3 million Brits looking to buy property abroad

24 September 2008 / by Rachael Stiles
As buying a property in the UK becomes increasingly difficult in the present market conditions, an increasing number of Brits are looking at buying property abroad.

As many as three million Britons are likely to buy a property abroad in the next two years, according to research from Cater Allen Private Bank, as they struggle to get on the property ladder at home.

There are already about 2.3 million Brits who own a property in a foreign country, with as many as 500,000 of these being used solely as an investment. On average, those Britons who do visit their holiday homes do so about two or three times a year.

Regionally, Londoners are the most likely group to own a property overseas, with one in 10 owning a foreign home, but they are also the least likely to visit it.

People aged 45 or older are in the age group most likely to buy a home abroad, with 17 per cent likely to buy in the next two years, but an ambitious 10 per cent of those aged between 18 and 34 are also looking to buy an overseas property – 60 per cent of which will do so purely for investment purposes.

Almost half (42 per cent) of those intending to buy a property abroad in the next two years said that they will be doing it as an investment.

Marketing manager at Cater Allen, Sally Watts, explained that "With concerns that a deteriorating property market will not guarantee the returns that people expect from buying a property, more and more people are investigating how they can find investment returns elsewhere."

She continued by stressing the importance of those opting to get a foot on the property ladder by buying property abroad needing an appropriate bank account, one "that will not penalise them for operating their finances in two countries and should look to find an account that can operate fluidly across several currencies."

There are current accounts especially designed for people that live across different countries and need to bank in different currencies, which hold currency in Euros, Dollars, Sterling, or a combination of all three, ideal for those travelling abroad and needing to transfer funds between currencies without incurring charges.

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