“Dramatic increase” in overseas property interest
OverseasGuidesCompay.com’s Quarterly Index measures the number of enquiries received for each of their specialist countries, through downloads of their country-specific buying guides, such as SpainBuyingGuide.com and FranceBuyingGuide.com.
Between January and March 2015, the company received 15,209 enquiries. This was a 31% increase year-on-year, compared to the 11,590 received in Q1 2014, and a mammoth 96% increase compared to the last quarter of 2014, when 7,761 enquiries were received.
In terms of increasing popularity, Spain was, perhaps unsurprisingly, the star performer this quarter, receiving one third of all enquiries (34%) – its highest level to date. The next most popular countries were France (21%), Portugal (10%), the USA (8%) and Italy (6%).
Angelos Koutsoudes, Head of OverseasGuidesCompany.com, said: “There is little doubt that the favourable exchange rate has triggered a large number of British people to consider an overseas property purchase, in particular in the Eurozone. Based on this very bullish first quarter – which was particularly evident at the A Place in the Sun Live exhibition in Manchester in March, we’re expecting bumper second and third quarters this year. Once the election and the uncertainty it brings with it have passed, interest in overseas property should continue to gain momentum, helped of course by a strong pound – which to some degree is dependent on the election result. The new pension rules, enabling hundreds of thousands of people to access the cash in their pension pots, could be adding to the resurgence too, as could the UK’s buoyant housing market.”
Surge in interest for Spain
The 5,200 enquiries received through SpainBuyingGuide.com in Q1 of 2015 were up by a staggering 104% year-on-year – compared to the 2,547 received in the same quarter of 2014. This was the highest annual rise of all countries, cementing its position as the most popular country in terms of volume with British overseas buyers.
France secure in second place
Our closest neighbour received 3,261 enquiries via FranceBuyingGuide.com in the first three months of 2015, through downloads of the France Buying Guide. This was a 66% increase year-on-year, compared to the 1,964 enquiries received in Q1 2014.
Positive step forward for Portugal
Second only to Spain in terms of growth, and the third most popular destination overall, Portugal received 1,491 enquiries on PortugalBuyingGuide.com in Q1 2015 – a year-on-year hike of 98% compared to the number of enquiries in Q1 2014 (752).
Interest in Florida grows despite strong dollar
The most popular non-European location, there were 1,184 enquiries received on USABuyingGuide.com, primarily for Florida; this was a 39% increase year-on-year compared to the 851 received in Q1 2014 – despite sterling’s drop in value against the dollar so far this year.