The 5 Best Cities to Invest in Real Estate

We are now in a global marketplace in many respects and it is just as easy to invest in stocks and shares across the globe as it is to buy stock in your own country of residence.

The number of international investors in property has grown at a phenomenal rate over the last decade and iconic cities like London for example, have seen a huge inflow of overseas funds as buyers of all nationalities try to but a bit of prime real estate in a major city.

London property prices have risen and you may take the view that there is still value to be had in buying real estate in the capital city of England or you might be of the opinion that things have overheated too much and there might be better opportunities elsewhere.

The key for investing in real estate is of course like any investment, in that you want to achieve a reasonable return on your cash over the longer term and maybe also enjoy some decent rental income in the meantime.

To be able to achieve both these goals, you ideally want to find a landmark location that is a magnet for city dwellers and tourists alike, and where a strong micro-economy helps to support a rise in property prices.


Barcelona is one such city that ticks all of those boxes and is a cultural centre as well as a vibrant modern city which enjoys a strong national and international reputation.

Barcelona is often perceived and sold as a city for beautiful people and it is attracting buyers as well when you look at the strength of the real estate market. There has been a concerted effort from the Spanish government to try and attract foreign investors and whilst the Costa’s struggle to rebuild its reputation for property values after the recession, the landmark European destination of Barcelona goes from strength to strength and well worth considering as an investment, however beautiful you happen to be.

Sales turnover is reported to have risen by 250% according to local real estate agents and a buy-to-let property in Barcelona seem to be on the radar for a number of investors.

Panama City

If you are looking for a dark-horse investment suggestion that is attracting the attention of enterprising investors, Panama is definitely worthy of consideration.

There are plenty of iconic cities which grab the headlines and have established property markets as a result, but Panama has a lot of the right conditions that could lead to a rise in property prices.

It enjoys a stable government and there is a vibrant entrepreneurial environment with tax-free zones to attract businesses. All of this, plus the fact that Panama actually enjoyed a higher GDP growth rate than China as recently as 2012, suggest that there are opportunities to invest in real estate.

Prices are still reasonable in comparison to plenty of other cities, with an apartment in a gated community for about $200,000 as an example of how far your money might go in Panama.


The next city on the list has in the past been considered a real boom-and-bust destination for your cash and there is no doubt that an element of hot air not related to the temperature outside did in the past help prices to rise and fall in large increments.

Prices have stabilised and then risen by as much as 30% since 2013 and this is creating more opportunities to invest in a city that is not to everyone’s taste from an investment perspective, but with strong demand, it is not a real estate proposition that you can dismiss lightly.

New York

Property prices in iconic and sought-after destinations like Manhattan in New York City are not exactly for the faint-hearted investors amongst us, but despite the stratospheric numbers being asked, the market is still on the rise.

New York and Manhattan in particular are a classic case in point of supply and demand continuing to drive up prices. Many people around the world aspire to live and work in New York and owning a bit of real estate in somewhere so highly regarded as Manhattan, means that if you have deep enough pockets, there still appears to be a strong upside to investing in real estate there.


The final city to make the top five is going to be a surprise to many and might even be a city that you are not familiar with.

Krakow is a city in Poland which offers an attractive medieval backdrop that makes it a magnet for tourists who love to wander around the well-preserved old town. The fact that Krakow is such as beautiful city is the icing on the cake, as it also providing some savvy investors with some attractive real-estate opportunities.

Many native poles have headed off into other EU destinations but this has created a situation where Krakow has been able to attract substantial EU infrastructure funds in order to develop properties and an infrastructure that is designed to attract blue-chip companies and entrepreneurs looking to take advantage of low-cost business overheads and an educated and willing workforce.

The news that so many multinationals are investing in Krakow is a big clue to the potential of the city and the fact that you can still find flats under £80,000 in the historic centre of the city, illustrates that whilst other more iconic cities grab the headlines, there could be money to be made if you cast your net a little wider.

Elizabeth Goldman is the editor of She has written for, and many others.