Discover the dos and don’ts of buying luxury property abroad.


Words by Hardeep Sandher


Why buy abroad?

For many high-net worth individuals, there may be a simple need to buy abroad: relocation for work or a family home.

Yet for others, it may be the lure of the sun and the sea, or a second home in a colder climate, that drives the need for an overseas abode.


What do you need to know?

Depending on the country, non-residents may be limited as to where they can buy.

Whilst members of the European Union are allowed to buy in all of the member states, for non-EU members a visa is often required.

Likewise, for those wanting to move from Europe to America, Australia or Singapore (or vice versa) there are specific rules around buying property.

Each country also has its own tax rules.

These can be in addition to stamp duty land tax (or the country equivalent) and VAT.

If a property is going to be rented out whilst you are not living in it, the income from it may also be taxable.

Jelena Cvjetkovic, director of Savills Global Residential, says a beach home in an exotic location may sound wonderful.

However, if a buyer’s job or personal circumstances mean they have to be contactable at all times their choice of location may be restricted.

Portugal, for example, works well for a UK buyer, as its 9 to 5 is aligned with the UK’s.


Who do you need to know?

There is no substitute for local knowledge, and international agencies such as Savills and Harrods Estates are able to assist in the search for property abroad.

They can also highlight local lawyers and finance professionals to make it a smooth process.


Plus, they can put you in touch with developers building specifically for the overseas investor.

Sometimes developments benefit from special government visa programmes.

Greece’s Golden Visa programme encourages residential investment in the region. It also allows successful applicants to benefit from visa free access to the Schengen Area.


Where to buy: Greece

Greece’s excellent year-round weather continues to lure visitors.

Dolphin Capital is currently working on One&Only Kea Island.  This is a luxury resort that includes a number of One&Only Private Homes, starting from €3 million.

The project follows the group’s successful Amanzoe development, which includes the premium branded Aman Villas.

Located in the Peloponnese peninsula, which is popular among European royalty, each villa is bespoke.

Katerina Katopis, director, says: “At Amanzoe, we have had a very interesting mix of nationalities purchase our villas from Western Europe as well as Americans familiar with the concept of branded residences.

“Because both the Amanzoe villas and Kea Island come with the Aman and One&Only hotel services and amenities, it is a huge draw.  These providers can even rent out your residence when you are not using it.”


Where to buy: Dubai

Whilst any person of any nationality can buy property in Dubai, it can only be bought in designated areas as authorised by His Highness the Ruler of the Emirate of Dubai.

However, Dubai has no shortage of new developments available.

One scheme that Wetherell is marketing is The 118, a 28-residence project located in the heart of Downtown Dubai.

Peter Wetherell says the residences are designed like a “six-star hotel, with world-class amenities” that continue to attract global investors.