6 Popular Places in Europe Where Americans Buy Homes and Invest in Real Estate

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  • The value of the US dollar has surged in recent months against the euro.
  • Some Americans use this purchasing power to buy houses in Europe at very advantageous prices.
  • Six locations are particularly popular among American buyers, according to real estate firm Knight Frank.

Buying a house in Europe has become a bit cheaper for Americans.

Indeed, for the first time in 20 years, the US dollar has reached parity with the euro, which means that the two currencies now share the same value.

It stems from the volatility of the European economy as several countries grapple with financial setbacks caused by the Ukrainian war. As fear of a possible recession grows in Europe, the strength of the US dollar has become attractive to many investors.

As the US dollar rises, wealthier Americans are investing their money overseas, especially in European real estate.

With the US dollar rising and the euro languishing, US shoppers enjoy a 16% discount in Eurozone countries. The Wall Street Journal reported that the high US dollar exchange rate has prompted many Americans to buy second homes in European cities, as house prices barely move.

According to global real estate firm Knight Frank, Paris, St. Tropez, Tuscany, Venice, Barcelona, ​​Mallorca and Sardinia have become the most popular European property markets for American buyers. Since the start of the pandemic, these destinations, along with other global destinations like Mexico City, have seen a surge in foreign demand — and an invasion of remote workers who don’t always benefit the local economy.

In Paris, housing remains relatively affordable. According to the latest Knight Frank Global Housing Index, prices in the city have risen less than 4% between the first quarter of 2021 and the first quarter of 2022. As Americans on a budget consider their real estate options, it’s a good deal, especially given that home prices are still skyrocketing in the United States. Americans moving to the “City of Love” will appreciate the city’s world-class cuisine and rich history of art and fashion.

Renowned for its luxury, Saint-Tropez is a hotspot for the world’s rich and famous. And as such, its real estate market is one of the most expensive in France. As foreign buyers flock to the city, house prices have soared 15% since 2015, according to data from the Paris Property group. Home to some of France’s most expensive hotels, boutiques and restaurants, it’s no wonder the city has a reputation as a truly glamorous destination.

Italy is also proving to be a valuable location for U.S. investment – according to the Knight Frank Index, five Italian cities saw average house price declines between this year and last, accounting for more than half of the cities that saw a decline on the index. Moreover, Rome and Milan were also far behind the index in terms of price increases, with less than 5% each.

In the region of Tuscany, the real estate market is hot. After a decade of lackluster growth, home prices in the area have been rising since 2018, according to Knight Frank. But even with notable price growth, the housing market remains relatively affordable. Buyers interested in living in Tuscany enter a world of beauty as the region is well known for its expansive landscapes and enchanting forests.

In addition to Sardinia and Tuscany, Knight Frank’s also noted that commodity prices are gaining ground in Venice, even though home buying in the city has not reached its pre-pandemic highs. The researchers also noted that real estate in Venice is more receptive to negotiation than in other parts of the country. Americans’ interest in moving to Venice rose 6% in 2021, Knight Frank said.

Real estate in Spain is also proving popular among Americans, with Barcelona and Majorca being the most notable, according to Knight Frank. Knight Frank does not rank Mallorca in its index, but prices in Barcelona have remained stable between this year and last, rising just 4.3%.

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