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  • 07/04/2003
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Foreign climes are proving increasingly tempting for UK property buyers, and creating a growing...

Foreign climes are proving increasingly tempting for UK property buyers, and creating a growing line of business for mortgage intermediaries.

With the European Central Bank’s base rate at 2.75% and low-cost air travel, coupled with a low UK interest rate, Simon Conn, senior partner at Conti Financial Services, said business had doubled in the last few years. And while Spain and France dominate the European market, interest has also been strong in Eastern Europe.

Conn said more intermediaries were looking at foreign properties as a new opportunity, but warned ‘many do not do their homework.’ He said many were looking to establish links with foreign lawyers and lenders, but did not realise the differences between the UK and oversees markets, making it difficult to provide accurate client advice.

David Steppings, director for intermediary, Select Financial Solutions, added: ‘Many of our entrepreneurial clients are willing to explore alternative investments such as purchasing a property abroad. This has been made easier by the large equity stakes many people are sitting on in respect of their main residences and in no small part by the plethora of relocation programmes on TV.’

l Abbey National France (ANF) said demand had spurred a 42% rise in the number of British buyers in French properties, and they were prepared to buy further afield in the country and not stick to the historically popular areas of Northern France.

David Wells, managing director of ANF, said: ‘Demand from UK buyers to buy a home to live or work in France has never been greater. Buyers are prepared to spend a little more on their second home than before.’

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