11th January, 2020
Cheapest places to buy property in Europe
So, you’re thinking of buying a property in Europe? Whether you want an apartment in Barcelona or a villa on the Amalfi coast, you probably want to get the best deal. Read this guide to the cheapest locations in Europe
Europe’s hidden gems
Although everyone is talking about Paris and Copenhagen, there are plenty of vibrant cities across Europe with a less painful price tag.
The cost of buying property in the centre of Paris is approximately €11,019 (£9,480) per square metre. In Latvia’s beautiful capital city of Riga, the cost of property per square metre averages €1,828 (£1,573) – a fraction of the Paris price. If the Baltic nations aren’t your desired location, cities such as Valencia in Spain and Porto in Portugal can offer you warm weather all year for around €2,627 (£2,260) per square metre. As for central Europe, in cities such as Slovakia’s Bratislava and Poland’s Kraków, the average cost of property per square metre is €2,953 (£2,541) and 10,811 zł (£2,174). You are also more likely to save money while living or vacationing there, as the cost of living is significantly lower too.
Offering beautiful historic buildings and modern city living, Poland’s second largest city has a lot to offer. Kraków has plenty of green spaces, a lively nightlife and a thriving arts scene that can rival the culture on offer in Paris or Berlin. The city’s quality of life is higher than London, Paris and Rome, and its unemployment rate was registered at 2.4% in 2018, lower than Poland’s national average of 3.8%.
Maybe city life isn’t your thing, and you’re wanting to buy a property in scenic European countryside like Tuscany. Fortunately, Cyprus, Spain and France can offer the same spacious, relaxed living for less. According to A Place in the Sun, the average property search price in Italy for 2019 is £254,095 (€295,362). However, Spain’s average price comes in at under half of that figure at £117,131 (€136,154), whilst Cyprus and France’s average prices sit at £133,583 (€155,270) and £137,741 (€160,116).
If you’re after a house in a rural location, you presumably want to avoid the hustle and bustle of the city. However, this doesn’t mean that you won’t want to partake in any local activities. Maybe it’s wine tasting, fine dining or exploring nature that appeals to you – these luxurious hobbies can still be found in your alternative location. Spain’s Rioja and France’s Burgundy regions offer their world-renowned wine, whilst Cyprus is known for its delicious cuisine, and all three countries have stunning countryside views.
Cheap spots in the most desired locations
Some of the most popular destinations for British expats in Europe include Spain, Ireland, Italy and Germany. If you’re not willing to pass up your dream destination, we can help you live where you want for less.
Desperate to move to Spain but cringing at the price of apartments in Madrid? València, the country’s third largest city, is one of the cheapest metropolitan areas in Europe. Seville and Bilbao are also more affordable alternatives to the likes of Madrid, Palma de Mallorca and Barcelona. The cost of property per square metre in the capital city is more than double the price of València at €5,373 (£4,621), with Barcelona only marginally cheaper at €4,532 (£3,898).
With the iconic Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias (The City of Arts and Sciences) located in its Quatre Carreres district and one of the oldest still-in-use markets in Europe, València is just as exciting as its larger counterparts. Combining modern architecture and historic monuments, the city can appeal to all.
Not willing to give up the capital city? The Barrio de la Concepción and La Latina neighbourhoods of Madrid are cheaper alternatives to Salamanca, Arturo Soria or Malasaña. There are plenty of one-bedroom apartments in both Barrio de la Concepción and La Latina selling for less than €200,000 (£172,063). You might struggle to find these prices in other areas of the capital.
If you don’t mind travelling further to get into the centre, then the suburbs of any city are a good option to save money. Living in Brookfield or Ballymun will save you a lot of money if you’re moving to Dublin, compared to areas like Sandymount. In general, living by the coast in Dublin will cost you the most.
In Milan, Città Studi or Lambrate are far more affordable than Brera, with apartments selling for less than €100,000 (£86,019). Located north-east of the city centre, the Lambrate district is named after the river that runs through it. With the metro leading straight into the centre of Milan from both Lambrate and Città Studi, these locations have easy connections to the heart of the city.
Neukölln and Karlshorst serve as affordable regions in Germany’s capital. In Neukölln, you could buy a one-bedroom apartment for less than €200,000. Unsurprisingly, the most expensive place to live in the city is Pariser Platz, home to the iconic Brandenburg Gate.
Looking for real estate that is likely to skyrocket in price in the coming years? According to PwC, the top 10 European cities for investment are: Lisbon, Berlin, Dublin, Madrid, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Hamburg, Helsinki, Vienna and Munich. However, Paris, France and Guarda, Portugal are also great investment locations.
Parisian apartments have low rental costs and high yields. Although expensive, Paris could be France’s best location for investment.
The city of Guarda, located in north-east Portugal, offers some of the cheapest property prices in the country, but is also experiencing some of the fastest price rises – making it the perfect place for investment.
How to pay for things abroad
If you’re buying a property abroad or paying for real estate fees, you are likely going to have to make international money transfers. Whether you’re sorting out utilities, buying furniture or paying for a removals service, you’re going to want to know the best way to send money abroad. PagoFX, the recently launched app from Santander, is one such way. The app has a transparent payment system, so you know exactly how much you’re sending and how much will be converted – there are no hidden fees. Using real-time technology, PagoFX is also able to offer you up-to-date exchange rates.
Figures correct as of 1 October 2019