Britons less cautious about buying overseas property

Published:  16 Jul at 6 PM
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Spurred on by 70 per cent falls in Spanish property prices, UK citizens are now active again in the overseas property market, although caution is the watchword.

Banks are attempting to unload repossessed holiday villas and retirement homes, with Britons even being offered Spanish mortgages to help snap up the bargains. Bargain-hunting isn’t just taking place in Spain, with the recent financial crash in Cyprus producing tempting offers as residents flee the possibility of another savings grab.

The slow but steady growth of consumer confidence in the UK is having a positive effect on overseas property markets in countries most affected by the ongoing eurozone crisis. According to the Overseas Guides Company, consumer appetite for their overseas buying guides has increased by 50 per cent on 2012’s figures, with Spain a popular choice.

Guides to buying homes in the Republic of Ireland and Cyprus are also flying off the shelves, and properties in Greece and Portugal are attracting attention. International arms of well-known online property companies such as Rightmove Overseas report strong interest in Spain, the USA, Portugal, Greece and Ireland, all countries whose property markets have seen drastic falls since 2008.

In the USA, Spain and Ireland, residential property was seen to be overvalued prior to the financial crash, which prompted spiralling downward adjustments. At the pinnacle of the overseas residential property market, wealthy buyers are looking for trophy homes and long-term investments, with many attracted by the new investor resident visas offered by offshore tax havens and guaranteeing citizenship.
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