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Best Countries to Invest in Real Estate in 2024

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    The Top Countries for Overseas Property Investments

    Investing in property overseas is becoming an increasingly common strategy for real estate investors to diversify their portfolios.

    However, as more countries become accessible for property investment opportunities, it’s hard to know the best markets for real estate investing.

    We’ve compiled this list of eight countries to help potential overseas investors decide the best country to invest in. We will try to answer questions such as ‘Can foreigners buy property in the UK?’ and much more.

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      United Kingdom

      • Average Price per Square Metre (Apartment): $6,288.41
      • Average Gross Rental Yield (City Centre): 4.3%

      The UK boasts one of the world’s most historically stable real estate markets, and the meteoric growth in property values has led to massive returns for investors in the past few decades. There is also no requirement for citizenship or residency in the UK to invest in property.

      By carefully selecting where you invest, you can potentially find high yields and affordable buy-to-let properties for sale. For example, the North of England regularly outperforms the South when it comes to rental yields (surpassing 7% in some cities), and recently, house price growth has also been more favourable in the North’s up-and-coming buy-to-let areas.

      Why Buy Property in the UK?

      A growing population and a lower property supply are pushing home values and rental prices. Changing lifestyles also means that more people are renting and doing so for longer, which is promising news for a buy-to-let investor.

      Property investors could see high returns in the coming years thanks to significant capital growth potential in the UK.

      According to Savills, the UK is expected to see 17.9% growth over the next five years, with certain regions like the North West and West Midlands predicted to see increases as high as 20.2%.

      What Makes the UK Attractive to Real Estate Investors?

      Tenant demand in the UK is hitting new highs when it comes to rental demand as more renters enter the market than ever before. This is causing rapid rental inflation and record-high rental prices.

      The average cost of property is high compared to developing countries, but pockets of affordability can still be found in certain parts of the country, such as the North West of England.

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      United Arab Emirates

      • Average Price per Square Metre (Apartment): $3,539.52
      • Average Gross Rental Yield (City Centre): 12.3%

      Despite the changing economic conditions, the UAE’s tax-friendly environment keeps it at the top of many investors’ wishlists.

      Whilst being a more expensive part of the region for real estate, Dubai has earned its reputation as a property haven thanks to its luxury offerings and initiatives from the local authorities, such as long-term visas for investors and retirees and increased focus on sustainable development and affordability.

      Dubai also boasts high rental yields and diverse investment opportunities, such as commercial real estate, for those with enough capital to invest in this market. However, it is not as stable and developed as other markets, making it a riskier investment.

      Why Buy Property in Dubai?

      As mentioned, Dubai is a particularly popular part of the United Arab Emirates for property investment. This is due to the city’s growing economy, investor-friendly practices, available freehold areas, and the luxurious lifestyle that the area offers.

      The average rental yields are much higher than those of other big markets, generally more than double the amount, thanks to the city’s low price-to-rent ratio. However, it is not as stable and developed as other markets on this list, meaning that Dubai property investment could potentially be a riskier asset to engage with.

      What Makes Dubai Attractive to Real Estate Investors?

      There’s strong demand in Dubai among both local and overseas buyers, and prices are currently surging. This demand is predicted to continue, and the population is projected to grow to 7.8 million by 2040.

      An economic slump had far-reaching effects in Dubai in 2008, and the authorities have pursued what they believe is a renewed course of sustainable growth to prevent any more crashes and become one of the world’s top four financial centres.

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        • Average Price per Square Metre (Apartment): $8,388.48
        • Average Gross Rental Yield (City Centre): 3.7%

        This year, the international real estate group Juwai IQI found that Australia was the number one country for Chinese property buyers for the second year in a row. The country boasts a stable economy, aspirational lifestyle, and good potential returns in the long run.

        However, there are some rules to be aware of when investing in Australian real estate, which can make it less attractive for some investors. This is because new regulations have been brought into place by the Foreign Investment Review Board due to concerns that increasing foreign investment could further inflame the current housing crisis in Australia by worsening supply issues. However, exceptions apply for new-build properties, meaning the process can be more straightforward if your investment property is a new building or on vacant land.

        Why Buy Property in Australia?

        Australia is not the most investor-friendly environment for overseas property investors due to the previously mentioned regulations. However, it is considered a long-term and lower-risk investment for those who can invest in Australian real estate.

        The population of Australia is growing faster than the supply of available housing, keeping upward pressure on the cost of property. This has led to reliable and fast property price growth in inner-city areas. House price growth was around 10% in the five Australian capital cities from 2022 to 2023.

        What Makes Australia Attractive to Real Estate Investors?

