Where Is the Cheapest Residential Housing in Europe?

By Adriaan Brits Sunday, July 26, 2020

Before the global pandemic, moving abroad was a popular thing to do. With residential housing skyrocketing in some of the most developed countries, it has become harder for residents to maintain household costs and living.

According to Eurostat, after the 2008 financial crisis, the prices for houses in the European Union (EU) were stable between 2009 and 2014. However, in 2015, there was a spike in the rise in prices for residential properties in Europe.

In 2020, the first quarter showed an annual increase in property prices for Luxembourg, Slovakia, Estonia, Poland, and Portugal. However, in Hungary, the property prices fell by -1.2%. To compare, 2019 saw an increase in property prices in Portugal, Estonia, and Slovakia, but a major decrease in Hungary, Ireland, Belgium, and Malta.

Where Can You Get Cheap Property in Europe?

After facing initial blows due to the pandemic, Italy is a country where you can invest in cheap property. Some Italian provinces offer properties from the price of €1.00 ($1.14). The Italian government is trying to encourage a younger generation to move to places like Sardina, where the majority of the population are older and pensioners.

However, there is a catch: you must invest a considerable sum into the property — about €22,000 ($25,000) — and you cannot sell the houses for at least five years while under contract.

Bulgaria is another cheap destination to buy properties in, with properties going for as low as €11,500 ($13,065) for a three-bedroom home and €9,000 ($10,225) for a one-bedroom home. Bulgaria overall is a cheap destination to live in and is a popular holiday destination.

Bulgaria’s neighboring countries are also low-cost choices: Turkey is a cheap destination for property buying, and Greece is known for its great property investment.

France is known to have a low mortgage rate in comparison to other countries as well as inexpensive rural properties. While it may be super expensive to live in France’s large metro areas like Paris, it is much cheaper to live in the countryside.

Where Are the Most Expensive Properties?

The United Kingdom (UK) has daunting prices for properties, with London being one of the most expensive cities to live in. Recently, the UK government announced that property buyers in England and Northern Ireland will not have to pay taxes on the first £500,000 ($631,182) of all property sales until March 2021. This move means to boost property buying in the UK as many of the country’s most profitable sectors face economic decline due to the global pandemic.

Lisbon is the most expensive city in Portugal, with an average monthly rent of €3,010 ($3,420) in 2019. Although other cities in Portugal — such as Evora, Elvas, and Aveiro — have low costs of living, the capital itself and Madeira are known to be the most expensive to live in.

Germany is also another country with expensive residential properties. In Berlin, the average price is €598,920 ($680,667) to buy and €1,493 ($1,696) to rent out. Whereas in Frankfurt, purchasing a property can cost you on average €544,680 ($619,180), and renting can cost about €1,678 ($1,907). In Munich, you may break the bank, for the average property prices are €942,360 ($1.07 million) to buy and €2,243 ($2,549) for monthly rent.

What to Consider Before Searching

Before you go property hunting, you should consider what the living costs are like in the country you choose to reside in. The pandemic may provide a decrease in property values, for there are fewer travel opportunities to holiday owners and companies such as Airbnb.

That being said, you should note other expenses that will go into your living expenses, including utilities and taxes.

About the Author


Headshot of author Adriaan Brits

As an analyst of global affairs, Adriaan has an MSC from Oxford, with diverse interests in the digital economy, entertainment, and business. He is a specialist trainer in Advanced Analytics & Media.

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