Overseas mortgage specialist Conti has revealed that Spain remains the top choice for Brits buying property abroad.
It accounted for 46% of enquiries received by the company during 2015, despite France stealing a march on its lead during the second half of the year.
The property market in Spain fell apart at the height of the financial crisis, sending property prices spiralling. However, it is finally starting to pick up, with Knight Frank reporting a rise of 1.2% in Spanish property prices from the third quarter of 2014 to the third quarter of 2015. And this is leading to renewed optimism among potential buyers.
The gap is narrowing, however, with France showing a strong performance in the fourth quarter of the year, when it accounted for 44% of enquires compared with Spain’s 42%. Over the course of 2015, however it took a 34% share.
Keeping its third place in the hot spots list is Portugal, achieving a 15% share of enquiries during 2015, up from 11% in 2014. Property prices are on the up again at last, but are still generally below pre-recession levels, so investors, feeling more confident about the future and buoyed by the growing strength of sterling, are coming back to the market.
Clare Nessling, director at Conti, said: “It’s great to see the old favourites topping the list of overseas property hotspots. It wasn’t so long ago that the Spanish market was shrouded in doom and gloom, but the market has turned the corner at last and excellent buying conditions are luring investors back. We’re also seeing buyer’s markets in France and Portugal, and there’s been a general lift in confidence among buyers who are returning to these traditional markets in their droves.
“Bargain prices and historically low mortgage rates are making it more affordable than ever to snap up a property in all three countries, but the biggest boost to buyers’ budgets has been the growing strength of the pound, providing them with more buying power and more pounds in the pot. Long may it continue.”