        Australia has a diverse, growing population, and the lure of the Australian lifestyle is enough to keep plenty of investors interested in property down under.

        While restrictions make the process more convoluted and restrict some more diverse investment opportunities investors enjoy elsewhere, Australia has an impressively stable property market. It has proven its resilience through economic uncertainty in recent years. Demand has remained high despite affordability challenges for consumers, and national home values have been rising for five consecutive months, according to the Guardian.

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        • Average Price per Square Metre (Apartment): $1,808.41
        • Average Gross Rental Yield (City Centre): 4.1%

        Malaysia doesn’t get as much attention as many other Asian countries when it comes to real estate investment. However, investment in Malaysia can be comparatively very affordable, and it has been estimated that the population will grow to over 40 million by 2050. The Malaysian authorities have put forward plans to become a developed economy before 2030.

        Malaysia also has government initiatives that promote foreign investments, making it more appealing to overseas investors.

        The downside to Malaysia is that rental yields are less attractive considering the low property price, and the political situation is not as settled as other nations on this list, making for less of a secure investment.

        Why Buy Property in Malaysia?

        Malaysia is predicted to experience strong growth of 20% over the next five years. This suggests that the economy is currently stable and thriving.

        Malaysia also has government initiatives that promote foreign investments, making it more appealing to overseas investors.

        What Makes Malaysia Attractive to Real Estate Investors?

        The most attractive factor in Malaysia’s property market is affordability. The country offers by far the cheapest property on this list.

        But with this reduced price comes an increased risk. Investing in an up-and-coming country is a way to make significant gains if the property market stays on a positive trajectory, but the unpredictability of the market can lead to a less secure investment overall compared to developed economies.

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          • Average Price per Square Metre (Apartment): $5,574.63
          • Average Gross Rental Yield (City Centre): 2.4%

          Japan is another nation known for its stability and as one of the most developed and urbanised countries in the world. Home to over 30 million people, Tokyo is the globe’s biggest metropolitan area, with diverse neighbourhoods for investors to peruse.

          Tokyo is the most expensive region in Japan for property. For example, according to Yahoo Finance, a condo or small apartment in Tokyo averages $686,000, while the same type of property in Sendai will only set you back $312,000. However, while areas outside the most significant cities are much cheaper, property may not greatly appreciate value. Also, many factors must be considered to ensure steady demand from renters, making these low-priced cities and towns riskier investments. Japan is definitely a good choice if you are looking to buy off-plan property.

          Additionally, it’s worth keeping in mind that overall, Japan is also known to have low rental yields due to relatively lower rental income and an ample supply of available rental properties.

          Why Buy Property in Japan?

          Japan’s declining population and slow growth have meant it is not historically known as a hotspot for overseas buyers. On the bright side, these long-term demographic issues have caused the country to become more welcoming to foreign residents, and as such, it has grown more popular with non-Japanese investors.

          Although the economy is stable, it is not booming and is experiencing minimal growth, which is not a good sign for a property investor.

          What Makes Japan Attractive to Real Estate Investors?

          Japan is known as a very stable country, and the property market has experienced good growth in the past. According to Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, home prices have grown by 21.4% in five years.

          Despite some signs of slowing growth, Japan remains a robust property market likely to yield gains for long-term investors.

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          • Average Price per Square Metre (Apartment): $7,207.30
          • Average Gross Rental Yield (City Centre): 3.9%

          Canada’s property market is renowned for its stability. Though prices are relatively high, the market benefits from strong growth and demand, drawing in foreign buyers.

          The laws surrounding foreign investors in Canada are quite liberal, allowing non-citizens and non-residents to own real estate. However, to make the most of the investment, there are various implications when it comes to tax on buy-to-let property, which should be considered before making any firm decisions.

          Why Buy Property in Canada?

          Canadian real estate is appealing to those looking to invest abroad due to its economic stability and steady growth. According to the Canadian Real Estate Association, the average Canadian home has increased by 64% over the past decade.

          Like the UK, Canada’s property market has experienced a slowdown in the past couple of years, but 2024 has seen an uptick in activity. The CREA is optimistic that the market has turned a corner in the past few months.

          What Makes Canada Attractive to Real Estate Investors?

          The Canadian real estate market has shown resilience in the face of economic uncertainty. One recent example is the Covid-19 pandemic. This steadily growing property market is an attractive prospect for many investors, especially those looking to invest long-term.

          Tax implications should be taken into consideration before investing for a passive income, but there are some tax benefits for investors that maintain Canada’s reputation as an investor-friendly environment.

