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02 December, 2021

Top 10 Cities By Property Investment In 2022

Australian portal Compare The Market has compared living conditions and property prices in major tourist cities in different countries.

50 cities are on the list of the best cities to buy a country house or villa. Nine of the cities in the ranking are in European countries where you can get a residence permit by buying a property - Portugal, Greece and Cyprus.

Residence permit in the EU by investment in real estate: ranking of the best cities to buy a country house
Photo: Adobe Stock

The rankings are based on seven parameters: average property price per square metre, daily living expenses per month for a family of four, crime rate, weather conditions and leisure and recreational facilities.

Venice tops the list with a final score of 6.92 out of 10. The city is a popular tourist destination for its famous ca ival, gondola rides along the canals, a stroll through St Mark’s Square and the Doge’s Palace.

There are 358 attractions and 2,628 restaurants per ten thousand people in Venice - twice as many as any other city in the ranking. But Venice is also one of the top ten most expensive cities on the list in terms of cost of living and property prices.

Major cities in Cyprus, the UAE, Portugal, Greece and Spain are also in the top 10. See Compare The Market website for a full list of cities and rankings.

Top 10 cities for buying a country house

PlaceCityScoreAverage property price per sq.m.Living expenses per month for a family of 4
1 Venice6,924151 €3108 €
2 Paphos6,911547 €2156 €
3 Abu Dhabi6,72388 €2412 €
4 Dubai6,572422 €2687 €
5 Funshal6,411729 €1966 €
6 Korfu6,281387 €2450 €
7 Las Palmas de Gran Canaria6,272452 €2028 €
8 Santa Cruz de Tenerife6,21809 €2143 €
9 La aca6,191318 €2386 €
10 Marbella6,163102 €2131 €

Next we will tell you which cities in Portugal, Greece and Cyprus are recognised as the best and how to get a residence permit by buying a country house or villa in these countries.

The best cities to buy property in Portugal

PlaceCityScoreAverage property price per sq.m.Living expenses per month for a family of 4
5Funchal6,411729 €1966 €
11Faro6,151871 €2023 €
19Lisbon5,813571 €2073 €
24Porto5,482277 €1938 €

Funchal is the capital and main port of Madeira, an autonomous region of Portugal. 

The Madeira Botanical Gardens are one of the city's main attractions. The garden has a collection of over two thousand plants brought to Madeira from various countries. The garden's alleys and pathways are elevated so it has beautiful views of the city and the Atlantic Ocean. A cable car takes you up to the garden from the seafront.

Funchal is popular with yachtsmen. Madeira is navigable all year round, from January to December. When entering Funchal port, yachtsmen leave a drawing or inscription on the jetty, a tradition that is more than 30 years old.

The average annual temperature in Funchal is +19.3°C. Rain often falls in winter and fog covers the hills.

Funchal is a safe city to visit and live in, with a crime rate index of only 14.8 out of 100.

Faro is a resort town and seaport in the Algarve region of southern mainland Portugal. 

The historic city centre is famous for its unusual architecture that combines European and Moorish features. Beach lovers will enjoy the landscaped Atlantic coastline with its golden sand and clear water.

Summers in Faro are hot and sunny, with average temperatures from May to September ranging from +27°C to +35°C. In winter, temperatures don't drop below +7°C, usually hovering around +15°C.

Lisbon is the capital and largest city in Portugal. The Baixa arearnhas architectural landmarks. For example, there is Rosio Square and the National Theatre.

The Lisbon oceanarium amazes with the diversity of the underwater world. Three separate aquariums house inhabitants of the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans, totalling around 16,000 individuals belonging to 450 different species. These include rare species such as the moonfish, beaver spider and sea crab.

The city is located on the hills, so there are many viewing platforms at high altitude. One of them is at the top of the Santa Giusta lift, which was designed by a pupil and follower of Eiffel. The lift is 45 metres high.

Porto is the second largest city in Portugal. Walkers will love it: the blue azulejo tile patte s of the streets and the Cais da Ribeira promenade with its tranquil views of the Douro River.

The historic part of Porto was built in the fourth century and is protected by UNESCO. The main attractions are the Porto Palace and the Catholic Church of Torre dos Clérigos.

Residence permit in Portugal for the purchase of real estate: Funchal, Madeira

View of Funchal from the elevated Botanical Gardens of Madeira

Residence permit in Portugal for the purchase of real estate: Faro, Algarve

The historic centre of Faro borders the lagoons of the protected natural park of Ria Formosa

Residence permit in Portugal for the purchase of real estate: Lisbon

Panoramic view of Lisbon from the observation deck of the Santa Justa lift

Residence permit in Portugal for the purchase of real estate: Porto

Cais da Ribeira promenade adjoins neighbourhoods in Old Porto

A temporary residence permit in Portugal can be obtained by purchasing a property under two options:

From €500,000
purchase of new objects
From €350,000
purchase of properties older than 30 years for renovation

The investor owns the property for at least five years in order to maintain the residence permit. During this time, he can rent out the property: the average yield is between 3 and 7% per annum. After five years, the property can be sold and the money invested can be paid back.

