Wintry weather prompts increase in interest in ski properties and real estate down under

Winter in Australia is becoming a hot spot

Wintry weather has prompted more interest in buying ski property and Australia is becoming more popular among prospective real estate investors, according to the latest research.

The start of the ski season and snow across much of the country meant that the French Alps was the top climber among the most searched destinations on Rightmove Overseas.

The cold weather though may also have boosted summery Australia’s popularity as the country continued to increase its market share of searched in December. It increased for the fourth consecutive month by 11% putting it in fourth place overall, pushing out Portugal and Italy.

California has also seen an increase in interest with a 12% growth in searches. Within the US state Los Angeles attracted most interest but smaller counties like Santa Clara, home of Silicon valley, was also popular.

Spain and France are still the top two destinations followed by the US, accounting for 19.37%, 16.78% and 11.91% respectively. Overall 59% of indexed locations saw increases in searches, 41% decreases, 0.2% no changes. Although search activity for overseas property in December was slightly down on November, as is usual for the festive season, Rightmove expects January figures to bounce back strongly.

‘Despite temperatures dropping and snow falling in all the wrong places, appetite amongst overseas buyers remained strong in December. Australia’s strong performance, muscling into 4th place in our country chart, pushing out Portugal and Italy, bodes well for emigration markets in the New Year. Australia’s combination of the exotic and familiar make it an enticing destination for those who dream of starting a new life,’ said Robin Wilson, Head of Overseas at Rightmove.

Meanwhile another report shows that the value of overseas property owned by British people is increasing. An analysis from the FX team at Close Brothers Limited Close Treasury shows that despite property prices falling in France, Spain, Portugal, Italy and the US, the collective Sterling value of property there owned by British citizens increased by over £2.6 billion between July 2008 and December 2009.

This is because the value of the Euro and the US Dollar against Sterling increased by 13.22% and 16% respectively. Close Treasury estimates that the value of overseas property in these five countries belonging to British citizens is £42 billion.

‘There has been a lot of volatility in the currency markets recently and many expect this to continue. This is having a huge impact on the value of property owned by British people abroad and in many cases it is more influential than price changes in the local property markets,’ said Mark Taylor, head of foreign exchange at Close Treasury.

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