Welcome to Offshore Living Letter, Your #1 Resource for Offshore Diversification

The Discounted Real Estate Around The World During The Covid-19 Pandemic

21 Jan
Traditional white Spanish villas in Cala Figuera on Mediterranean Sea, Mallorca, Spain.

The Discounted Real Estate Around The World During The Covid-19 Pandemic

Where Are All The Pandemic Crisis Deals?
Here's Where I’m Looking

We’re more than midway through January, and the massively discounted real estate deals expected as a result of the pandemic have yet to materialize.

Au contraire, dear fellow global property investor.

Some Markets Are Moving Up!



Ferragudo, Algarve, Portugal.
Alamy/Jan Wlodarczyk

Portugal reported average appreciation of 2%-plus across real estate markets in that country for 2020.


Ballysaggartmore Towers Lismore, Waterford Ireland
Alamy/scenicireland.com / Christopher Hill Photographic

Prices in Ireland were up as well, especially outside the capital. While values in Dublin have appreciated 4.8%, property elsewhere in the country has appreciated as much as 7.2%.

Indeed, the Emerald Isle is experiencing a pandemic-induced boom, with country homes being snapped up by foreign buyers sight unseen.

Overseas Property Alert Editor Lynn Mulvihill told me of the sale of a County Cork island for 5.5 million euros.

“Adding to the drama,” she said, “the story went that the foreign buyer didn’t speak English and the fate of Horse Island was sealed via WhatsApp with the help of a U.K.-based agent.”

These appreciating values are all to do with residential properties. The verdict is still out on commercial properties… not only in Ireland but across the globe. With much of the world working from home, demand for office space is expected to fall permanently. The question is by how much.

Meantime, a move away from cities is pushing up home prices in rural and formerly remote parts of the world. If you can work from anywhere, why not locate yourself somewhere you really want to be… where you’re not trapped in a city apartment and have much more personal space and freedom of movement.

New Zealand

Mountain in New Zealand

Gisborne, New Zealand, for example, is a beautiful sunny, beach spot, popular with surfers and fishers for years. It’s more than a six-hour drive from Auckland, though, and has always been considered off the beaten path.

Suddenly, little Gisborne is a hot ticket, and its population is being swelled by immigrants from Auckland and even Kiwis returning from overseas, seizing this opportunity to Work From Home in one of the most idyllic spots on Earth.

Adjusting To Life During COVID Times

A friend finished a house he’d been building on a 7-acre parcel in Virginia last February. He and his family moved in just before the pandemic took hold in the United States. He was ahead of the curve, leaving D.C. before lockdowns went into place and happy to be settled into his new life in the country when they did. He had planned for a home office. Now he’s adjusting to create two—one for himself and one for his wife, also now working from home.

While some people are looking to move to rural America, many are looking to take their work-from-anywhere jobs with them overseas. This was an emerging trend among millennials pre-pandemic. Now Zoom Towns are growing fast.

If you own a rental property overseas that’s currently vacant (as many are)… and the location fits the bill… consider promoting it to the WFH crowd. Tourists are staying home, but work-from-homers are hitting the road.

Of Course, Not Every Market Was Up In 2020

Values in Panama  in 2020 were mostly flat for city properties that expats buy.

Property prices in Medellín were flat in local currency terms… and, while the Colombian peso saw a year of depreciation and fluctuations, it’s now more or less back to where it was pre-pandemic.

So where should a global real estate investor be looking for the pandemic bargains?

I’m shopping foreclosure markets… in Panama, Portugal, Spain, and Greece. I see this as a big opportunity this year.

My findings and recommendations will be shared first with subscribers to my Global Property Alert.

Lief Simon