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            • Average Price per Square Metre (Apartment): $7,021.38
            • Average Gross Rental Yield (City Centre): 1.8%

            Mainland China may once have seemed like an attractive country for property investment for those who can do so, but it has been plagued by real estate problems. According to the OECD Economic Outlook, “successive waves of policy stimulus aiming to offset the ongoing contraction of the property sector, while low consumer confidence and inadequate social safety nets hinder the growth of private consumption.” They believe that China’s GDP growth will continue falling from 5.2% in 2023 to 4.7% in 2024 and 4.2% in 2025.

            An alternative to mainland China could be Hong Kong. Although it is famous for being one of the most expensive property markets in the world, low taxes, business-friendly policies, an advantageous location, and relative stability mean it remains a popular place to invest in real estate.

            Why Buy Property in Hong Kong?

            Hong Kong is a central global financial hub, with a constant inward flow of business immigrants creating high demand for quality rental properties. There’s a population of over 8 million on this small island, so consistent demand and limited space means that owning a slice of Hong Kong’s exceedingly expensive property market can be seen as a status symbol.

            What Makes Hong Kong Attractive to Real Estate Investors?

            Thanks to its standing as a global financial hub, Hong Kong is an appealing investment opportunity, but it is very expensive, and rental yields are comparatively low. It may not be the best option for every type of investor, as a Hong Kong investment isn’t likely to match the short-term returns of many destinations on this list. However, the stability and attractive location make for a potentially more secure investment, and investing in the Hong Kong property market is one way to preserve wealth.

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            New Zealand

            • Average Price per Square Metre (Apartment): $6,348.42
            • Average Gross Rental Yield (City Centre): 3.4%

            New Zealand has a robust real estate market with steady capital growth, making it an attractive destination for property investors. By sticking to the country’s major cities, there is typically high demand from renters.

            However, compared to other countries on this list, it is harder for overseas investors to acquire property in New Zealand. In 2018, the New Zealand Government passed legislation to prevent most overseas buyers from acquiring property. Typically, an investor needs to be a resident of the country to buy real estate. There are some exceptions, but this rule has made investing in New Zealand property much less attractive than it used to be.

            Why Buy Property in New Zealand?

            New Zealand is not as welcoming to foreign property investors as other countries. However, for those who do invest, there are some tax advantages for those involved in property, such as helping to reduce the overall tax burden through deductions.

            The main draw of New Zealand property is the exceptionally stable market, making it an appealing market for long-term investors. According to the Fragile State Index, New Zealand has one of the best scores in the world, making it one of the most stable countries globally.

            What Makes New Zealand Attractive to Real Estate Investors?

            Long-term investors are attracted to New Zealand property investments because of high confidence in the robust market.

            New Zealand is currently experiencing a moderate growth rate. This suggests a sturdy and predictable property market, as moderate growth indicates a safer investment than rapid growth. New Zealand’s average rental yield is not as high as other nations on this list, but it can be considered a decent income for a long-term investor.

            (Average price per square metre and gross city centre rental yields sourced from Numbeo in April 2024. These figures are for comparative purposes only.)

            Learn More: Wondering if it is a good time to invest in property? Check out our latest guides to see the latest investment property advice!


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            What is the Cheapest Country to Buy Property?

            Prices fluctuate constantly, but some regions identified as particularly cheap for property in 2024 are Turkey, Mexico, Brazil, and Colombia.

            But, of course, price is just one part of the equation when sizing up a potential investment opportunity. A location may have very cheap property but ultimately fall short when it comes to rental demand, rental income, or capital value appreciation, which will have a massive effect on your ROI. Learn more about the UK Interest rates history with RWinvest’s recent overview.

            For this reason, while affordability is a significant factor to consider, investing in a country’s property market based on price alone is not recommended.

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              What is the Best Country for Buy-to-Let Property Investment?

              There is no best country to invest in because it depends heavily on the investor’s goals and budget. However, in terms of promising conditions for long-term investment, we believe the UK is the best place to buy property in the world. The Nationwide House Price Index shows incredible growth in the UK housing market over the past few decades.

              The stable economy is a big draw for overseas investors, seeing it as a more secure investment market. This is especially true of investors in countries with more unstable economies or political situations. This stability and potential for high capital growth appreciation and rental demand make the UK a particularly attractive choice for investing in real estate from abroad.

              To learn more about UK property investment, take a look at our dedicated buy-to-let area guides, exploring topics such as available investment property in Wembley and investment property in Cheltenham.

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              Jessica Ferris

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              Jessica is a property content writer at RWinvest. Keeping a close eye on the UK property market, Jessica helps our readers stay informed and up to date on the latest market news and statistics.