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France and Spain top overseas markets

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Demand increases for property in traditional hotspots

The British are displaying a healthy appetite for buying overseas property, and are increasingly attracted to traditional favourites, with France and Spain topping the list.

Rightmove Overseas reported a record 5.4 million searches for overseas property in March alone.

Spain accounted for a quarter of its searches, with Andalucia and the Costa del Sol the main areas of interest. France was in second place with 17.8% of searches, with regions Aquitaine and Languedoc-Roussillon topping the list.

Meanwhile, according to the Overseas Guides Company (OGC), demand for information about buying property overseas was dominated by enquiries about France (24%) and Spain (22%) in the first quarter of the year.

In a similar vein Conti, the overseas mortgage specialist, reports France currently accounting for 45% of its enquiries, up by 30% since 2008, and Spain accounting for 33%, up by nearly 20% since 2008.

According to Shameem Golamy from Rightmove Overseas, confidence is definitely picking up:

“Those who can afford to buy have been holding off, but a combination of factors, which you could almost refer to as the ‘perfect storm’, has really kick-started a renewed interest in overseas property,” he said.

“The weather over the last year has been particularly bad, and that always prompts people to start making their dreams of owning a property overseas a reality. Property prices are good, and interest rates are pretty low, which are making it more affordable. And there’s a generation of people coming up to retirement, many of whom are fed up with endless negative news reports (and bad weather) and are making plans to move abroad.”

OGC editor Richard Way added: “There’s been a noticeable resurgence in interest in European destinations so far this year. Despite the financial constraints of the last few years, the Brits’ appetite for property investment overseas remains steadfast and despite the lure of financially appealing investments from every corner of the globe, it is the old favourites of France and Spain that continue to appeal, especially with the deals available today.”

The rise in interest levels in overseas property overall and in France and Spain in particular is attributed to a range of elements, including bargain property prices, attractive rental yields, easy access and low interest rates.

BuyAssociation has compiled a Homes Abroad Report, containing analysis of the overseas housing markets and including comment from leading industry experts.

Click here to access the report in full.

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