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Brits buying properties abroad look for sun

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Warmer European counties are the favoured destination for Brits buying properties abroad, research has shown.

Foreign exchange firm HiFX revealed that 37% of Brits buying properties abroad consider Spain their top destination. This was slightly ahead of France, where 34% of people looked to move.

These European locations with warmer climates proved by far the most popular location for Brits looking to buy overseas.

However, buying in the United States has increased in popularity in the last year, the survey found. In July 8% of all enquiries were for properties across the pond compared to 5% a year ago.

Mark Bodega, director of HiFX, said economic uncertainty was changing perceptions for people buying abroad.

“Looking at the global property market broadly, the last six months have been very interesting,” he said.

“Whilst demand for international property remains well below pre financial crisis highs, we’re beginning to see pockets of demand off the back of strong price performances in a number of key countries including several in Europe, and some more exotic ones further afield including the US, Hong Kong and New Zealand.

“In Europe, the story in property reflects the wider economic picture and a two speed Europe is becoming increasingly evident with some countries (Spain, Portugal and Ireland) on the up with prices rising and demand coming back, whilst others (France, Cyprus, Greece, Italy) are showing no or negative growth.”

The top five destinations for buyers were completed by Portugal, where 5% of buyers were headed, and Switzerland (4%).

Bodega added: “Switzerland is an interesting one; its proximity and accessibility to the UK– as well the beautiful views, food and culture it offers, make it very attractive to British buyers. However, soaring prices have caused a plunge in popularity.

“I’m looking forward to seeing whether it continues to fall, as buyers head to the USA, or whether this is simply a lull and we’ll see it rise again next year.

“The USA’s growth in popularity is unsurprising – it has everything you need, from the sunshine state of Florida, the home of good wine in The Orange County, and the hustle and bustle of New York. The USA is one to watch.”

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