France and Spain top with overseas property buyers

France and Spain top with overseas property buyers

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France and Spain remain the most popular choice for overseas property buyers, according to a new survey.

This is because the majority of British overseas property buyers are ‘traditionalists’ who see their overseas purchase either as a holiday home or somewhere to retire to.

But a growing number of more adventurous Brits and hot spot investors are driving up the popularity of more far-flung destinations like Canada, Bulgaria and New Zealand.

Foreign currency specialist HIFX reports that France and Spain made up almost half (43 per cent) of all its currency transactions for buying property abroad in March.

Australia was in third place with 11 per cent of transactions, followed by Bulgaria (ten per cent), USA (four per cent), Canada (two per cent) and South Africa (one per cent).

The majority of Brits are looking for an overseas property that can be used for regular holidays, is easily rentable, with cheap flights, and offers a quick escape to the sun.

Those considering retiring abroad are also looking for a well established expat community to help them feel at home.

But HIFX has identified a more adventurous group of Brits the adventurers who are buying overseas property in countries such as Australia, New Zealand and Canada.

This group does not mind travelling long distances in search of a more exotic location than the traditionalists, and often consider emigrating to their holiday home at some point.

For this reason they do not want the hassle of a language barrier and are seeking somewhere that is culturally similar to that of the UK.

A further group of Brits hot spot investors  are buying overseas property primarily for financial gain.

They are looking to places like Bulgaria and Dubai, which could offer excellent investment returns because they are up-and-coming holiday destinations and have rising house prices.

HIFX marketing director Mark Bodega said: “People buy abroad for many different reasons but they tend to fall into three main categories.

“For some it’s an emotional decision based on a lifelong dream, for others it’s an exciting step into the unknown and for some it’s simply a financial investment.”