According to the overseas mortgage specialist Conti, the numer of enquiries about property abroad it received in the second quarter of this year was up 38% on the same period in 2013. And in the first half of 2014, enquiries were up 58% compared with the first half of last year.
Spain continues to be the top choice for overseas buyers, accounting for 59% of all enquiries in the second quarter. France, in second place, accounts for 27% of enquiries, followed by Portugal with 8%.
Reduced property prices and affordable borrowing rates are boosting buyers’ purchasing power, and the strength of sterling is also having a very positive effect on budgets.
Last summer £1 bought €1.14,whereas it has now risen to a 22-month high of €1.26.This means that for someone considering a home in the eurozone worth €200,000, the property now costs £158,730 compared with £175,439 at the start of August 2013. That’s a saving of £16,709.
Clare Nessling, director at Conti, said: “Prices are good, rates are low and lending conditions are improving, so it’s perhaps no surprise that buyers are returning to the market. What has exacerbated the situation is the concurrent performance of the UK economy where the pound has been strengthening against other currencies including the euro, and this is also having a big influence on buyers’ enthusiasm.”
Conti said that it remains vitally important for buyers to seek the right advice, as many overseas property buyers have learned to their cost that scrimping on independent legal advice can effectively cost them their holiday home.
Buyers should always go through the same process that they would follow if they were buying a property in the UK. There’s nothing to be gained, and everything to lose by cutting corners and failing to carry out due diligence, it said.