Foreign home enquiries up 62pc

Robyn Hall

September 17, 2013

Despite eurozone uncertainty France accounted for 43% of enquiries and Spain attracted 36%, Turkey took third place with 10% of the enquiries.

Clare Nessling, director at Conti, said: “Traditionally our enquiry levels tend to rise around now as people return home from trips abroad with dreams of owning their own place in the sun.

“But the uplift is even higher this year perhaps as a result of the UK’s hottest, driest and sunniest summer since 2006 inspiring even more people to invest in an overseas bolthole which they can escape to during the cold winter months.”

Despite France holding the top spot for the second consecutive year the gap between France and its neighbour Spain is narrowing.

France is down by 2% since this time last year while Spain is 3%. Spain accounted for more enquiries than France during the months of May, June and July.

And there has been a resurgence in interest about Turkey which has moved back up into third position accounting for 10% of enquiries up from 6% last year.

Nessling added: “Prospective buyers are still playing it safe when it comes to location with France and Spain still out on their own in terms of popularity. And there may actually never be a better time to buy – bargain property prices, historically low mortgage rates, good rental yields and a stronger pound are all making it more affordable for British buyers right now.”


When it comes to a sound overseas property investment it could be said that France provides all the fundamentals. Borrowing costs have tumbled over recent months and at the moment mortgage rates are at their lowest in more than 60 years.

Affordability has also been boosted by a slower property market which has been pushing prices down. Easy access from the UK, better weather, and good rental yields all make France a popular destination. France also represents relative stability amid the global downturn. Mortgage rates currently start from just 2.1% and generally borrowers can raise up to 80% loan to value.


Buyers in Spain are in a strong position due to the number of homes available and the possibility of negotiating prices down with some very motivated vendors.

UBS are predicting that prices still have another 8% to go before bottoming out so Conti are encouraging buyers to take the opportunity to snap up bargains while they can.

Mortgage availability is not as favourable as availability in France as borrowers are typically required to put down a deposit of 35% of the property value. Rates currently start from 3.23%.


Turkey offers the benefits of its Mediterranean location without the effects of the eurozone crisis which has pushed some prospective investors to locations outside the traditional European property hot spots. Tourism has risen dramatically over the last few years which will ensure that demand for quality rental properties in the popular tourist areas will continue to outstrip supply making rental yields lucrative.

It has a growing popularity as a retirement location with many retirees being lured by the warmer climate, lower costs of living and value for money.

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