Holiday company to provide investors with sales information and links to parador about mediterranean properties
Parador Properties has decided to use travel agent Thomson Holidays to help sell overseas homes to investors in return for commission.
Although Thomson staff are not intermediaries and will not be giving financial advice, they will be providing investors with sales information regarding locations of homes based in Portugal, Spain, Majorca and Cyprus.
People will be able to pick up information in all 750 Thomson outlets or view properties on a special in-store online microsite.
Rachel O'Reilly, head of public relations at Thomson, said: "Our agents have had training on the regions. Many have visited the areas themselves and know what the region has to offer, whether or not it is a coastal or mountain resort. However, the buying process gets passed over to Parador."
Properties range from £65,000 to £1m, but on average are priced at around £120,000. Thomson can organise potential buyers to view properties on a four-day trip at the cost of £89.
However, Parador will take care of the financial side of the sale. The firm has link-ups with two finance companies - Lloyds TSB and Parador Financial Services - which can provide mortgages for investors who are interested in Spanish properties.
Parador already has a service for intermediaries called Parador Professional. Advisers can pass on clients who want to buy properties overseas, for commission.
Thomson has traditionally concentrated on the packaged holiday market. According to O'Reilly, there has been a massive change in the holiday market because of low-cost airlines. People are increasingly shopping online and Thomson has seen property as an area of growth.
More than half-a-million UK households now own a property overseas and this figure is expected to rise significantly over the next few years.
Jack Hamilton, UK managing director at Parador Properties, said: "One of the main reasons we have developed this partnership with Thomson Holidays, is that we have seen a distinct trend towards people purchasing overseas property in locations where they have been on holiday.
"In some instances, people return year on year to the same place and really get to know an area and start to feel at home there.
"With the huge boom in ownership of overseas property expected to continue, we felt that consumers would benefit from more readily available information on their doorstep. As well as Parador offering more than 1,000 property exhibitions across the UK, this new partnership with Thomson will mean more people will have improved access to information and can feel assured that they are dealing with a trusted and reliable source."
According to research carried out by Thomson, owning a property abroad is now a life ambition for over half of the UK population with 55% of people wanting a permanent slice of the laid back lifestyle and healthier way of life enjoyed by their Mediterranean neighbours.
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