Buyers Return To Overseas Property But Lose Out On Bargains


The overseas property market is showing genuine signs of improvement, with France, Italy, Portugal and Spain all with positive trend reports. International buyers however still appear to lack knowledge that could turn a purchase into a real bargain. We examine the European housing markets that international buyers are now returning too.

When a bargain is not a bargain

It’s been a buyers market especially in Europe for international buyers seeking that ideal home overseas. However despite the low prices not all are benefitting from an overseas purchase. 

Industry expert Nick Marr ‘ Buyers seeking a property abroad need to be aware that achieving a great price for a home abroad can very easily be negated by a foreign currency fluctuation. Buyers especially ones that I would call lifestyle buyers are purchasing second homes abroad or holiday homes still rely on their own bank to manage the transfers.  They become potential victims to the volatile foreign currency exchange market.”

The bottom line is that you can miss out on property bargain completely if you pay a mark up of 2-3% or more to your bank for foreign currency, FX specialists can often can do this for fraction of the price. Its so important to compare international transfer services

French property luxury all the way

Now for the first time since the economic crisis wrecked expat dreams in 2008, British investors have returned to the French property market in force — but rather than looking for hovels in need of restoration, plush homes with swimming pools are in demand. The UK housing market is so inflated it can now make sense to secure a place on the property ladder by buying a property in France.

The Spanish property market, facts speak for themselves

A new market forecast report from Instituto de Practica Empresarial (IPE) business school predicts that the market is set to grow by between 5% and 7% in major cities such as Madrid and Barcelona and 3% in other cities.

The IPE says that home prices on the Costa del Sol are already up 10% this year, and now represent 5% of all sales nationwide and if sales continue growing at their present trend, the property market in Málaga province will increase to 20% of the overall Spanish market.

The growth is buoyed by foreign demand for holiday homes on the Costa del Sol and the IPE report suggests that surging sales will help reduce the glut of new homes on the coast. Indeed, the excess inventory of new homes is expected to fall by 50% this year.

USA loving Italian real estate


According to InsureMyTrip,  an increasing number of U.S. travellers are looking to pick up a second home while on their vacation, at least that’s the case in Italy, according to Jane Smith of local property agency Magic Marche.

Jane commented, “Our enquiry rate for the first half of 2015 is over 20% higher than for the same period in 2014. With a strong US dollar against the Euro, buyers from the USA have increased in numbers. Restored country houses remain the most popular choice but we’ve also seen a growing trend in townhouses, where buyers can enjoy the benefits of having shops,

Dawn Cavanagh-Hobbs, Founder of fractional property company Appassionata, based in the Marche region, is certainly familiar with the increase in US buyers. Her latest luxury fractional ownership property, townhouse Casa Tre Archi located in Petritoli, has so far attracted keen interest Stateside, with 67% of owners coming from the US. The property particularly appeals to such buyers because of its sense of history, as Dawn explains,

“Casa Tre Archi is built into the ancient walls of this traditional Italian town, therefore meaning that buyers purchasing their very own fraction can feel like they are buying their very own slice of tangible Italian history, with this particularly appealing to American buyers.”

Portugal property seeing a revival

New buyer inquiries grew at the quickest pace in three months in May, with growth reportedly accelerating across the three regional markets of Lisbon, the Algarve and Porto, according to the RICS/Ci Portuguese Housing Market Survey. At the same time, agreed sales rose at the sharpest rate since records began in 2010 and have now improved for 15 successive months. Just as encouraging, sales expectations climbed to a fresh new high in May, exceeding the previous high watermark set back in January 2015.

“Genuine confidence appears to have returned to the market in recent months, with the recovery in both sales and prices expected to gather speed going forward,” said RICS Chief Economist Simon Rubinsohn, adding as a note of caution that “risks to the economy have not passed yet and the potential for these to derail progress should not be taken lightly.”

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