According to research from Rightmove Overseas, there’s been a sharp increase in demand for purchasing properties abroad from UK investors.
On June 28, there were over a million searches on the overseas property website – the first time it has ever reached this number. That’s an increase of almost 75% on the same day the previous years.
WHERE ARE INVESTORS LOOKING TO BUY?
The following destinations were popular; searches for French properties rose 32% year-on-year, followed by Spain with an increase of 25%, Portugal by 24% and Italy by 17%. In fifth place was Greece.
Gavin Vercoe, chief operating officer at Chestertons International, commented: “There was a 340% increase in enquiries for European properties across the Chestertons network, compared to European enquiries received over the weekend two weeks prior, on 13th and 14th June.”
RUSH BEFORE BREXIT
Some agents are reporting that this investment is coming from UK buyers looking to purchase properties before the Brexit deadline at the end of December. This is in the hope they can secure rights as an EU citizen, which will include healthcare and the right to free residency.
This could lead to higher property prices in the last quarter of this year, and some investors are holding back, waiting for the rush of residential buyers to peter out. The feeling is that lower prices are more likely to be found in the spring of 2021.
WHAT ARE THE MOST POPULAR PROPERTIES?
Research has shown that 35% of potential buyers are looking for holiday homes. They’re searching for detached properties with private facilities such as gyms and pools.
Nowadays, there aren’t so many UK investors looking to refurbish rundown places as once was the trend. The ski property market has also seen a decline in popularity in the wake of the pandemic.
Rachel Beaton, insights expert at Rightmove Overseas, said, “We’ve seen a gradual resurgence of interest from home-hunters looking for properties abroad since April, but after the government confirmed there will be easing of travel restrictions to certain countries, we saw demand for overseas homes rise even further to record-breaking levels. Activity is always an inverse response to the British weather – so traffic dips when we have good weather, and then bounces back when the rain comes – and this was exactly what happened in the final weekend of June.”
THE FORECAST IS UNCERTAIN
In the present climate, there’s uncertainty around every type of investment and the overseas property market is no different.
31 December 2020 is the UK’s official departure date from the EU. Negotiations with Europe and the length of the transition period is unknown. New systems, procedures, processes, tax and health schemes will need to be worked out.
This is combined with the ongoing pandemic and its impact on the economy of every country around the world. For UK property investors, the state of the economy here in Britain and in the country where you’re potentially looking to buy will have a large influence on sale prices.
However, with careful research based on past prices in that country, and forecasts for the future, there are still overseas investment opportunities to be found in countries where property prices are still low.
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