Sun, sea and a strong pound

  • 10 years ago
  • Uncategorized
Excellent buying conditions have lured Britons back into the overseas property market this year, with bargain property prices and historically low mortgage rates making it more affordable than ever. The biggest boost to buyers’ budgets, however, has been the steadily increasing value of the pound against the euro, which is effectively shedding tens of thousands of pounds off property prices in the euro zone. And buyers, full of fresh optimism, are returning in their droves. 
It’s perhaps no surprise, therefore, that Conti’s enquiries have increased by 24 per cent this year, compared with 2013. 
“The first half of the year was particularly busy, with enquiries up by 58 per cent,” says director Clare Nessling, “levelling out again in the third quarter, largely due to the uncertainty surrounding the Scottish referendum result. Overall, however, interest is much stronger than last year and there’s definitely more optimism amongst potential buyers.”
“When you compare the cost of a place in the sun with overheated parts of the UK market, there are plenty of British buyers who are more willing to explore overseas opportunities in their search for better investment potential. Confidence is back. And, with Goldman Sachs predicting that sterling will continue to climb against the euro over the next three years, British buyers will simply have more buying power, making a bolt hole in the sun even more tempting,” continues.
When it comes to location, Spain is well and truly back on the map. It accounted for almost half (49 per cent) of enquiries received at Conti this year, and the volume of Spanish mortgage enquiries has increased by more than half (54 per cent) over the last 12 months. 
“After a turbulent few years in the eye of the euro zone storm, the country appears to be making a turnaround at last,” says Nessling. “The economy is showing signs of recovery, tourist numbers are up, and after years of plummeting house prices, experts are predicting increases in 2015, with prices in some areas rising already. I expect Spain to maintain this momentum next year as prices recover but remain very affordable.”
France remains a firm favourite too, accounting for almost a third (32 per cent) of our enquiries this year, and continues to offer a safe haven for British buyers. 

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