Monday, 13 August 2012

Best places to retire abroad

While we batten down the hatches and attempt to ride out the economic storm, there are places in the world that i know i would far rather ride it out.
People purchasing a holiday home buy it to rent out, or buy it for personal use, or even a bit of both, but research has found that increasing numbers of people over 50 years old are purchasing properties abroad to ride out retirement. 
There are four main incentives for people moving abroad  such as less tax a much nicer climate so heating bills arent as expensive, a general lower cost of living and with house prices across the world having been hit by the recession, there are SO many great deals around, it is the best time to buy.
Here are 10 places with some of the best deals for anyone looking to buy or retire overseas:

On average the climate’s a lot warmer than Britain’s, so you’re guaranteed sunshine. Property prices have fallen by 30-70 per cent over the past four years.
You can pick up a one-bedroom condominium apartment for £25-£40,000. A more spacious, and more rentable alternative, would be a two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment for £55-£60,000 at Tuscana.This is a new resort just ten minutes from the Disney World Theme Park, in Orlando, and 45 minutes from the Legoland Park at Winter Haven, due to open in October.

Brits are the biggest expat community in Barbados. Celebrities such as Sir Cliff Richard and Andrew Lloyd Webber are known to have brought property on the island. Estate agents have  reported a 70 % increase in 2010, in comparison to sales in 2009. This is partially due to house prices being lower in 2008 by 15%. The biggest discounts are on condominium developments.

Overall, prices in France are eight per cent down on their 2007 peak. 39 % of Britons moving to France tend to opt for coastal properties, 37% choose rural areas and 19% decide to recline in mountainous areas.
Areas such as Aquitaine, the Dordogne and the Languedoc remain very popular. However the prospect of spending a year or more in Provence, à la Peter Mayle, is as attractive as ever.
If you have a big chunk of money and are looking for a quick return, however, the historic centre of Paris is the place to buy. According to the British specialists Home Hunts apartment prices rose by 20 per cent in 2010.

While the beautiful Cyprian sunshine is just one of the reasons to consider moving to the Greek Island, if in one financial year you spend over 183 days on the island, you become a tax resident, liable for as little as five per cent income tax.
Corporate rates of tax are only 10 per cent. There are newbuilds at Limassol Marina, the Leptos Apollo Beach Villas, near Paphos, and the Sea Gallery Villas, at Amathus.
You won’t find stacks of cheap, soulless, little modern apartments in Tuscany and Umbria. But you will find lots of rural residences with character.
Prices are between 5-20 per cent lower than September 2008, so for £150,000 you can buy a pretty, stone-built town house in the village of Collodi Castello.
And £208,000 will buy you a three-bedroom hillside home with barn and garden, near Lucca. Purchase tax goes up to 18 per cent from 10 per cent if a property’s land is cultivable.

Picture postcard beaches, and an expat-friendly Integrated Resort Scheme, whereby you, your spouse and offspring enjoy not only residency status, but freedom from inheritance and capital gains tax. This is provided you buy a top-end property such as at the (288-villa) Valriche development next to two golf courses (with another planned). Prices start from £500,000 for a two-bedroom villa.

South Africa
Cape Town is where most Brits gravitate, with its fine beaches and equable climate. Prices can be 50% lower than the most expensive parts of Europe, too.
You can buy a three-bedroom house, in a gated community, overlooking Hout Bay, for £500,000, and rent it out for around £2,000 per month. The two most UK-friendly areas are Clifton and Camps Bay, where 30% of the population is British.

Property sales in Majorca are up, as is the number of Monarch Airlines flights from Britain. You can buy an (as yet unbuilt) two-bedroom beachside villa at Cala Anguilla for £180,900.
Murcia, in south-east Spain, was the original star of Spanish golfing properties. It now has more links-side homes for sale, at below-par prices. A two-bedroom home costs £45,000 at the Camposol Golf Development, at Mazarron. 
You need to be rich to get in, but once you get in, you’ll get richer. In Switzerland, taxes are decided by an individual’s expenditure and standard of living, rather than income and assets.
During 2010, property sales to foreigners rose by 40 per cent on the year before, totalling £2.5 billion.
Not quite as good as the 3 billion of the boom years (2006-08), but enough to name Istanbul the best European city for investing in property during 2011.
Buy a place in this fascinating metropolis and you also have a ready supply of would-be tenants for when you’re not there. Istanbul has an estimated housing shortage of 250,000 units per year.
A one-bedroom apartment at the new Belgravia Residence development, in Bahcesehir, 20 minutes from the city centre, costs £48,000. 
Before you buy
Ten things to think about before you decide on moving:

·        Do your currency sums. What happens if the pound plummets – or soars?

·        Think jet lag – how many hours’ difference between there and GMT?

·        How dependent on low-cost airlines will you be?

·        Can you afford to keep the place for your exclusive use? Or will you need to rent it out?

·        If you’ve only been there on holiday, what’s the weather like during the rest of the year?

·        Have you a good local lawyer? Often, a mere notaire is not enough.

·        Do you speak the language? If not, you may want to buy into an expat British community.

·        How free (or otherwise) is health care out there?

·        How re-sellable is the property?

·        How easy (or hard) does the country in question make it for your descendants to inherit the place?

if you are thinking of moving abroad, and are looking into taking out an overseas mortgage, whether it be in France, Spain, Italy or South Africa, here at Conti overseas mortgages we can offer you great mortgage deals so you can start soaking up the sun.

Alternatively, if you are happy here in the UK and are in the process of moving but need conveyancing, visit us at for your conveyancing solutions today!!


  1. Indeed,the places are so beautiful suit for people who wants to spend their whole life living there.Thanks for posting.

    retirement overseas

  2. Don't overlook Mexico. It's affordable and and safer than the US, despite the press. After 15 months of criss-crossing Mexico, my new book looks at Americans and Canadians who’ve chosen to avoid the big expat colonies in San Miguel de Allende and Lake Chapala. What they’ve found is both diverse and surprising. The book is called Into the Heart of Mexico: Expatriates Find Themselves Off the Beaten Path. There’s a sample on my website: