Brits warm to the idea of overseas property after cold, wet summer

10 October 2007
More people in the UK are considering buying a property abroad following disappointing weather over the summer, according to research from Yorkshire Bank.

It found that 31 of people in the UK would consider buying an overseas property as a long-term investment, while 43 per cent of people are thinking of buying a place in warmer climes either for use as a holiday home, a place to spend their retirement, or even as a cheaper way to get onto the property ladder.

The bank’s research also showed that the number of Brits who already own properties abroad has risen 45% to 800,000 in the last couple of years. Following the example of Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas, Spain continues to be the most popular destination, with 45 per cent of people surveyed citing their desire to buy a Spanish property.

Good weather attracted the highest number of people to the idea (66 per cent), while 55 per cent are after a slower pace of life.

However, various concerns related to buying property abroad have been voiced by Yorkshire Bank customers. In response to this, it has set up a new ‘Buy Abroad, Feel At Home’ scheme to ease the process of buying a property abroad.

Director of retail banking, Steve Reid, said: “Buying a house, let alone buying one in a foreign country, can be a challenging business. Despite this, Brits are still convinced that owning property in Spain is a financial decision worth pursuing.”

Concerns include being ripped off through lack of understanding about the buying process (44 per cent), negotiating sales in another language (34 per cent) and legal loopholes such as the ‘Spanish Land Grab’, where property owns end up not owning the land on which their property is built (35 per cent).

“It’s therefore important that buyers can use a trusted UK bank and deal with an English-speaking representative who will see them through the process from start to finish,” said Mr Reid.

A Place In The Sun presenter Amanda Lamb advised: “When it comes to buying property abroad, particularly when you’re hoping to rent it out, it’s vital to think about what’s going to appeal to other holidaymakers.”

Find out more about buying property abroad, Spanish property and Yorkshire Bank mortgages