France tops the wish list of UK overseas property buyers, report shows

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France and Spain are still the most popular countries with British property investors looking to buy real estate abroad, according to a new report.

France is the number one location accounting for 31% of inquiries and Spain, despite suffering a catastrophic fall in property prices, gets 22% of interest, says the report from Mortgage specialist Conti.

Turkey has maintained third place in the hot spots table, increasing its share to 13%, and Portugal and Italy have progressed to fourth and fifth places respectively. Interest in Bulgaria and the US has declined.

The figures also show that France and Spain are more popular than ever with the two countries now accounting for over half, some 53%, of inquiries compared with 29% last year.

‘British buyers are sticking to the more traditional overseas locations, especially those with history of providing good rental returns. The smart investor is no longer simply looking to where the best bargains for a swift return can be found, but to where security lies for a longer term investment,’ said Conti’s operations director, Clare Nessling.

The report points out that France continues to enjoy a very stable property market, primarily due to its financial system having been more cautious in the past. Mortgages are more readily available than in the UK and interest rates are relatively low.

It says that Spain offers bargain prices. ‘Buyers are in a strong position due to the number of homes available, low interest rates, and the opportunity to negotiate price reductions from motivated vendors,’ it says.

‘Although it will continue to experience problems in areas with exposure to corrupt licensing laws or land grab issues, Spain has been at the forefront of the overseas property market for a long time, so has very strong foundations. It has a lot to offer, and you can still buy with confidence, as long as you buy sensibly and treat your property as an investment over the long term,’ the report adds.

Turkey is described as ‘the new Spain’ and as offering ‘all the benefits of its Mediterranean location minus the effect of the strong Euro’.

 

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