British love affair with France still going strong
For the fourth year in a row, France has topped the table and accounting for 45% of mortgage enquiries received so far this year.
This makes it the country’s biggest share achieved to date, and compares with 39% last year, and just 15% back in 2008.
Clare Nessling, Conti’s operations director, said: “Buyers have increasingly been sticking to locations they know and trust, which is why France and Spain are out on their own at the moment and Portugal is starting to rise in popularity again too.”
Conti says that against the volatility of the British market, French property is seen as an increasingly solid investment option over the long term. It’s also affordable, with rates currently starting from just 2.79%, and mortgage availability is still generally very good.
Alongside France, Spain also remains a firm favourite with Brits, as the Mediterranean country is up 31% from last year and up from 14% in 2008. Conti say that this is largely due to excellent buying conditions and signs that the market is starting to bottom out.
Nessling added: “The euro zone crisis continues, but the growing strength of the pound against the euro is boosting the budgets of people in the UK who are looking to buy property in these locations.
“This together with some bargain property prices and low interest rates, are making it even more affordable. It also helps that these countries offer easy access from the UK, and rental opportunities are good too.”
Following France and Spain, Portugal heads up third position for the second year running as falling property prices draw the buyers back in.