23 November 2006

Brits overseas home ownership nearly doubles

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Around 800,000 British households now have a second home abroad – with long haul destinations Australia, New Zealand and the United States amongst the most popular.

According to research analysts Mintel’s Market for Homes and Properties Abroad report, the figure represents a 45% rise in foreign property ownership and the forecast is for further growth with a further 3% of British households planning to buy a second property abroad.

A further 5% are planning to leave Britain altogether and emigrate, although it did not specify which country was the preferred destination of these would be migrants.

For those Brits looking to buy property abroad or who have already done so, Spain remains the number one destination at 43%. France is the next most popular location, with 26 per cent ranking it as their top place for an overseas property.

Rated almost equally were Australia (22 per cent) and Italy (21 per cent), with the US lagging slightly behind (17 per cent). New Zealand is seventh in the list.

The report also highlighted the most important factors behind choosing a second home abroad as being the weather, affordable transport links, good beaches and the ‘Englishness’ of the location.

Paul Davies, a senior financial analyst with Mintel said: "The property boom has increased levels of housing equity while the low interest rate environment has allowed other prospective property purchasers to take advantage of relatively cheap borrowing. Interest in overseas property has also been stimulated by the amount of coverage the issue has received across the media, together with the boom in low cost airlines.

"Television programmes like Channel 4's A Place In The Sun encourage home owners to look for their dream property abroad." The Visa Bureau assists UK and Irish nationals with the emigration process to Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United States.

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