From 2022, investors cannot buy residential property in Lisbon and Porto. But it remains possible to buy commercial property, such as shares or apartments in a hotel complex. In this case, the investor fulfils the conditions of the residence permit programme and gets the opportunity to holiday free of charge in the selected hotel.

Where to buy a country house in Greece

PlaceCityScoreAverage property price per sq.m.Living expenses per month for a family of 4
6Corfu6,281387 €2450 €
16Heraklion5,911509 €2226 €
31Athens5,121753 €2174 €

Corfu is a town on the island of the same name and the northe most of the Ionian Islands. The island is close to the border with Italy and was once owned by the Republic of Venice for over 400 years. It is believed that Corfu was once home to Odysseus, Jason and Medea.

Corfu is at its best in the summer and at its best in winter, the temperature is never below +30 degrees Celsius and never below 14 degrees Celsius. The waters of the Ionian Sea are warmer on the eastern coast. 

The most popular holiday destination is Paleokastritsa. Tourists are attracted by the quiet bay with its sandy beach, while divers are attracted by the underwater caves. 

In the town, visitors can stroll through Spianada Square and visit the old Venetian fortress of Paleo Frurio.

Heraklion is located on the island of Crete. In the past the city was ruled by Arab Saracens, Byzantines, Venetians and Turks. The influence of different cultures is reflected in the architecture of the city: the churches, the fortress of Koules, the Lion Fountain and the fountain of Bebo.

The tourist season in Heraklion lasts from May to October. There are no beaches within the city, but the nearest beach of Ammoudara is just 15 minutes away by car. There are also plenty of landscaped and wild beaches in the area, including Schinaria beach, popular with divers.

Athens is Europe's oldest capital: the city is roughly 3,400 years old, but the arearnitself was inhabited by people 7,000 years ago. Athenians are keen to preserve the city's cultural and historical heritage: there are more than a hundred archaeological museums alone.

The best time to visit Athens is early spring and late fall. The city gets hot and dry during the summer, with temperatures in excess of 35 degrees Celsius. In winter, the temperature stays around +10°C and it may rain or even snow.

Residence permit in Greece for the purchase of real estate: Corfu

Kouloura is a fishing village about 30 kilometres from Corfu town. Corfu is called the “Emerald Isle” for its abundance of vegetation

Residence permit in Greece for the purchase of real estate: Heraklion

Heraklion is a port city where it is possible to register a yacht

Residence permit in Greece for the purchase of real estate: Athens

40% of the Greek population live in the capital Athens

Residence permit in Greece are granted to buyers of residential property and building plots. The minimum amount of the transaction is €250,000. The property must be owned for at least five years, after which the property can be sold and the money invested returned. How to obtain a residence permit in Greece by purchasing real estate – a guide for investors.

minimum amount of investment in real estate in Greece

Which cities in Cyprus have the best conditions for living and buying property

PlaceCityScoreAverage property price per sq.m.Living expenses per month for a family of 4
2Pahos6,911547 €2156 €
9Larnaca6,191318 €2386 €

Pafos is known for its sandy beaches and historical sites. For example, the Villa of Dionysus, the Royal Tombs and the catacombs of St. Solomon's are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The modern part of the town is home to many bars and restaurants serving Mediterranean cuisine.

The birthplace of the goddess Aphrodite is legendary on the Mediterranean coast near Pafos.

Pafos has a mild and warm climate, with an average annual temperature of +19ºC. The beach season lasts from May until October.

La aca is the third largest city in Cyprus, after the capital of Nicosia and Limassol. 

Beach lovers will love the city's sandy Finikoudes Beach and pebbly McKenzie Beach. There's a promenade along the coastline, complete with restaurants and tave as serving Mediterranean cuisine. 

Divers go deep-searndiving to discover the remains of the ocean-going cargo ferry Zenobia, which sank off the coast of La aca more than 40 years ago. The local marina is a stopover for yachtsmen from all over the world.

Permanent residence in Cyprus for the purchase of real estate: Paphos

Pafos Castle – a historical landmark on the edge of the harbour

Permanent residence in Cyprus for the purchase of real estate: Larnaca

La aca seafront near Finikudes beach

A permanent residence permit in Cyprus is granted to buyers of property who purchase one or more properties with a total value of €300,000 or more. The property must be owned for the duration of the residence permit. If the investor decides to sell the property, to maintain the status must buy a new one for the same amount or more expensive. All about a permanent residence permit in Cyprus by investment.

minimum amount of investment in real estate in Cyprus

Immigrant Invest is a licensed agent of the residence permit programmes in Portugal and Greece and a representative of the Permanent Residence Programme in Cyprus. If you want to buy a property and become a resident of one of the EU countries, seek advice from the experts of the investment programmes.

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Top 10 Cities By Property Investment In 2022