Results for the 2009 International Survey conducted by primelocation.com show that 70% of visitors to primelocation.com/international-property are actively looking to buy an overseas property, despite the current economic uncertainty. Of all respondents, 28% said that they are unaffected by the current economic situation, 22% who had delayed their plans because of the economic climate are now back in the market and hope to find a bargain, while 10% said that they are checking out the market but will not proceed just yet.
Ann Wright, International Business Development Manager for primelocation.com, says; ‘This is very clear indication that people have not let go of their dreams of owning a property abroad. Indeed, it is encouraging that people are coming back to the market, possibly because of recent press reports of falling property prices across Europe.’
The primelocation.com 2009 International Survey also monitored the countries the portal’s visitors are most interested in buying in; France took top spot with 25%, Spain came second (16%) and was followed by Italy and Portugal which tied in fourth place with 11% each. The United States, Cyprus, Greece, Switzerland, Turkey, Canada and the UAE took the rest of the top 10 spots.
‘It is interesting to note that over a quarter of all respondents currently own/rent a property in France and interest in the country, which has always been the first choice amongst Brits, has remained fairly stable at 25% since 2008. Spain and Portugal have increased in popularity since 2008 as people respond to the reports of falling property prices. Turkey too has shown an increase in popularity since last year, possibly because of the favourable exchange rates of the Pound against the new Turkish Lira.’ says Wright.
“The percentage of people looking to buy holiday homes overseas remains unchanged from last year’s survey (48%), which reinforces the notion that interest is still there despite the worsening economic conditions, “ continues Wright. “However, the number of people moving abroad permanently has decreased; this is possibly a result of the fluctuations in the value of sterling against the Euro. Also, property prices and the oversupply of rental properties in continental Europe mean fewer people are buying with a view to using the property as an investment or income generator.” Not surprisingly, coastal locations are ranked No.1 by all respondents who are currently looking to own or rent an overseas property, followed by tranquil village settings.
‘Planned spending levels are very similar to 2008, which further strengthens the notion that interest in overseas properties has not been significantly impacted by the economic climate. Also similar to last year’s survey results, most respondents said that they want to buy a property that requires minimal work, buyers want somewhere they can start to use and enjoy straight away,’ concludes Wright.
Primelocation.com 2009 International Survey also found that buyers prefer to use an estate agent in the country in which they are buying. UK based agents are also popular because they give the buyer the reassurance of an English speaking service and expert, reliable advice of the processes of buying abroad.
The survey results also indicate that buyers start their search on property portals, which give them access to a wide range of estate agents both in the UK and abroad. Once they have narrowed down their search they are happy to use the services of estate agents who have properties that fit their requirements.