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The Best International Real Estate Markets to Invest In

By Ben Shepardson | December 23, 2019

International real estate has something for every investor. Here are four of the hottest real estate markets for investors in 2020.

It’s a big world out there. Why settle for one small corner of it?

Real estate, especially international real estate in the right market, is a standout investment option, both for its value as a source of cash flow and as a hard asset, making it the perfect choice for investors who want to build long-term wealth, not just short-term gains.

Here’s the good news: we’ve done the hard job for you. With such a big and beautiful world out there, it’s hard to narrow down your options to just a few markets. So we’ve taken the time to pick out some of the strongest international real estate markets going into 2020, from Latin America to Europe and beyond.

There’s something for every real estate investor. You just have to know where to look.


While Brazil has struggled in recent years to recover its housing market in recent years, the market as a whole is on an upswing, especially in upscale Rio de Janeiro. Savvy investors have been bargain-hunting in Brazil for years.

Now, it’s time for you to do the same.

Brazil is a big country with diverse property markets, but if you’re just starting out, focus on the Fortaleza area, a coastal region that’s wildly popular among tourists. Beachfront property along this coast is a global bargain, especially because the Brazilian real is weak compared to the US dollar.


Portugal tends to get less global attention than its larger neighbor (Spain). Portugal hit the market bottom in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis when you could find good properties on the books of banks and financial institutions for a low price.

You can still find good real estate in the banks, but Portugal as a whole has been on an upswing since 2015. Hot spots like Lisbon now have property prices resembling Barcelona and Rome, as the city is rapidly re-gentrified.

You can still find pockets of properties for good deals in gentrifying Lisbon, but your best investments in Portugal will be renovation projects (also true across the Algarve). Properties ready for rental in the right area can command a decent yield, though rental rates haven’t quite kept pace, though yields may rise again as gentrification picks up if you invest in the right neighborhood.


Situated between Asia, Europe, and the Middle East, Turkey offers a colorful culture that’s difficult to find elsewhere. And while an attempted coup in 2016 spooked foreign investors away from Turkey, property values have continued to rise in the interim, especially in Istanbul.

In short? If you invest smartly, Istanbul real estate can pay off quite nicely.

Istanbul was ranked the #10 most popular tourist destination in the world in 2019, followed by Antalya, Turkey at #12. In addition, Istanbul (and Turkey in general) is enjoying strong economic growth as the middle class expands.

Better still? The market has a low cost of entry, which makes an Istanbul property within the budget of most international investors.

If you’re looking for rentals, student rentals and tourist rentals will likely be your best bets.


Last but not least is Belize, a small, sunny Central American country that has long been a popular destination for tourists and expats alike.

The biggest hit is Ambergris Caye on the Carribean coast, a popular (but tragically undervalued) island spot. Fortunately, while tourists are beginning to pick up on the value of Ambergris Caye, savvy investors still have time to get ahead of the market and see profits.

Another solid option is the Cayo District in the country’s rainforest interior, which offers an appealing cost of entry at less than $100,000. Plus, comfortable rentals (short- or long-term) are hard to come by in Cayo, which means these tiny cottages will be in high demand–and that a developer with an interest in building a small, self-sufficient community has found the perfect place to do it.

Mastering International Real Estate

International real estate has a little something for every investor, whether you want a tropical island getaway or a long-term rental for visitors looking to stick around a while (or somewhere that you yourself might want to stay from time to time).

The key is knowing what markets to watch and figuring out how to strike the right balance between a growing market and a budget-friendly investment with the promise of future returns. The good news is that ups and downs in the global financial market have left many properties open for budget-minded investors.

If you’re looking for more tips to master the art and science of real estate investing, make sure to check out our blog for more great tips.

Ben Shepardson is a Realty Biz News Contributing Writer and has a long track record of success in online marketing and web development. While pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Systems, he worked doing enterprise-level SEO and started an online business offering web development services to small business customers.
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