British overseas buyers look to bargain prices in Greece, Ireland and Spain

British investors get more for their money as the Pound rises against the Euro

Greece and Ireland, two of the European countries worst hit by the current eurozone financial crisis are proving popular with British people considering buying property overseas.

Real estate investors are eyeing up bargain properties in both countries, according to the latest report from Rightmove Overseas. The fact that the Pound is rising against the Euro means that buyers can get more for their money at present.

The report also shows that 49.22% of locations surveyed saw an increase in searches while 50.72% of locations saw a decrease in searches and for 0.06% there was no change.

Spain, which is also experiencing a tough economic time, is also proving popular. Spanish locations dominate the top 10 climbing regions.

There is also less interest in countries with strong winter sports property markets such as Switzerland, Austria and Canada and Germany has also fallen in popularity.

‘With the wet weather in the UK, users have turned to Rightmove Overseas to search for overseas property in record numbers with over 2.9 million searches in April,’ said Shameem Golamy, head of Rightmove Overseas.

‘The main beneficiary of this increased search activity has again been the traditional Spanish destinations of Benidorm, Estepona and Torrevieja, as people look for properties in familiar locations. Albufeira and Carvoeiro in Portugal have also benefitted from extra searches, as has Sydney in Australia,’ he explained.

‘The economic woes affecting parts of Europe has failed to deter buyers in the UK interested in overseas property with both Malta and Ireland rising 20% in searches month on month. Greece has risen to eighth place in our top 20 and Turkey continues to perform well, attracting 17% more searches than March,’ he added.

‘Germany, usually a favourite destination of UK investors, seems to be gradually losing interest, as do Austria and Poland. It seems that UK buyers are more inclined to look for warmer destinations as thoughts turn towards the summer,’ he pointed out.

Charles Purdy, managing director of Smart Currency Exchange said there is evidence that people aren’t just looking at property in Europe but they are buying there as well. ‘With the €/£ exchange rate hitting €1.23/£, a rate last seen 24 months ago, we have seen record buying of euro’s over the last month,’ he explained.

‘France and Spain continue to be at the top of the list as the favourite place for lifestyle buyers. I get the feeling that while Sterling continues to hold its own against the Euro this will continue. Sterling has also strengthened against the US dollar and the Australian dollar which has seen increasing interest in property in these countries, especially Florida,’ he added.

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