Heading East

Eastern European property might not have the cache of Monaco or Marbella, but it could be a sound investment. It could also be a great way to get hold of a good quality family holiday home.

That said, it does pay to be cautious. The property markets in Eastern Europe are generally less mature than those further west, and some investors have experienced losses. The Bulgarian market in particular dropped significantly between 2010 and 2011, and remains unstable. However, with a bit of research and good holiday home insurance (including rental income protection) you can pick up an eastern bargain which will work for you for many years to come.

Here are some of the top Eastern European destinations to look at:

Romania or the Czech Republic

Romanian prices crashed significantly in 2009, but they seem to be starting to creep up again, so this could be the time to buy. You’ll find a hugely diverse range of property available, from chic city apartments to rambling mountain farmhouses.

The Czech Republic represents probably the safest investment in the region as Czech prices are steadily rising, especially in Prague. As a country, it offers beautiful scenery and much old-world charm. Prague in particular has a buzzing nightlife scene.

Slovakia or Latvia

Slovakia could be a cheaper alternative to the Czech Republic, with some gorgeous old apartment properties in the buzzing capital, Bratislava, and some great escapes for winter sports and hiking enthusiasts in the Tata Mountains.

If you want to jump on the Latvian property train, now would be the time to do it. Prices are rising following a slump in 2009, and some stunning new developments and refurbishments are becoming available in the capital, Riga. The Baltic coast is one of Europe’s gems, with laid-back seaside villages and sandy beaches.

Poland or Hungary

The market in Poland is still developing, but the country is becoming more popular with both investors and tourists. Like many other Eastern European countries, its cities are full of hidden gems. Warsaw’s grand old apartment blocks are beginning to be refurbished, and make great homes.

Hungary has a stable property market and is popular with tourists. The capital Budapest in particular is now an established holiday destination all year round, with both plenty of cultural attractions and a thriving nightlife scene.

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