Overseas property market boosted by record number of emigrating Brits, says Obelisk

06 September 2007
A record number of people are leaving Britain which is leading to a massive boost in the overseas property market, according to research from global real estate investment company Obelisk International.

In light of figures from the Office of National Statistics which reports that residents are leaving British shores at a phenomenal rate, Obelisk International has noticed a huge knock on effect in the overseas market.

British residents move abroad for a better way of life, an exodus that will only be fuelled by the meagre summer experienced in the UK this year, so numbers for next year are expected to be even higher.

In 2005-2006, 385,000 people left Britain – 250,000 of which were British citizens, the rest were immigrants returning to their home country – which is more than any other year since the counting system was introduced in 1991.

Richard Gregan, managing director of Emigration Overseas, is unsurprised by the figures and is also of the opinion that next year will see even higher levels of immigration. He thinks the weather has much to do with people leaving Britain for sunnier climes: “The weather is always among the top reasons for leaving and this summer we have had more calls than the previous five. It's not the only reason, but it's the straw that broke the camel's back.”

Tim VanDijk, Project Manager at Obelisk International comments: “The overseas property market offers value for money with significantly lower prices than the UK. As such Obelisk International has had a remarkable number of property investment from the growing number of Buying Abroad Renting in Britain or 'BARBies' and although Spain is still a firm favourite, property investors are now branching out into more diverse areas that provides higher resale returns and increasing rental yields.”

There is an estimated 275,000 registered and 500,000 unregistered Britons currently living in Spain, with about half of these owning property and the remaining half renting property. A study by NS&I found that 84% of 18-24 year olds see buying abroad as a more viable option than buying at home where property prices are averaging more than £200,000. Of first-time buyers renting in the Capitol, 36% said they would consider buying abroad and 43% said Spain offered the most attractive and accessible location.

Eight million Brits now own property overseas, whether for investment purposes, retirement or relocation.

Learn more about buying property abroad.