After five months of staying at home, the world is beginning to open up and settle into its new normal. As we adjust to a new way of living, Jana Korpova-Harris, Director of Growth at Property Guides, explores why there is still substantial demand to buy property abroad.
Despite being filled with uncertainty, one gift lockdown did present us with was time. We had the opportunity to reflect on our lifestyles and, as we now look to the future, many are reassessing how, and most importantly, where they want to spend their time.
There may be an ongoing global health crisis, but this hasn’t dampened Brits’ enthusiasm for sunny beaches and warmer climates. In fact, there is more demand now than ever before from Brits wanting to purchase property abroad, either for permanent relocation or as a private getaway, as they seek a healthier, more active lifestyle in the sun.
Location, Location, Location
France and Spain remain the prime destinations for Brits. Not only do they offer sun-soaked lifestyles and stable investment opportunities, but they also benefit from easy travel links to the UK. With more people looking to buy abroad to benefit from increased working from home opportunities, being able to easily return to the UK when needed is high on the priority list.
In Spain, our research shows that the majority of prospective buyers are looking at properties in the south-eastern Costas, between Dénia on the North Costa Blanca and Gibraltar. This region has plenty to offer year-round, from crisp Mediterranean beaches and warm winters to an abundance of activities on water and land for all ages.
To the West, in France, the Nouvelle Aquitaine region is the most popular amongst discerning Brits, made famous by its world-renowned vineyards and sophisticated cuisine. Brittany and Normandy are also popular. Surrounded by picturesque medieval towns and a varied coastline, these North-Western regions offer a new sense of adventure that many are craving right now.
For those looking for something a little different, Portugal’s Algarve promises gorgeous Atlantic beaches and bustling towns. Following the country’s efficient handling of the pandemic, Portugal is also one of the only countries predicted to see an increase in house prices this year. Plus, with stunning new build properties reaching completion along the coast each month, it is no wonder the Algarve remains one of Europe’s most sought-after locations.
Apartment, Villa or Cottage?
Brits’ desire for a healthier, more relaxed lifestyle is also reflected by the type of properties most popular right now. Exclusive golf retreats are becoming increasingly sought-after, despite the number of people playing the sport being in decline. This is largely down to the fact that golf complexes usually offer other desirable wellbeing amenities, such as gyms, spas, pools, and onsite restaurants, which offer Brits a lifestyle they cannot easily replicate in the UK.
This is a consistent trend across Europe. Villas are most sought-after in Spain, and quaint cottages are popular in France. Both property types offer tranquillity and privacy, away from fast-paced city centres and over-crowded resorts. The additional space that these larger property types offer also means that home offices can be created for those wanting to capitalise on the opportunity to work from home abroad.
Many of our clients have already rebooked trips overseas to view properties in their most desired locations as they hope to capitalise on the market before the UK leaves the EU at the end of the year. However, we don’t anticipate Brexit having a huge impact on those looking to permanently relocate in Europe. Currently, third-party nationals can secure residency permits if their income equals or exceeds the local living wage, something we anticipate Brits will be able to benefit from too.
For those not ready to get back in the air just yet, or those buying in areas that remain effected by travel restrictions, agents across the world are offering virtual viewings to potential buyers, allowing them to explore multiple properties abroad from the comfort and safety of their own homes. UK-based events, like The Luxury Property Show, also allow buyers to view an eclectic mix of properties around the globe and gain valuable advice, all in one place.
For more information on Jana Korpova-Harris and step-by-step resources on how to buy your dream property abroad, please visit www.propertyguides.com.
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