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August 2017

Brexit doesn’t dampen British appetite for overseas property

Published: Wednesday 23 August 2017

By Rachael Kinsella 

There’s still considerable interest from British buyers in purchasing property abroad, according to a number of recent studies.

In a recent Halo Financial survey, 62% said “no” or “not really” when asked if Brexit influenced their overseas property purchase. “While a weak Pound has made buying property in Europe and the US more expensive,” comments Mimzee Brewer, overseas property specialist at Halo Financial, “those who are seriously planning a holiday home purchase or move abroad have not been put off.”

Indeed, new data released by a UK property website reveals that visits to its overseas property section have surged by 17 percent over the last five weeks. According to Zoopla, the increase has been driven by British property buyers looking for properties in Europe, with Spain the most searched for location, followed by Portugal and France. The most popular search terms for properties abroad included 'pool', 'beach' and 'sea view'.

In the past five weeks, property searches in the Spanish resort of the Costa del Sol have increased by 44 percent, followed by Ibiza at 41 percent and Menorca at 19 percent.

In Portugal, searches for properties in the Algarve saw a surge of 16 percent. “Portugal has been increasing in popularity with British buyers over the past two to three years, despite ongoing Brexit concerns, as the Portuguese property market picks up and more new homes are being built,” says Brewer. “British buyers made up nearly one third of Portuguese property purchases in 2016.”

 “Spain remains ever popular with property buyers from across Europe, whether for a holiday home, retirement, or a permanent move abroad,” she continues. “In the first half of 2017, there has been a remarkable increase in overseas buyers in Spain, alongside a record-breaking boom in tourism in the country.”

Brexit or not, Spain remains the favourite destination for British retirees abroad, with one in ten Brits considering an overseas retirement choosing a location in Europe, according to a recent survey by Retirement Advantage, followed by France, Portugal and Italy. 

“We have also seen an impressive surge of property buyers in Cyprus, as the expat market there enjoys a new lease of life,” continues Brewer. “Recent figures from the Cyprus Department of Lands and Surveys showed a 31 percent rise in Cyprus properties sold to overseas buyers, making up 34 percent of properties sold overall.”

“It's no surprise that with the unseasonably autumnal weather we have recently been experiencing, people are looking for a bit of escapism in the form of the perfect holiday home,” said Zoopla spokesperson, Lawrence Hall.

European destinations are not the only locations popular with British overseas property searchers. In the Zoopla survey, the USA came in fifth, Jamaica eighth and Canada ninth, all appearing in the list of the top ten most searched for destinations this summer.
“We have certainly seen an increase in interest in buying property in the USA in the past year. Interest in Canada has also spiked, particularly from Brits looking to emigrate,” adds Amber Discombe, Halo Financial’s emigration specialist.
Ten most searched for destinations [*Source: Zoopla, August 2017]
  1. Spain
  2. Portugal
  3. France
  4. Cyprus
  5. USA
  6. Italy
  7. Ireland
  8. Jamaica
  9. Canada
  10. Greece
If you own a property in the EU or are considering buying one, Halo Financial has produced a guide to buying property overseas and individual country guides.

You can also find Brexit guidance from Peter Robinson of the Association of International Property Professionals (AIPP) and more statistics from the Halo Financial Brexit survey in the Halo publication, Vision: Brexit.

About Halo Financial

Halo Financial is a leading UK foreign exchange brokerage, offering a comprehensive range of services to individuals and businesses since its inception in 2005. The business prides itself on offering a flexible and personalised approach for each of its clients, simplifying the seemingly complex foreign exchange market to maximise savings in currency transactions, protect against currency risk and make money go further.
Staffed by qualified technical analysts, the company is authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority and HM Revenue and Customs.

“Excellent”, “Reliable”, “Professional”, “Knowledgeable”, and “Helpful”– just some of the great feedback received as a Gold Trusted Service Provider for Feefo.com. The team at Halo are proud that customers rate their services so highly and are happy to recommend to others. The company is always striving to provide the best possible service and to innovate services and products in line with customers’ ever-evolving needs.

Halo Financial won Best Customer Focus category in the 2016 Best Business Awards; received OPP Gold for Best Supporting Service; the Gold Award for Financial Support and Innovation from Relocate Magazine, Commendations in the 2016 and 2017 Moneyfacts Awards and has 5 out 5 Star Customer Gold Merchant Status via independent review website, Feefo.com, winning their Gold Trusted Service award.

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