Third of Brits want to buy abroad

Amanda Jarvis

April 5, 2006

When asked where they would most like to live overseas, Britons ranked America and Australia in the top spot with 9%. Spain topped the European destinations with 6% of people wanting to move there.

Where Britons Would Most Like To Live Overseas
Rank Country Number of people (%)
1=. America 9
1=. Australia 9
3. Spain 6
4. Caribbean 5
5=. New Zealand 4
5=. Canada 4

Banco Halifax Hispania is continuing to report an increase in demand for property in Spain and will increase its number of branches from 14 to 20 by the end of 2006. The first branch expansion is planned to open in Mallorca, Banco Halifax Hispania's first branch away from Mainland Spain.

Ian Smith, head of european operations at Halifax said:
“Over recent years we have seen a huge increase in the number of UK residents wanting to buy a property in Spain. Banco Halifax Hispania aims to take the worry out of the Spanish house buying process by supporting customers at every stage in the purchase.”

Dealing with customers in English, Banco Halifax Hispania guides them through the house purchase process by providing information from the General Land Register, including the current situation with the property and its owners, as well as any pending charges. In addition, once a suitable property has been identified, Banco Halifax Hispania can arrange for external reports covering the house and its market price.

Banco Halifax Hispania has an approved panel of qualified solicitors and surveyors in the popular Costa del Sol and Costa Blanca regions. These solicitors and surveyors have local knowledge and experience of acting for British customers.

Working alongside the Banco Halifax Hispania branches in Spain is a UK based operations team. This combination provides customers with the choice of arranging their Spanish mortgage whilst still in the UK or from their local Spanish office.

Ian Smith, continued: “Our mortgage products are designed with British residents in mind. We certainly understand the type of mortgage products that British customers require, based on our vast experience in the UK and our knowledge of British attitudes and culture.

“There are certainly slight procedural differences and different jargon, such as evaluators rather than surveyors. However, as long as care is taken over the choice of bank and some initial checks carried out, such as the bank's ability to deal with British residents in English, all these differences are capable of being explained. Therefore, the whole process becomes no more complex than buying a property within the UK.”

Banco Halifax Hispania recommends that anyone considering buying a property abroad makes the following personal arrangements before they leave the UK:

– Obtain all necessary up-to-date documentation, including visas and work permits.
– Ensure that you have registered your residency status with both the Inland Revenue in the UK and the appropriate authorities in the country you are moving to.
– Check medical arrangements.
– Consult a tax specialist.
– Arrange bank accounts in the country you are moving to.
– Ensure that any regular payments in the UK are met while you are abroad and let your bank know about the move.
– Decide what you want to do with your home in the UK.
– Advise insurance companies about changes that might affect policies, including buildings and contents cover, health insurance and pensions.
– Tell everyone about your change of address.
– Check your will and make sure it takes into account rules in the country where you will be living and any inheritance tax rules that might apply.
– Make sure that you arrange furniture shipments well in advance.

Remember electrical items may not work abroad.

Sign up to our daily email