‘Quality of life’ is drawing American homebuyers to Europe

With rising interest rates, the COVID-19 pandemic that gave many a new perspective on life and the sting of inflation, more Americans are now looking to Europe for a more relaxed lifestyle.

Countries such as Italy, Spain, Portugal and Greece are luring in overseas buyers seeking more of the calm, sun-filled beach days, according to a report by Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices.

The rising interest in moving to these countries can be contributed to many workers who are still working remotely since the onset of the pandemic.

“We don’t expect activity to be near the levels we saw in 2021 or the first part of 2022, but the Spanish market has been very resilient,” Ugo Bagration, head of business expansion at the agency’s office in Marbella, said in the report. “It’s proving to be a hub and destination for foreign investment within the real estate market.”

Spain has seen an influx of buyers from North America due its affordability, Bagration explained. That being said, because of the high property taxes in the country, others are opting for countries with less of a burden, such as Italy.

Rome in particular, is seeing more high-net-worth families investing in property, as many residences have been updated in recent years, according to Marcus Benussi, managing partner at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices.

The Peniscola coastline in Spain.
The Peniscola coastline in Spain.
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Meanwhile, in Greece, prices have decreased due to economic concerns. And because of the country’s Golden Visa program, which allows homebuyers on a path to residency, it is attracting more Americans.

Despite low inventory, Portugal is also attracting buyers.

“We are seeing buyers from all over Europe and particularly the UK, especially as English is spoken so widely here,” Joe Pyke, managing director of the firm’s Portugal office said. “We are also seeing an influx of US buyers, especially from the West Coast — probably because of the life-for-like weather. The cost of living is also very cheap, as are health insurance costs.”

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