Spain still tops the list of most popular destinations for Brits buying property abroad, followed by France, according to Conti Financial Services.
The overseas mortgage specialist’s property ‘hot spots’ report proves the enduring attraction of the more established destinations, but the gap is narrowing with new markets like Dubai and Cape Verde muscling in on their hot-spot rivals, said Conti.
Based on analysis of enquires received by Conti so far this year, the report found although France and Spain account for nearly a third of enquiries, interest in both countries has declined slightly since last year.
In contrast, Dubai has crept up the table from ninth to seventh place, while another emerging market, Cape Verde, is edging upwards, accounting for 3% of enquiries in the last two months.
Simon Conn, sales and marketing director at Conti Financial Services, says the strong euro has taken its toll on some destinations.
“Low interest rates and the introduction of new property ownership laws are enabling the property market in Dubai to thrive, and this is reflected in the levels of interest it’s experiencing,” he said. “Cape Verde, billed as the closest Caribbean islands to mainland Europe, and now with direct flights available from the UK, is another rising star.”
However, while Cyprus, Portugal and Italy are seeing constant or diminishing levels of interest, Germany has seen a 3% increase in enquiries over the last year. Investors are benefiting from low prices, a stable economy and intensive building projects in the major cities as well as offering attractive long-term rental streams due to a low proportion of owner-occupiers, according to Conti.
The USA has also seen an increase in enquiries over the last year, rising from 7% to 9%. In the face of the credit crunch and a slumping economy, mortgage availability from US banks for foreign nationals has become tighter. Yet the weak dollar and plummeting property prices following the sub-prime crisis has made property more affordable for Britons, with plenty of bargains to be had, said the company.
Conti believes Turkey is also experiencing a surge in British retirees setting up home, owing to good-value property minus the effects of the strong euro.
The top 10 hotspots are, from one to 10: Spain, France, Turkey, USA, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Dubai, Portugal, Italy and Germany.
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