The Cheapest Property in Europe 2023: A European Property Market Update


european property 2017

It’s been a tumultuous few years for the UK with the economy in crisis and the impacts of Brexit, amongst chaos caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Whether you’re looking for a  second home, an investment property, or a place to retire, the question that a lot of people have is ‘where is the cheapest place to buy property in Europe?’. 

Of course this is always subject to change, and cities are likely more expensive, but here are the cheapest countries to buy a house in Europe in 2023.

As always, when it comes to purchasing property abroad, it’s always worth doing your research, consulting with local legal representatives and being aware of fees and tax before making any decisions, to avoid any scams or unwelcome costs!

The Impact of Brexit

When it comes to thinking about buying property abroad, there is an asterisk hanging over the subject and that would be Brexit. This is especially true when thinking about living abroad, as there may be less freedom of movement for UK nationals wanting to move to other countries in Europe.

The departure from the EU has affected many aspects of life for UK nationals, although the purchase of property within the EU is not limited to EU citizens, and any fees that apply to UK citizens also apply to those living in EU nations. One of the main differences that applies is how long you can stay in the property. If you retain full UK residence, you can no longer have visa-free access all year across the EU. You can, however, apply for a tourist visa.

One positive for UK nationals is being able to apply for Golden Visa residency permits, with the exchange of residency for property investment being the trade off. However, with Portugal having recently scrapped its Golden Visa scheme and Spain considering doing the same, don’t rely on this as a guarantee for the future. Something to note, if buying property overseas as an investment to rent out, tax on rental income currently stands at 24% for non-EU residents, versus 19% for EU residents.

In short, Brexit does not prevent UK nationals from purchasing property in EU countries, however there are a few more restrictions when it comes to visas and rental income, and certain countries may come with more barriers than others.

The Cheapest Countries in Europe for Property Investment

Now that’s clarified, what are the cheapest countries to buy property in in Europe?


There are so many appealing aspects of Greece that appeal to Brits. From mouth-watering cuisine to stunning landscapes emphasised by a delectably warm climate, life feels a lot more relaxed. Generally, Greece offers an affordable cost of living, and if you avoid tourist hot-spots you can find properties that offer great value for money.  

A popular option for second homes and retirement, many UK nationals opt for Greece when it comes to property investment. Some notable bargains can be found across the country, and all have their perks. Lavrio is a beautiful city south of Athens, with a port and fabulous beaches; while being a wonderful destination, there are not loads of hotel options, so if planning to buy a property to rent out for tourist accommodation, you may have found a gap in the market.

Another area with affordable properties is Corinth, an ancient city that is part of the Peloponnese region in south-central Greece. In Corinth, some very affordable apartments can be found for sale with mountainous and/or sea views as a bonus.

Loutraki is also home to some incredibly affordable properties, with this seaside resort being close to Corinth. You will be able to find small apartments selling from around £40,000, and if you’re open to a renovation project, you can also find houses for not much more.

When it comes to non-EU residents purchasing a house in Greece, you may be required to fill out an application to prove your intent for the property. If you plan to live there too, ensure that you meet the requirements for a visa.


Another sunny, coastal country with delicious wines and divine seafood, Portugal is also a favoured choice for expats. The warm cities, mediterranean architecture, and relaxed atmosphere make for a tempting choice when it comes to moving overseas. English is a widely spoken language, so visitors won’t feel too out of place, although if you do wish to move it will benefit you to learn the local culture and language.

Portugal’s major cities, such as Lisbon and Porto, are popular, but for those looking for a more chilled lifestyle, central city Coimbra and northern city Braga are less bustling and busy.

Of course, you’ll be able to find cheaper properties if you look outside of cities. For example, if you look around Barcelos there are plenty of sub £50,000 properties if you’re willing to take on a renovation job. The Viana do Castelo province in northern Portugal is another area with plenty of budget-friendly property listings, and again if you are open to a project, you can find houses in need of restoration from £20,000, or for more ready houses you can find some great properties in this region for around £60,000.

As Portugal has opted to end the Golden Visa, you will have to apply for a visa that applies to your situation, so if you are planning to work, study, or do business in Portugal, you will need the corresponding visa.


Spain is a great choice for those looking to retire abroad. The sprawling coastlines, extensive expat communities, and affordable housing makes it a shoo-in for overseas property purchases. Perhaps to no one's surprise, the British account for around 8% of foreigners in Spain to purchase houses.

From cities to beaches, the beautiful landscapes make the country a hugely popular place to both visit and relocate to. For Brits especially, the notion of having over 300 sunny days a year seems too good to be true.

Some notable areas of Spain that offer budget-friendly properties include Toledo, Murcia, and Belmez; avoid Barcelona and Madrid if you’re looking for affordability. Be aware that if you’re planning to rent out a Spanish property, rental income tax is at 24% for non-EU nationals compared to 19% for EU citizens.


A popular holiday destination, Turkey is famed for its rich cultural heritage, deliciously flavourful food, and stunning sights. Being located across two continents, this is apparent in the blend of culture. But this thriving tourist spot is gaining more international property investors, with the stable economy and booming foreign business being attractive to many.

From paradisiac beaches to lively cities, there are locations across the country suited to most lifestyles. Expats retiring abroad may find areas such as Fethiye of interest, with the region being home to many other expats; the beautiful landscapes and affordable house pricing are attractive factors. With stunning apartments from £70,000 and houses/villas from £140,000, the housing market is much more viable than in the UK.

For a second property that may be used as a holiday home to rent out for short stays, somewhere like Alanya could be suitable; low property prices and the popularity amongst a range of holidaymakers could make this a lucrative investment. One bedroom apartments can be found for less than £100,000, with many apartment buildings having pools.

