Brits save £4b a year by staying in friends’ property abroad, reports Barclays

14 September 2007
The rising number of Britons that are buying property abroad means that not only do the owners get a cheap holiday, but their friends are also saving £4 billion a year by utilising the investment.

According to a new study by Barclays Buying Abroad, 41 per cent of Brits take regular jaunts to the second homes of friends, family or acquaintances, and, shamefully, more than one in ten of the Brits that make use of the free accommodation only maintain the friendship to gain access to the property.

The favour is not always returned with the generosity with which it was given either, with 53 per cent repaying owners with only a ‘thank you’ card, bottle of wine or some other small token of their gratitude, and just seven per cent use the value of what they have saved on the holiday on buying gifts for their hosts. 43 per cent return the favour by extending an invitation of a visit at their own home.

Those that take up offers of free accommodation waste no time making themselves at home, with 44 per cent eating some or all of the food they find in the property, and 36 per cent drinking alcohol left behind by the owners. As many as 27 per cent don’t even bother to wash the sheets when they leave.

Richard Exton, Head of Barclays Buying Abroad says, “Buying abroad either as a permanent home or a holiday destination is now easier than ever before. The market is flourishing and many more Brits are taking the plunge and purchasing – either as a buy-to-let, a permanent home or just somewhere they can holiday with friends and family.

“We are seeing record numbers of enquiries and purchases in Spain, France, Italy and Portugal, as Brits are realising the savings that can be made on holidays by purchasing property abroad. It’s great to see that the pleasure of owning a house or a flat abroad is being enjoyed by not only the owners but their friends and families too.”

Learn more about buying properties abroad