Are British buyers looking further afield for properties?

Monday, 19 August 2013 02:06

Overseas property buyers are becoming more adventurous

Overseas property buyers are becoming more adventurous

The latest figures by rightmove highlights that there was a 52.72 per cent rise in search activity of people hunting for properties overseas, and there was a particular focus on long-haul destinations. Australia moved up two places to now become the fourth most searched destination, while there were also notable rises for cities in Thailand and India. In conjunction with this, search activity for Italy and Portugal fell, suggesting that investors are shifting their gaze away from Europe.

Shameem Golamy, head of Rightmove Overseas said: “Whilst traditionally, people don’t tend to emigrate over the summer months, property prices further afield are attracting the buyers looking for a bargain.”

There are many reasons why buyers would be looking to buy property abroad, such as relocating due to work or other commitments. For more short-term purposes, many will look for property abroad to use it as a holiday home and then rent it out to tenants as an extra revenue source.

Whatever the reason is behind such an investment, most of these purchases have to be carried out int he local currency of the country the property is located in. With the weak Euro and the recent eurozone crisis, it is therefore hardly a surprise that investors are looking further afield.

Charles Purdy, managing director of Smart Currency Exchange, added: “After a terrible first quarter sterling has benefitted from the release of better than expected UK economic data and from problems elsewhere especially in the eurozone. Not a great surprise that searches for Cyprus have fallen given the extent of the problems they have but we still have clients who are completing on their properties. The key seems to be to keep your surplus cash in the UK until matters become more certain, and I am sure there will be some great bargains to be had in the coming months.”

Five main tips to consider when buying property abroad, especially if it’s geographically further away, include:

Choose the estate agent carefully by looking at their history and asking about all the fees beforehand. The internet is a valuable tool but nothing beats going out there yourself and checking out the agency and the property yourself.

Think carefully if this is the right investment for you. The further away the property is, the more stress you will be under to maintain it.

Naturally, grandiose claims of growth and yields will be made on a viewing, so be sure not to get sucked into this. Consider all costs and note that you will be liable for taxes both abroad and in the UK.

Seek professional advice from a solicitor about important issues such as negotiating contracts, secure deposits, making international regular payments and what will happen to the property if you unexpectedly pass away.

Most importantly, do as much research as you can on tax, pensions, healthcare, retirement and insurance. All of these are particularly crucial if you are planning to emigrate in the future.

As more and more buyers look away from Europe, and reports highlighting positive growth and high yields, this may be the perfect time to buy if you have always wanted to dip your toe into the investment pool.


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