Conti, the overseas mortgage specialist, experienced a 33 per cent increase in enquiries from prospective buyers during September, compared with the previous monthly average for this year. The holiday season may be over, but it appears that trips abroad this summer have inspired many people to buy their own place in the sun, with France, Spain and Portugal still topping the list of hot spots.
Conti says that despite the UK property slump, the market for homes overseas is alive and well for British investors, and it appears that an increasing number of people are seeking a little slice of life overseas, with September being its busiest month for enquiries so far this year.
Bargain prices and historically low interest rates are making it more affordable to buy property abroad, and the growing strength of the pound against the euro is boosting the budgets of those looking to buy property in the more traditional locations like Spain and France. Easy access, together with good rental opportunities are also adding to the attractiveness of these locations.
Clare Nessling, Conti’s Operations Director, says:
“Our enquiry levels tend to rise after the summer holiday period, with many people who have travelled abroad returning home with plans to buy their very own place in the sun. This year, the uplift in enquiries has been higher than usual, perhaps due to the UK having the one of the wettest summers on record.
“As the darker nights return, it’s very easy to dream about sunnier climes. But it can be more than just a dream. As property prices fall across Europe, the chance of owning a holiday home abroad may never be better, and with the stronger pound boosting buyers’ budgets, it’s even more affordable for British buyers. “
According to Conti’s recent hot spots report, France is top of the list for enquiries with a 45 per cent share. This is its biggest share achieved to date, and compares with just 15 per cent back in 2008.
Spain, in second place with 33 per cent of enquiries, is up from just 14 per cent in 2008, thanks to excellent buying conditions and signs that the market is starting to bottom out. Portugal, accounting for 10 per cent of enquiries, is in third position for the second year running, with falling property prices enticing buyers back. Turkey is still popular too, with six per cent.
Conti is the UK’s leading overseas mortgage specialist, providing finance for purchasing holiday homes, investment and retirement properties in numerous countries across the globe. All mortgage applications are processed and underwritten by Conti’s team of specialists, who know the exact requirements for each overseas lender.
It can also ensure that clients are put in touch with specialists in the country in question, to enable them to comply fully with planning and legal conditions and assist with currency exchange.