Overseas mortgages in Spain France and Bulgaria are set to be the big areas of business for specialist overseas mortgage brokers.
The three popular overseas property locations are set to be in line for top overseas mortgage distribution by 2020. A study conducted by Alliance & Leicester Mortgages revealed the expected future for the overseas mortgage industry. Mehrdad Yousefi, Head of Intermediary Mortgages at Alliance & Leicester comments: "Our research shows that UK brokers view Europe as the up and coming battleground for the UK mortgage community. The majority of brokers see a lot of value and opportunity in the European market. Spain, France and Bulgaria look like being the hotspots of the future with Portugal, Italy and Germany not far behind.
The Broker World in 2020 study reveals that two-thirds of brokers (68%) think they will do more business in the overseas mortgage market in the future. Nine out of ten (90%) of them think Europe will see the biggest impact and nearly half (45%) expect to expand into Europe by 2020.
Top five countries for distribution in Europe according to The Broker World in 2020 study
  • Spain 73%
  • France 61%
  • Bulgaria 25%
  • Portugal 18%
  • Italy 13%

Top five hotspots for distribution outside Europe according to The Broker World in 2020 study
  • USA 30%
  • Australia 17%
  • Dubai 7%
  • China 6%
  • New Zealand 6%
Simon Conn, Managing Director, Conti Financial Services Ltd: “We've been in the business of helping people buy property overseas for over 12 years now, and although the survey suggests the top three European countries for overseas mortgage distribution in 2020 will be Spain, France and Bulgaria, I can definitely say that this is happening now and I’m certain we won't need to wait until 2020 for this to occur. 
However, we’re not convinced Bulgaria will be in the top three, we believe Turkey is the one to watch. It has already established itself as one of the most popular countries for foreign nationals to invest in property and we expect the market to grow dramatically, overtaking the Bulgarian market. 
“In our experience, France and Spain have always been in the top three destinations, particularly because it's a tried and tested market and the countries give people a diverse range of properties and types of regions to choose from. Since we launched mortgages in Bulgaria in 2004, we’ve witnessed a steady increase in demand for property there. Although much of the property priced in the region of £30,000 may have been snapped up, there are still many bargains to be found. With direct flights and a relatively short flight time of just under three hours, it has appeal for many buyers; a sandy coastline for beach lovers and mountain towns for skiers. For increased investment opportunities, quality properties, including new golf courses are now being built and may offer greater investment potential.
“I’m not surprised that brokers are hoping to move into the overseas mortgage market but it is a specialised market and there’s a big difference in financing a property overseas compared with the UK mortgage market. Not only will the law regarding property and mortgages are different, but there will invariably be differences in practices, customs and local regulations too.”
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    Carol McDonald