Turbulent property markets, high interest rates and a wealth of affordable homes overseas are forcing Brits abroad to more unusual destinations, according to new research by Overseas Property Professional magazine.
The study revealed that demand for overseas homes is increasingly being driven by buyers at the younger end of the age spectrum looking for a combination of investment and personal use. However, more than 70 per cent of property owners claimed that their purchase was driven by a desire to improve their lifestyle.
British and Irish citizens now own 3.81 million foreign properties and interest in the overseas property sector has been given an estimated value of £44.4 billion - a figure that is set to double as the sector rockets by at least 13 per cent between now and 2012.
While the most popular property hotspots have traditionally been countries such as Spain, France and the USA, buyers are now heading further afield to countries like Brazil, Egypt and Croatia.
However, two of the latest additions set to knock France and Spain off the top spot are Morocco and Las Vegas both of which are being touted as pertinent investment opportunities for the affluent buy-to-let market as well as those seeking second homes in a more exotic location.
Morocco has seen a boost to its popularity in recent years thanks to improved transport links. Now the addition of a new ski resort in the Atlas Mountains only an hour away from Marrakech is attracting a number of large property developers keen to snap up space in the hope of targeting the affluent western property seeker.
With government plans to see the country become a thriving tourist destination by 2010, investors are falling over themselves to attract interest from overseas. So far, Richard Branson and Mick Jagger have fallen for the charms of the North African country.
Another diamond in the rough is the US city of Las Vegas in the state of Nevada which has also undergone something of an image overhaul in recent years. A number of major development projects have sprung up and the Sullivan Apartments complex is one such example.
The 1,300 properties which are a mixture of lofts, townhouses and conventional apartments have been attracting buy-to-let investors from the UK looking for long term investments of between five to ten years.
Now the city is being tipped for long term growth due to its commercial strength coupled with convenient airport access. And with Jimmy Choo and Burberry the market is set to soar within the next few months.
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