U.S. Dollar On A Tear—Now Is The Best Time In 10 Years To Be Buying Property Overseas
The U.S. dollar has been on an upward tear lately after years of decline, making now the best time in a decade to purchase real estate overseas.
Whether or not you see the dollar failing in the future is irrelevant. Right now, Americans and other dollar-holders enjoy what amounts to a whopping discount on international property valued in particular other currencies. The savings can easily amount to tens of thousands of dollars and more.
To say predicting currency exchange rates is tough would be an understatement, so I don’t try. However, I also know enough to respond when opportunity is banging my door down. I’m a dollar investor. That means key markets are more affordable for me right now than they’ve been in years. I intend to act. I strongly recommend you consider doing the same. If you’ve been on the sidelines, considering an investment in real estate overseas, this is the time to pull the trigger.
Specifically, several of our favorite markets are offering what amount to clearance sales thanks to today’s favorable exchange rates.
Already Undervalued, Colombia Is Now Trading At A 34% Currency Discount
The city of Medellín offers the best lifestyle we’ve seen for your property-purchase dollar. Even now that the mainstream buyer and traveler are finally beginning to focus on Medellín—and expats are moving to this city in significant numbers—its negative stereotype of 30 years ago is still keeping prices down.
In Medellín today, you can enjoy a First World setting, with clean, safe, and shady streets, fine dining, and charming outdoor cafes, at prices that we haven’t seen since 2006.
|The Catay area in Medellín’s El Poblado is heavily wooded and crossed by a rushing stream. The apartments in this neighborhood are a blend of new and older luxury units. On the market today, for example, is a two-bedroom, two-bath condo with a roomy 125 square meters (1,345 square feet) of living space for an asking price 340 million Colombian pesos. Here’s how that works out given today’s rate of exchange between the U.S. dollar and the Colombian peso:2013 Price: US$193,200
February 2015 Price: US$144,200
Currency Discount: US$49,000
|Cali, Colombia, averages warmer weather than Medellín, and some of its neighborhoods offer a great expat lifestyle at prices lower than most anywhere in Latin America at the current rate of exchange. The Granada neighborhood is one of our favorites, with its restaurants, cafes, and clubs. Here you can buy a large, 121-square-meter (1,300-square-foot) apartment with three bedrooms and three baths for 235 million Colombian pesos.2013 Price: US$133,500
February 2015 Price: US$99,700
Currency Discount: US$33,800
Chile: Latin America’s Cadillac Destination Offers The First World For 27% Off
Chile amounts to a first-rate venue. The quality of life on offer in this country is as good as it gets in Latin America. Chile offers modern, First World infrastructure, a high standard of living, low levels of corruption, a strong economy, and business- and entrepreneur-friendly policies.
Chile also offers the expat many and diverse lifestyle options. This country spans 2,650 miles from north to south and boasts an amazing array of climates and geography from sea resorts and small ocean-side villages to the mountains of the lake district and the sophisticated scene of Santiago.
|Santiago’s Barrio Italia is one of our favorite neighborhoods, with its shady streets and old homes mixed with upscale restaurants, sidewalk cafes, and exclusive boutiques. Just down the street from our Chile correspondent’s apartment, we found a newer condo with two bedrooms, two baths, and 75 square meters (810 square feet) of living area. Also, important in Santiago, it’s close to a metro (subway) station, connecting you to the whole city. The property is listed for 174 million Chilean pesos.2013 Price: US$354,000
February 2015 Price: US$279,000
Currency Discount: US$75,000
|Viña del Mar is Chile’s premier seaside resort, drawing visitors from all over the country and around the world. In Viña del Mar, we found a three-bedroom, two-bath apartment with 100 square meters (1,080 square feet) of living area and ocean views listed at 116 million Chilean pesos.2013 Price: US$241,700
February 2015 Price: US$190,500
Currency Discount: US$51,200
Spain Has Turned Around… And Now The Strong Dollar Is Helping Out
Spain has long been one of the world’s most sought-after property destinations thanks to its great weather, relatively low cost of living, and friendly atmosphere. This country was hit particularly hard by the last recession, and savvy property buyers have been watching closely for signs of a turnaround.
Now the official data on property sales show that the recovery is in progress… and buyers and investors are making their moves.
In fact, Spain offers two reasons to buy: We’re this side of the bottom… and the dollar has climbed about 15% against the euro since early 2013, giving the U.S. dollar-holder additional buying power.
|For example, a three-bedroom, two-bath apartment in Barcelona, with 95 square meters (1,020 square feet) of living area, has two terraces for an additional 38 square meters (409 square feet), from which you can enjoy the sea views. The asking price is 170,000 euros.2013 Price: US$232,000
February 2015 Price: US$192,000
Currency Discount: US$40,000
|In the beachfront town of La Cala de Mijas, Málaga, a two-bedroom, two-bath apartment with 85 square meters (915 square feet) of living space plus an additional 129 square feet of terrace is on offer, completely furnished. It belongs to a complex with pools, tennis courts, and a brisk rental market. The asking price is 145,000 euros.2013 Price: US$197,900
February 2015 Price: US$164,000
Currency Discount: US$33,900
Exciting, Romantic, And Diverse—Brazil Now Offers An Additional 33% Currency Advantage To U.S. Dollar-Holders
If you’ve ever dreamed about the romance of Brazil, with its thousands of miles of beautiful beaches, fascinating culture, excellent food, and warm, friendly people, then take note. Right now is your best opportunity to buy in years.
Bigger than the continental United States, Brazil offers a wide range of climates and cultures, from the mountainous wine region in the south with its strong German influence to the country’s Reggae capital of São Luis in the north with its strong French and African influences.
|Fortaleza is one of our favorite cities in Brazil, the “gleaming centerpiece” of Brazil’s northeast coast. On offer right now in Fortaleza’s beachside neighborhood of Meireles is a 67-square-meter (721-square-foot) condo with two bedrooms and two baths. The asking price is 380,000 Brazilian reals.2013 Price: US$187,200
February 2015 Price: US$140,700
Currency Discount: US$46,500
|Maceió is one of Brazil’s most popular beachside cities. It’s relatively small (by Brazilian state capital standards) but offers everything the expat or second homeowner could want in city amenities. Barra du São Miguel lies just south of Maceió, and here you can buy a three-bedroom, three-bath ocean-view house with 191 square meters (2,055 square feet) of living space, plus a pool and garage. The asking price is 280,000 Brazilian reals.2013 Price: US$137,900
February 2015 Price: US$103,700
Currency Discount: US$34,200
I’ll say it one more time: If you’ve been thinking of making an overseas property purchase, now is the best time in years to make your move.