Portugal and the US lead a resurgence in interest in buying property abroad, a new report shows

Portuguese leads many expats seeking homes in other countries

Interest in buying property in Portugal and the US is increasing with more searches being carried out on these locations, according to the latest report from Rightmove Overseas.

Overall some 61% of locations tracked by the real estate portal saw increased searches in August, while 38% experienced decreases and 0.1% had no change.

Portugal leads the recovery among traditional destinations with a 23% rise in searches and along with the US it dominates the top 10 climbers in the averaging an increase of 12 places a month up the charts.

August is a historically strong month for search activity on Rightmove Overseas as British buyers return from their summer holidays abroad with dreams of capturing the experience by owning property where they were staying. August 2010 was no different with a 12% lift on July’s search activity.

‘As the summer holidays draw to a close it seems Portugal and the United States have been the biggest winners taking eight out of the 10 Top Climber places in our chart. The surge in interest for Portugal has pushed it up into fourth place, back in front of its arch rival Italy for the first time since May,’ said Robin Wilson, Head of Overseas at Rightmove.

Key regions driving the change were Costa Verde and the Western Algarve, both up 45% with the Silver Coast also putting in a 25% uplift in searches.

Across the other side of the Atlantic, the South Eastern United States are also strongly up in search activity with The Keys and Gulf Coast up 25% and Florida in general up 30%.

‘Poland’s first showing in our trending chart is a positive sign for Eastern Europe, delivering consistent upward performance over the last quarter in searches on Rightmove,’ added Wilson.

The index also shows that as memories of the FIFA football World Cup fades, searches for South African property are also on the decline, down 7% on July, probably settling back to a more natural level.

Sterling’s renewed strength against the Euro in August could very well have contributed to the increased demand for property in Portugal, according to David Kerns, Private Client Dealing Manager at Moneycorp.

‘The rate was above the €1.20 level for most of the month and even reached highs of €1.22. At Moneycorp, we’ve seen an 87% increase in demand for property in Portugal between July and August, which certainly mirrors this currency movement,’ he said.

‘While the US Dollar strengthened against the Pound during August, making property more expensive for British investors, a good exchange rate at the start of the month and a stream of negative US financial data may have encouraged UK interest in property,’ he added.

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