Australia is proving popular among British people searching online for overseas property, moving up to fourth place in the latest Rightmove Overseas chart. There has also been increased interest in property in Asia with India and Thailand also seeing increased activity but it is Istra in Croatia that is the month’s big news with search activity rising by 103.72%.
The monthly report from the firm also shows that despite property prices being at rock bottom, people are showing less interest in Cyprus, with searches dropping 21.22%, showing that the Mediterranean island’s banking crisis could be putting people off. However, another country that has been through the financial wringer, Ireland, is proving popular again and is now the seventh most popular overseas destination.
While Australia moved up two places to fourth place, both Italy and Portugal have seen less interest and dropped down the chart. Overall some 52.72% of locations experienced a rise in search activity in March while 47.2% of locations fell in search activity and 0.08% of locations stayed the same.
‘There has been a significant increase in searches for long haul destinations, particularly Australia, India and Thailand,’ said Shameem Golamy, head of Rightmove Overseas. ‘Whilst traditionally, people don’t tend to emigrate over the summer months, property prices further afield are attracting the buyers looking for a bargain. Cyprus has continued to drop and it’s likely this is due to the economic problems they continue to face,’ he explained. ‘Interestingly, Ireland has replaced Cyprus as the seventh most popular destination which suggests people are still swayed by the cheap flights and the cost of property,’ he added.
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Overseas buyers continue to experience challenges when it comes to currency exchange when buying abroad and Charles Purdy, managing director of Smart Currency Exchange said that sterling has benefited recently. He said that it is not a great surprise that searches for Cyprus have fallen given the extent of the problems the country is facing but the firm still has clients who are completing on their properties on the island.
‘The key seems to be to keep your surplus cash in the UK until matters become more certain, and I am sure there will be some great bargains to be had in the coming months,’ he added. ‘A lot of clients have taken advantage of a strengthening sterling with it pushing above €1.18/£1 and US$1.55/£1. In less than a month and for each £100,000 you were spending you could have been £2,500 better off. This just highlights how important managing your currency exchange is in these difficult times,’ he explained.