News: 68% of Brits want to buy a property abroad

Fed up of the UK climate and lifestyle 68% of Brits would like to buy property abroad, according to new independent research from HIFX, the currency experts.  The study found that Britons rate overseas weather and lifestyles as more important than effective investment or making a profit when they pour their cash into properties abroad.

HIFX’s research found that almost two thirds of Brits (62%) see the main benefit of buying a property abroad as the chance to escape the cold and rainy UK weather. Half (50%) think it would be good to escape their stressful UK lifestyle of long working hours and high taxes and over a quarter (27%) would like to eventually emigrate and live abroad.

According to 2005 Office of National Statistics government figures the number of Britons owning second homes abroad now stands at 257,000.  However, HIFX’s research shows that a further 29 million Brits would like to buy a property abroad and 11 million could actually own one within the next five years.

More concerned with lifestyle than investment

Surprisingly, desires to make a good investment or long term profit are low down on the list of priorities.  People are three times more concerned about escaping the UK weather than making long term profit.  However, worryingly one in four property buyers are also either unaware or unconcerned about fluctuating exchange rates and how this could increase the final cost of their property.

Spain remains our top get away destination with 46% of prospective buyers aiming to buy there. However, far flung destinations such as Australia, Canada and New Zealand are also increasing in popularity. Our favoured type of property to buy would be a villa by the sea (49%), followed by a house in the countryside (19%); just 5% of buyers would consider an apartment in a city, including people wishing to emigrate suggesting that most Brits want their new home to be a complete escape from busy UK life.

Mark Bodega, marketing director of HIFX comments: “There has been a shift from a second home being regarded as a luxury to it being something attainable by most people.  In 1995, the average price paid for a second home overseas was 65% of the average UK property price.  By 2005 it had fallen to 37% reflecting in part steeper house price inflation in the UK, but also the fact that second homes had become more of a mass market aspiration”.

Bodega continues: “The impact of growing prosperity, cheaper flights and the low cost of borrowing – even lower in the eurozone than in the UK – mean the trend for buying property abroad is expected to accelerate”. 

HIFX produce monthly Global Hot Spots reports detailing the new up and coming locations for Brits to buy property abroad. This month’s report showed that the traditional locations such as Spain and France are facing tougher competition from new Hot Spots such as Bulgaria and Cape Verde.

Research was conducted by YouGov on behalf of HIFX through an online survey of 2458 adults over the age of 18 between 28th April and 2nd May 2006.

For further information on HIFX and its products and services please visit www.hifx.co.uk.

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