Interest in property abroad and at home strong amongst UK buyers, reports suggest

Property interest at home and abroad for UK buyers high

Interest in buying foreign property is at its highest since April with 72% of British people surveyed now believing it is a good time to invest in real estate, according to a new report.

Some 72% also say they are currently considering buying a property overseas, the monthly confidence tracker from the Worldwide Property Group shows.  The United States, the Caribbean and Spain are still the most popular regions for potential real estate buyers. Brazil is growing in popularity as well, the report indicates.

On the subject of UK property, 82% of the survey respondents are of the opinion that this is currently a good time to buy.

When asked about interest rates, 46% were of the opinion that rates will increase over the next 12 months, however, this is the second lowest figure since the survey began over a year ago, and well below the April peak of 79%.

Some 56% of respondents said that they are directly benefiting from the current low level of interest rates with half of the view that this has increased their desire to buy a property in the UK.

‘Once again we see mounting evidence of people’s belief that interest rates will remain low for quite some time. The number of people who feel that rates will increase over the coming year has progressively reduced over the last four months, if this trend is correct this is excellent news for anyone buying a property,’ said Kevin Wilkes, managing director of the Worldwide Property Group.

He also welcomed the news that Brazil has been ranked highly by the respondents of the latest survey. ‘The country offers some incredible opportunities and we have seen interest and subsequent sales of property here rise sharply in recent months,’ he added.

Meanwhile, another survey shows that the long term desire for home ownership in the UK is stronger than ever. Despite the credit crunch, and the knocks to consumer confidence of the past few years, more people than ever before want to be home owners in the long term, the by YouGov for the Council of Mortgage Lenders shows.

It found that 85% of people cited home ownership as the tenure they hoped to be living in a decade from now, suggesting that the home ownership aspiration remains firmly rooted in the British psyche.

The CML has asked the same questions about home ownership aspirations periodically since 1975. Last time the survey was undertaken, in 2007, the proportion who expected to be home owners in ten years time was 84%.

Over the short term, the desire for home ownership has dipped a little with 76% of those surveyed seeing home ownership as their ideal in two years’ time, down from 78% last time the survey was undertaken in 2007.

This primarily reflects a much lower short term appetite (42%) for home ownership among adults aged 18 to 24, although this is also the age group with the highest ten year home ownership aspirations at 88%.

It is highly likely that this reflects younger people’s lifestyle choices, favouring more flexibility and mobility in the short term, as well as a realistic assessment of the difficulty of entering the housing market under current affordability conditions.

‘Most people see home ownership as their tenure of choice over the long term. But the unintended consequence of regulatory change is that it is going to be permanently tougher for people, especially young people, to fulfil that aspiration in the future, even if they are responsible with their finances,’ said CML director general Michael Coogan.

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