Leading property websites have seen a surge in overseas property enquiries in recent years, with European countries coming out on top as favoured investment locations.
Today, enquiries are at an all-time high, as people around the world look abroad for a new life, holiday home or investment opportunity.
Increased demand for overseas properties began as early as June 2020, when UK home-hunters made over one million searches on Rightmove Overseas (up 28% from the previous year). The most-searched countries on the website included Spain, France, Portugal, Italy, and Greece, and the surge in demand was largely fuelled by the easing of travel restrictions.
Remote working has also been a driving factor behind the increased interest in overseas properties since the beginning of the pandemic. Able to work from anywhere, a new workforce of digital nomads began to buy property in the world’s most attractive destinations—favouring countries with low cost of living, attractive house prices, safe neighbourhoods and enticing climates.
Many overseas investors are also drawn to top European destinations by their relocation programs.
Over the last ten years, around 11,000 non-EU nationals have made an investment in Portugal and subsequently acquired a residence permit under Portugal’s Golden Visa program.
Furthermore, Portugal’s D7 Visa—which has traditionally been taken up by retirees due to its passive income requirements—has seen an influx in applications from remote workers, freelancers and digital nomads employed outside of Portugal. While the country is becoming increasingly strict in granting D7 visas, this stands as a clear indication of increased interest from a younger, working generation of overseas buyers.
David Rowat, Managing Director at OliveHomes.com, said, “Historically the demand was weighted 80% holiday homes and 20% relocation. This has shifted to 50/50 and many clients are now asking for information on residency and schools. The highest growth in enquiries is for stand-alone villas which are new, modern, and family orientated. In terms of locations, we can see the Algarve remains extremely strong.”
Flash forward to April 2022, and overseas property enquiries are higher than ever. According to Rightmove, buyer enquiries for Portugal jumped 24% from April 2021. In addition to Portugal, other popular location searches included Spain, France, Italy, and Greece.
Last month, A Place in the Sun saw a 22% increase in property enquiries compared to July 2021. (This was up an immense 75% from 2021).
Portugal enquiries were up the most, climbing 39% over the 12-month period. It was followed shortly by Spain at 27%, Greece at 24%, Italy at 21% and France at 17%, with additional countries showing similar levels of growth year on year.
It seems that, despite a turbulent and challenging economic climate, an increasing number of people are continuing to turn to overseas properties for a new life, holiday home, or investment opportunity.
Contact us today for more information on overseas real estate investment.