Good time to buy in EU

Nia Williams

December 3, 2009

Due to be published later this month, the study of 6,011 European adults authored by leading financial strategist David Bowers for Janus Capital suggests that over half of European consumers believe now is a good time to buy property, peaking at 60% of Spaniards. When asked what they would do with a surprise windfall, over a quarter of respondents (28%) said they would invest in property, second only to clearing their debts.

However, despite the belief that now may be a good time to get on the property ladder or increase levels of property ownership, 82% of respondents felt it was either hard or very hard to secure a loan at this time. A quarter (24%) also admitted they are finding it difficult to meet the interest repayments on their loans and mortgages, let alone repaying the capital.

Despite being a nation that traditionally shuns home ownership, 52% of Germans would invest in property (in addition to their main home). This is far higher than property investments appetite across the board, with only 10% of Europeans having investments in property other than their own house, compared to 21% in stocks and shares and 54% who have savings and deposit accounts.

Commenting on the findings David Bowers, joint managing director, Absolute Strategy Research, said: “Property has traditionally been seen as long term investment, although the various property bubbles, notably in the UK, have led speculators to try and play the market. Although not a clear indication that people are going to flock back to the property market, these findings do indicate that home ownership is still valued, if a loan can be found to pay for it, of course.”

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