British buyers are starting to look to the two countries that have been worst affected by the Euro crisis for cheap property. Greece and Ireland might not seem like the best places to buy property, but the crisis that has devastated both their housing markets has meant that for overseas buyers at least, there are some bargains to be had. Irish prices have halved since their 2007 peak. Greek prices have not seen falls on quite that scale, but they have been falling steadily since 2007 too. Combined with the pound’s rise against the Euro, low prices are tempting many to see whether they can fulfil their overseas property dreams in these markets.
Searching for Property
According to Rightmove Overseas, property searches for both Greece and Ireland have risen recently. While it pays for anyone thinking of buying in a troubled market to be cautious, there are good reasons why buying in either of these countries might not be the reckless move it would first seem. Buying in a distressed market as an investment might not be a wise move for individuals, although for big investors able to take a risk it could pay off. For those looking to buy a holiday or permanent home for their own use, buying in Greece or Ireland could be a good way to get a home at an affordable price.
Anyone buying in either of these markets should do so with the long-term in mind. That said, there are reasons for optimism, particularly in Ireland, and so the decision to buy could pay off financially too. Irish property is overvalued by up to a quarter, according to Ireland’s central bank. That means that if investor confidence returns, prices could see sudden, sharp rises. In Greece, prices continue to fall in much of the country, but are relatively stable in the holiday areas of the Greek islands: the areas that will most appeal to British buyers. Island prices have only dropped 1% in the last year, less than the falls in the UK over the same period. Greece’s political unrest, too, is largely confined to the mainland cities, rather than the island holiday resorts.
If you are thinking of moving abroad or buying a holiday home, Greece and Ireland could be better places to buy than you might think. Check local price trends before you buy, and make sure you get holiday home insurance to protect your new home.