According to Forbes, the world’s best buys on beachfront property in 2021 are to be found in Northern Cyprus, Colombia, Brazil, Mexico, and Belize. These are the findings of Live and Invest Overseas’ 2021 Global Property Survey, an annual index that details what it costs to own property in the world’s top locations for living or retiring overseas. The survey considers the cost of buying two-bedroom, two-bath apartments, of between 70 and 100 square meters (about 800 to 1,100 square feet), in neighborhoods where an expat retiree would be comfortable and likely to buy.
If you dream of retiring to the beach, here are your five most affordable options in 2021. As well, each of the markets presents good rental investment opportunity, making them top choices for places to buy for part-time personal use and generating cash flow in the local currency when you’re elsewhere.
English-speaking and less than a three-hour flight from the southern United States, Belize is well-loved retirement haven and second-home destination. Lapped by Caribbean waters, its long coastline is punctuated by bays and inlets and dotted with hundreds of cayes—sandy, low-elevation islands that sit atop the coral reefs.
Ambergris, the biggest and, thanks to Madonna’s “Isla Bonita,” best-known caye in Belize, is 26 miles long and 1 mile wide, surrounded by turquoise waters, and skirted along its eastern side by the longest barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere. The diving and fishing in these warm, life-rich waters are world-class. Sunshine is abundant year-round, the locals are friendly and welcoming, and you can establish residency simply by showing up and entering the country as a tourist.
Prices on Ambergris dropped by 10% in 2020 as a result of travel restrictions, but this market should rebound quickly after the pandemic has passed. You can buy today on mainland Belize for less than US$100,000, but prices are higher on the island. This isn’t the budget destination it was a few decades ago, but it is still a bargain compared to higher-profile Caribbean markets. Pre-COVID, Ambergris’ short-term rental market was active, with strong occupancy rates thanks to high levels of return visitors. Property taxes in Belize are absolutely low (tens of dollars a year), helping boost investment rental yields. Learn more about Belize Real Estate here.