Over 10 Million British searches for overseas homes in H1 2008

Posted on 14 February 2011

Date: 29/07/2008
Over 10 Million British searches for overseas homes in H1 2008

Overseas property portal has revealed that in the first half of 2008, it recorded some 10,200,000 searches for overseas property from potential buyers in the UK – up 26% y-o-y.

Among the 10 most popular destinations on the portal, the largest increase in searches was seen in the USA, where enquiries were up 50% and averaged 190,000 per month. Only Bulgaria saw a tumble compared with 2007 figures, down 13% y-o-y.

The portal believes that Bulgaria’s downturn has had an adverse effect on several other Eastern European countries, as statistics show y-o-y falls in searches in:

Country decrease y-o-y

Romania -29%

Slovakia -26%

Czech Republic -10%

Poland -7%

While searches are up in the majority of countries covered by Rightmove Overseas, the number of physical enquiries about properties on the site has remained flat compared with the first half of 2007 at 6.5 %.

Justin Figgins, director of Rightmove Overseas, told OPP that although enquiries are strong, certain factors are holding back the Brit investor at present.

“Search numbers have not been affected, essentially because owning a property overseas is still very aspirational, so there remains a lot of interest in seeing what’s available,” he said. “However, buyers who want to purchase abroad but are reliant on selling their UK property are having to hold out, because they not finding buyers as quickly as they might have done a year ago. Those who do not need to sell their UK property are waiting because of the exchange rate – for these people, their overseas purchase is discretionary, so there’s no great urgency to buy, so they can wait for the Pound to get back to 1.3 or 1.4 against the Euro before committing. We’re also speaking to people who have told us that while they’d love to buy a place in Spain now, they feel that prices will still fall, so they want to wait until they feel the market has reached rock bottom, then try to snap up a bargain,” he explained.

OPP (Overseas Property Professionals) 29 July 2008 (Abridged)

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