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Could You Afford a Home in Europe? – The Motley Fool

Image source: Getty Images

Rising costs are causing more and more Americans to look furth…….

Image source: Getty Images

Rising costs are causing more and more Americans to look further afield.

Key points

  • Americans are snapping up properties in Europe, particularly Portugal, Italy, and France.
  • A strong dollar makes moving to another country even more attractive.
  • Be prepared to navigate the red tape of visas, taxes, insurance, banking, and other aspects of life abroad.

The cost of keeping a roof over your head and food on the table keeps climbing, and many Americans are starting to feel the pinch. In June, median rents crossed the $2,000 mark for the first time ever, according to Redfin. Meanwhile, home prices increased by 30% between 2020 to 2022. 

It’s hardly surprising then, that some Americans are considering moving abroad to lower their costs. Europe is a popular option, particularly as the dollar is strong against the euro right now. Real estate businesses say there’s been a spike in interest from American buyers, particularly countries like Portugal, Italy, and France. 

Paulo Fernandes, managing owner, Paris Ouest Sotheby’s International Realty, says the number of visits to the company website from abroad has increased by 40% since September. “Foreign buyers remain interested in Paris because a classic Paris stone property is a safe investment, and prices here are perpetually rising,” he said.

Could you afford a home in Europe?

It’s almost impossible to make direct comparisons about prices between the U.S. and Europe because there are so many different factors involved. Just as a home in New York would cost significantly more than one in Mississippi, buying in major cities in Switzerland or Germany would be markedly more expensive than in parts of Italy or Spain.

The median property in the U.S. costs $428,700, though prices vary wildly from city to city and state to state. According to The Ascent research, average property costs in Hawaii are over $1 million while West Virginia comes in at less than $150,000. 

Most European countries measure property prices by euros per square meter rather than total costs, making it difficult to compare like with like. One study showed that the average property cost in Portugal — a popular destination for Americans right now — stood at about $365,000 in the third quarter of last year. Properties in some parts of the country are less than $125,000.

Bloomberg spoke to a woman who had moved from Atlanta to Italy. Rising prices meant she hadn’t been …….


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