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Buying property overseas is proving more popular this year than it was in 2013 although there is evidence of growth levelling off during the third quarter, according to new research. Spain, Portugal and France remain the most popular countries for British people to buy an overseas property, with Italy and Turkey the ones to watch, says the latest quarterly report from the Overseas Guides Company. The firm found that between January and September 2014, there was a 17% increase in enquiries compared to the same period last year, rising from 29,299 to 34,287. For the third quarter of 2014, enquiries were up by 4.1% year on year, from 10,518 to 10,957 in the third quarter of 2013. According to Angelos Koutsoudes, head of Overseas Guides Company, after a bullish first half of the year, there was a cooling off of enquiries during the third quarter compared to the previous two years, when the third quarter has always outperformed the first two quarters. The months of April to June continue to be the most popular months for would be homebuyers to view and complete on overseas properties, the firm has also found. Looking ahead, continued growth is expected in the key markets, with mortgage rates in the Eurozone remaining at historic lows and sterling likely to maintain a comparatively strong value against the euro. There is also a sentiment that the bargain prices of homes in popular parts of Spain, France and Portugal won’t last forever, with signs that hotspots are already seeing slight price rises. The recent Overseas Guides Company reader’s survey showed that Spain, France and Portugal are the most popular countries for those considering buying property abroad and with those readers who already have a second property. Spain is still by far the most popular country, generating 2,710 enquiries in the third quarter, compared to 2,494 enquiries in the third quarter of 2013. Things are really looking up for Spain, both in terms of the property market and the economy as a whole. The International Monetary Fund recently announced that the southern European countries will lead the rest of the European Union in terms of economic growth over the next year and the economy is expected to grow at 1.3% in 2014 and continue by 1.7% in 2015. France remains a firm favourite in second place with 2,575 enquiries. Not only have house prices across the country remained stable over the last year, with average prices even falling in some areas, but France is also now offering interest-only mortgages to non-French residents. Star performers in the third quarter in terms of growth were Italy up 12.7%, Greece up 52% and Turkey up 8.5% in terms of enquiries compared to the previous quarter. Continue reading →
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