canadian retirees the country has sort of fallen off the grid, making it an actual hidden gem in the South American real estate department.

Ecuador offers investors a largely untapped market of shoreline real estate. Although there hasn’t been much tourism demand in the past, Ecuador’s tourism growth rate has shot up exponentially since 2016.  An increasing snowbird attraction rate paired with cheap property price tags can lead to a great return on your investment.

The nation’s climate is incredibly diverse as you shift between urban-rural areas and different elevations, since Ecuador boasts an incredible mountainous region that counters it’s naturally hot temperatures. As a result, there’s a place for all kinds of travelers in this country.

Currently, Ecuador’s retiree communities are relatively small in size, but if you do your research you can easily find a few English speaking communities consisting of bargain homes.





A few places on this list may come as a surprise, but there are many countries in Europe that go overlooked by foreign real estate investors in their search for a bargain.

The real beauty of European real estate investing lies in its incredibly diverse offerings of both landscapes and cultures. Whether the countries are advancing economically, or seeing growth in tourism/overseas retirement, there’s something for every foreign real estate investor here.



Probably the most surprising one on this list, Italy’s real estate is still overall inexpensive, and this country can make for a great long term investment. Especially after the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, legitimate bargain properties can be found just outside the walls of large cities, within modest sized Italian communities.

Due to an abundance of home supply, some Italian villages (Ollolai, Sardinia) are selling property at a price point of one euro just to attract buyers that are willing to renovate it. If you’re the type of investor who doesn’t mind purchasing fixer-uppers, this may be one of the best deals you’ll find in the modern day real estate market.

In fact, the entire countryside is clustered with bargain priced homes. As long as you don’t mind picking up the local languages, buying property in small towns such as Chieti, Teramo, and Abruzzo will net you a great return. Italy’s known for it’s high quality life, welcoming atmosphere, and rich culture.



Another one of our favourite underrated European real estate markets is Portugal. This small nation usually flies under the European foreign investments radar as well.

Generally speaking, the nation’s cumulative property value has steadily increased since 2015. Today, there are parts of Portugal (specifically Lisbon) where you can reasonably conclude that the prices are in fact overvalued. However, don’t let this discourage you from deal hunting elsewhere within the country.

As long as you’re willing to renovate a little, you can find numerous deals along the country’s coastline – especially in the parts that currently see fewer travellers. If you find a thriving real estate market in a beautiful country situated near Spain to be attractive, you can’t go wrong with a Portuguese investment, given the growing tourism and local satisfaction.



Montenegro is the most low-key foreign real estate option on this list, mainly because it’s very niche and has a small native population. In other words, there isn’t a ton of home supply on the market.

Of course, another thing you can bet on with small property supply is the advantage of scarcity. Since the country is filing as a European Union candidate, there are high hopes for future price raises in property as demand increases.

Putting Montenegro’s political situation aside, the nation offers visitors and retirees a stunning landscape with very charming communities, such as the lake-wrapped city of Kotor. Although the country is tiny (population of around 600,000) the potential return on investment is huge.





Last but not least, there are plenty of opportunities to be found in the Asian real estate market. With Asia being the largest continent in the world, its property sectors feature a ton of variety.

Along with its geographical size, the continent’s population count is also enormous. Considering much of Asia is still underdeveloped now is a great time to capitalize on low housing prices.



Malaysia is one of a handful of Asian countries that suffer from an over-supply of properties in urban areas. Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia, offers Canadian dollar owners ridiculously cheap property price tags and quality public transportation infrastructure.

Naturally, the over-supply of apartments and condominiums in Malaysia won’t last forever, since populations are projected to grow for the next few decades as the growth rate remains positive.

To truly capitalize on this opportunity, you should buy relatively soon since the dollar is currently in a great position to the native Malaysian currency.



The island network of the Philippines has seen phenomenal real estate growth in the past few years and shows no signs of stopping.

Relative to the other countries on this list, you may be hard pressed to find an actual bargain. However, a good deal on real estate does not always correlate with a shockingly low price point. The true value of a residential or commercial property investment in the Philippines resides in the country’s economical progression.

Speaking plainly, you probably won’t find a “good” deal. However, since the nation’s economy continues to boom (and is anticipated to keep growing) theoretically your investment should still experience substantial returns.



Cambodia’s real estate market is where you should look within Asia if the price of a property is your only concern. Generally speaking, the average cost to purchase a standard sized property (even in the country’s capital city) is laughable. By investing in Cambodian property it’s safe to say you won’t be competing with many others.

Considering that even some luxurious residencies are affordable to dollar-owners, you can expect great value for money when making a purchase. At the same time, it’s important to understand that you likely won’t see any significant returns in the short term.

On a more optimistic note, Cambodia’s tourism and foreign investment rates are trending upwards and it’s likely to see a boom in property demand at some point.





If you’re seriously considering on making a large financial purchase (such as real estate) overseas, it’s very important to get the best deal on currency conversions. It may benefit you to make one lump-sum transaction than frequent small ones when you’re abroad.

While you can easily exchange currencies at a big Canadian bank, you’ll likely be paying a rate that’s much higher than the spot rate (since a banking enterprise is massive and requires a ton of overhead).

By choosing professional and reputable currency conversion companies like Knightsbridge FX, you’ll benefit from much more competitive rates.


Interested in foreign properties more for the vacation aspect than the investment side? Check out our article on the best travel destinations for Canadian families.

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By Alex | July 2, 2020 | Guides | 0 comments