With demand high in Turkey, the real estate market seems set for an uphill trend in 2023. There is even a Golden Visa scheme aimed at those investing at least $400,000 or the equivalent in real estate, promoting Turkish citizenship for those looking to invest. With a low cost of living and relatively low property costs, relocating to Turkey could be a great way to improve your quality of life and get more value for your money than other countries in Europe.

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One country that will likely pop up in your search for cheap European property is Bulgaria. This Balkan nation is in the south east of Europe, with culture taking influence from a great number of civilisations and countries, namely Slavic. With a moderate climate ranging from mild in the north to warmer in the south, Brits won’t have to adapt too much depending on the region but will likely enjoy a bit more sunshine than they’re used to.

Adjusting to more Eastern European culture may be slightly different for expats compared to somewhere like Spain with a dense expat population and more ready access to familiar cultural fancies. Notably, food in Bulgaria has a lot of Middle Eastern and Eastern European influences. Vegetables, dairy products, and red meats are staples of the cuisine, and having an open mind to different types of food will provide you with no-end of delicious new recipes to try.

Whether looking to move or for an investment, you won’t struggle to find affordable housing with some properties advertised for less than £20,000. A lot of these would be renovation projects, but you could save a lot of money compared to buying a house in the UK.

When it comes to visas, there are many options, but a Permanent Residence Permit may be right for you should you meet the requirements.


Croatia is widely known for its expansive coastal landscape, with the climate following typical Mediterranean patterns. Some breath-taking landscapes and a mix of European cultures makes for a fantastic place to live. Stretches of beaches offset by relaxed towns could make for your dream home. Home to stunning local seafood, fabulous art and big on football, Croatia has plenty going for it.

House prices in Croatia have risen over recent years, although there are still plenty of bargain properties across the country: Avoid Dubrovnik and Split if you’re on a strict budget. Instead, you can find city properties in areas such as Šibenik in central Dalmatia, a coastal city where you can find apartments in reasonable condition from around £70,000. Another region that may be a good starting point to look into, the city of Osijek is closer to Hungary and Serbia than the coast and is one of the larger cities in the country. If you were happy to be outside of the city, you could find houses listed at £30,000. Or for more central, urban locations, you could find apartments from a reasonable £60,000.

In terms of property, costs aren’t extremely cheap as somewhere like Bulgaria, however you can still find deals much more favourable than in the UK. But note there are some restrictions for non-EU/EEA nationals, so you may need to seek permission before purchasing property. Applying for long-term residence in Croatia will be more complicated post-Brexit, but that’s not to say it’s impossible.


Settled in the northeast of Europe, Latvia is a massively underrated destination to visit, with the unique architecture, rich folklore, and stunning forests making it a rewarding place to immerse yourself into the culture. Latvian food is largely based around local foods, with plenty of recipes common to Baltic countries.

A relatively safe country built on tradition and varied cultural heritage, relocating to Latvia could be an incredibly rewarding experience, both financially and in terms of new adventures.

If affordability is a high priority, it’s advisable to search somewhere like Liepaja in Western Latvia, where finding apartments for less than £30,000 is possible. A huge benefit of this region is the proximity to beaches.

Or, to be closer to the capital city Riga, Ozolnieki has much more reasonably priced properties if you are happy to commute. If you’re used to the UK property market, looking in this region will be much more favourable, with houses being listed at around £162,000.

Some positives to buying property in Latvia are having one of the cheaper Golden Visas, and a low cost of living, so for those planning to live abroad, you can save significant money. You will be able to find apartments for sub-€50,000 including in the capital, which although perhaps not spacious, would be something that you’re unlikely to find in the UK.


Another south-eastern European country with a strong sense of history, culture, and community, Romania has plenty to offer for those either looking to move abroad or invest in a property. In fact, On the Go Tours analysed data from a 2018 report that suggested Romania is the world’s fastest growing tourist destination for Brits. The capital Bucharest sees a large influx of visitors, with the backdrop of grandiose architecture and lively nightlife making for an exciting destination.

While the cost of properties is rising in Romania, you can find some bargains if you do your research. Note that as the UK has left the EU, purchasing property in Romania while not having Romanian citizenship will mean that you can own the property but won’t actually own the land.

Next Steps for Potential Buyers

Ultimately, Brexit will not entirely prevent you from buying cheap property in Europe, the process will just require a good amount of research first. While the regulations around property can be challenging, here are the steps you can take to start the journey:

  • Familiarise yourself with the visa requirements and whether you are eligible to become a resident if you are retiring there, or looking to relocate overseas for example
  • Research potential approval processes to see whether you are permitted to purchase property in the country
  • Speak to a financial adviser
  • If you are applying for a mortgage, find out the details for non-EU citizens if not applying for citizenship
  • Check Stamp Duty rates, and tax rates in the country you are researching
  • Contact a local real estate expert to ensure you are meeting local requirements
  • Ensure any real estate purchases are made through authentic means, to prevent losing money through scams
  • Find a trusted money transfer provider to aid with deposits, get better exchange rates and avoid additional bank fees

One tool you can take advantage of to help navigate the fast-changing currency markets is a forward contract. With a forward contract, you’re able to lock in a rate for up to three years at a level where you’re comfortable and then budget and plan in view of that set exchange rate. World First’s dedicated dealing team offer these at competitive exchange rates and can talk you through every step of the process.


Take a read of our other guides for further information:

Buying Overseas Property

Pensions Abroad

Regular Overseas Payments

Money Transfer Guide for Expats


Inspired and ready to start investing? Be sure to transfer money through a money transfer service for deposits and payments to find better exchange rates and avoid fees.

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