Now that the UK is well and truly outside the EU many sun-seeking Brits are wondering about alternative destinations for investing in a holiday property. While it is still possible to buy a property in perennial favourites such as Spain and France, various limiting factors, such as the amount of time you can stay in the country, are causing investors to look further afield.
To get you thinking about alternative destinations, and to perhaps whet your appetite, we’ve listed four places in the sun you may not have thought about. All of them have a substantial tourism industry for potential rentals, as well as established expat communities if you’re thinking of spending more than just a holiday there.
The scene: If you are mesmerised by the kind of blue Mediterranean seas that surround the Greek islands, you might want to shift your gaze a bit further to the east and take a closer peek at Turkey. Those same seas lap against the sun-drenched Turkish coast, and you’ll often be able to find property there that’s a lot cheaper than Greece. With 700km of coast to pick a place to call home, and with friendly locals and a very affordable cost of living, it’s no wonder that Turkey lures holiday homeowners and retirees alike. Popular spots include the Aegean coast between Çesme and Alanya, or any of the villages strung out along the Turquoise Coast.
The paperwork: There are no rules to prevent most foreigners from buying a property in Turkey, although there are some minimum requirements that must be met. If you are from the UK these restrictions are usually not insurmountable, which might explain the estimated 32,000 Brits who have bought a holiday home or investment property there. What’s more, it is relatively easy to take out a mortgage in Turkey, even if you don’t live there full-time.
The cost: £40,000 will buy you a new-build two-bedroom apartment in a beach resort, with shared access to a swimming pool and other facilities. Going higher up the scale, you can buy a detached four-bedroom villa with gardens and private swimming pool for as little as £120,000, rising to around £500,000 for something truly palatial. If you move further inland, true bargains can be found.
The scene: Thailand still retains the old allure of the Orient, and at the same time it is a modern country with excellent infrastructure and beautiful scenery. It is known for its beaches and islands, but there are plenty of inland villages and cities to choose from, and many are drawn to the bright lights and lively social scene of Bangkok. The cost of living in Thailand is low, making it an ideal destination to escape to during the winter months. What’s more, the food is amazing, and the people are friendly – it’s not known as the ‘Land of Smiles’ for nothing.
The paperwork: While there are no restrictions against most foreigners buying property in Thailand, you should be prepared to put down a hefty deposit up front. This can be as much as 40 percent of the sale price. Another factor to consider is that you’ll need a visa to visit your holiday home, although this is a simple process, and a multiple entry visa will cost you around £120 per year.
The cost: Even though the Pound has devalued against the Thai Baht since 2018, having lost some 20 percent in value, there are still some great bargains to be had when you compare it to the cost of UK property. A villa in the northern city of Chiang Mai – a popular expat location – costs as little as £60,000, while an apartment in Bangkok will set you back a similar amount at the minimum. If you’d prefer a luxury villa on an island such as Ko Samui you’d be looking to spend around £500,000. Bargain villas on islands can be had for around £70,000.
The scene: Known for its laid-back atmosphere, the endless expanses of palm-fringed beaches and its characteristic Portuguese architecture, Goa has been attracting foreign sun-seekers for decades. Often described as a tropical paradise, Goa is an ideal place to own a holiday home and has good potential for earning an investment income from rentals due to the millions of holidaymakers who flock to this bijoux Indian state each year.
The paperwork: The bad news is that foreign individuals are not permitted by buy property in India. However, this does not apply to foreign owned businesses, so if your holiday home is also a rental property then it’s possible to register it as a tax-paying business and the title deeds will be held by the company, which can be registered locally . Numerous Goan lawyers offer their services to holiday property investors in this regard. Another option is to take out a long-term lease on a property, which is a popular way of getting a foothold in Goa.
The cost: When it comes to property investment, Goa can be divided into North Goa and South Goa. North Goa, which is more developed, attracts more visitors due to the number of restaurants, popular beaches and shopping facilities. Properties such as villas and apartments are sold starting at around £130,000, but this rises substantially for luxury villas. In South Goa, property prices tend to be much lower due to the more rural nature of the setting.
The scene: Consider Morocco, it’s right on the doorstep of Spain – the favourite holiday home destination of Brits – and your money will stretch a lot further there. The north African country is a swirl of cultures and is famed for its colourful bazaars, its traditional Berber architecture and its rugged mountains. Aside from the cities such as Tangiers, Casablanca and Marrakesh, there are numerous coastal fishing villages where the way of life has not changed for centuries, and the amazing town of Chefchaouen in the Rif Mountains is a magnet for expats.
The paperwork: There are no restrictions on buying property in Morocco, although if you want to get a mortgage there you’ll need to stump up between 30 and 50 percent of the sale price. Furthermore, you’ll need to add around 12 percent in costs. You can stay for 90 days at a time on a regular tourist visa. Interesting fact: in Fez, title deeds for older properties are still written out on scrolls, which may date back hundreds of years!
The cost: You can pick up a modest villa in a beachside town such as Tangiers for around £130,000, and around double that price will get you something a lot grander with a pool and gardens. Small – yet often charming – apartments in cities such as Marrakesh start at around £90,000 if you want something with an outdoor terrace, and £170,000 if you’d prefer a two bedroom flat in the old town with a range of classic features such as high ceilings and elaborate plasterwork.
So, if Brexit has forced you to widen your view when considering the purchase of a holiday home or retirement property, perhaps our little taster of what’s on offer out there has been of interest. As ever, we would advise you always to get proper legal advice when it comes to purchasing a property abroad and to thoroughly research the rules on visas, taxes and other requirements for accessing your property.
One thing we can help you with is transferring funds safely and effectively when it comes to purchasing your holiday home abroad. Whether you need Thai Baht or Indian Rupees, Moroccan Dirhams or Turkish Lira, we can guide you through the process of making your money transfer and ensure that you avoid any of the surcharges that banks routinely levy on foreign currency transactions. So, when you are ready, give us a call or drop us a message and we’ll give you a helping hand to make your dream holiday home a reality.
Opening an account with Currency Solutions is completely free and you’ll be able to make currency transfers anytime at our excellent exchange rates.
We appreciate that navigating the currency market can be daunting! So, a dedicated account manager will always be on hand to offer guidance.