The Ten Most Popular Places for British and Irish People to Buy Property Abroad

Top ten property destinations for British and Irish buyers.

Buying property abroad has long been a dream for many British and Irish citizens looking to invest, retire, or simply enjoy a change of scenery. With diverse landscapes, vibrant cultures, and affordable real estate options, there are numerous destinations that have consistently captured the imaginations of these eager buyers. Here, we explore the ten most popular places for British and Irish people to buy property abroad.

  1. Spain has been a top choice for Britons and Irish for decades and will probably continue to be for decades to come.  It has remarkable ease of access and the best climate you can reach on a two to three hour flight. Spain’s Mediterranean climate, beautiful beaches, and lively cities make it an attractive destination. The Costa del Sol, Costa Blanca, and Barcelona are particularly sought after locations. It should also be remembered, it includes the Balearic Islands (Mallorca, Ibiza, Menorca, etc.) and the Canary Islands (Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, Fuerteventura, etc.),which do attract plenty of traffic as well. Top ten property destinations for British and Irish buyers.
  2. France’s charming countryside, rich history, and world-class cuisine are irresistible to many. Popular regions include Provence, the French Riviera, and the Dordogne, where quaint villages and picturesque landscapes beckon property buyers. France is the easiest part of Europe to reach, particularly for British Europhiles. It is, of course, a lot more difficult to access since the advent of Brexit.
  3. Portugal’s growing popularity is due to its affordability, excellent healthcare, and beautiful coastline. The Algarve is a standout region, offering golf courses, sandy beaches, and a welcoming expat community. Property isn’t particularly cheap, particularly along the Algarve, but this makes it quite aspirational and sought after.
  4. Italy’s art, history, and culinary delights are a big draw for UK and Irish buyers. Tuscany, the Amalfi Coast, and Umbria are just a few regions where buyers seek homes surrounded by stunning landscapes. Italy has been climbing the charts for years, and it could well outstrip Portugal, and possibly even France, in years to come.
  5. Greece Greece’s stunning islands, rich history, and Mediterranean climate make it an attractive destination. Islands like Crete, Rhodes, and Santorini offer a mix of traditional and modern living options for property buyers. The islands are much more popular than mainland Greece, but there has been a trend toward looking to the mainland for bargains in recent years.
  6. The island of Cyprus offers a Mediterranean lifestyle, tax benefits, and English as an official language. Popular areas for property investment include Paphos, Limassol, and Larnaca. It is much more popular with British citizens than Irish, although it’s popularity with the Irish has grown over the past decade.
  7. For those seeking a more distant adventure, the USA is a popular choice. Florida is the number one holiday home destination by a considerable distance, due to the climate and it’s accessibility from Europe. Other areas of interest include California, and New York (state and city), offering diverse landscapes, cultural attractions, and a wide range of property types.
  8. Thailand’s is something of an oddity. It is the number one ‘long haul’ overseas property destination (if you don’t consider the USA long haul). It’s exotic allure has captivated Irish and British buyers. Phuket, Bangkok, and Chiang Mai are favorite destinations, offering a blend of natural beauty and a unique cultural experience.
  9. Malta’s Mediterranean charm and English-speaking population have made it a growing destination for property buyers. The attraction of its favorable tax environment should not be underestimated, but it also means the numbers of foreigners owning property there are artificially high. Malta doesn’t require domicile for tax residency, so many people who own property there have never even been to the island. The island nation offers a range of real estate options (mainly built from traditional Maltese stone) for those looking to settle in a sunny location. The quieter island of Gozo is also a popular destination for holiday home owners. If you like churches you’ll love Malta.
  10. Turkey’s rich history, affordable property prices, and vibrant cities like Istanbul and Antalya have drawn interest from British and Irish buyers. The country offers a mix of cultural experiences and diverse landscapes. Most purchases are in the South East coastal region, around the towns of Bodrum and Kusadasi, enabled by flights into Ismir.

For a range of properties take a look at Issue 3 of Six of the Best – Properties Close to a Beach, which features properties from Spain, France, Portugal, Turkey and Florida. All areas in the top ten.

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