primelocation

International Index

Press Release   •   Nov 18, 2011 10:00 GMT

18th November 2011

Brits return to searching for an overseas home

• Number of people searching for overseas property up 14% in third quarter of year

• USA, Switzerland and Germany attracting most interest within top ten destinations

17th November 2011: An increasing number of people are looking to buy property overseas despite the UK’s poor economic performance, according to the latest International Search Index from PrimeLocation.com.

The quarterly index reveals that searches for overseas property increased by 14% in the third quarter of 2011, rising by 17% for the top ten most popular destinations.

At the top of the table, the United States saw the greatest rise in searches, with 31% more searches than in the second quarter, and it remains the third most popular destination for property hunters. Switzerland and Germany were the other big winners within the top ten, with the number of searches increasing by 30% and 28% respectively.

Nigel Lewis, property analyst at PrimeLocation.com, says: “The credit crunch and the resulting UK recession knocked most of the stuffing out of the overseas property market for holiday and second homes and for some time now it’s been wealthy retirees who have kept places such as Spain and Portugal ticking over.

“But traffic is starting to lift off again in the better known destinations driven by investors looking for healthy returns in countries such as Germany; high net worth individuals looking to move to Switzerland and avoid the UK’s high income tax; and wealthy retirees deciding it’s time to head to Europe and beyond for a better quality of life despite the recession.

“Also, our research shows the US has witnessed the highest growth in property searches within the Top Ten, mainly because prices are now so extraordinarily low that it’s a very tempting place to buy a discounted holiday or second home.”

Only two countries within the top ten saw a decline. Searches for Cyprus property fell by one per cent, and the United Arab Emirates by five per cent, which dropped one place as a result within the Top Ten.

For a full list of the most popular countries PrimeLocation.com users searched for over the past quarter, please go to: www.primelocation.com/international-property/news/most-popular-overseas-destinations/

Table comparing interest in overseas property destinations


Q3 ranking Q2 ranking    Country        Increase in searches Q2 to Q3
   1                   1              France                    16%
   2                   2               Spain                     19%
   3                   3          United States               31%
   4                  4                Italy                       18%
   5                  5              Portugal                   23%
   6                  6               Cyprus                    -1%
   7                  8           Switzerland                 30%
   8                 7        United Arab Emirates       -5%
   9                10           South Africa                 20%
  10               12             Germany                   28%

Source: PrimeLocation.com data

About PrimeLocation.com
PrimeLocation.com is the UK's principal portal for leading estate agency firms, representing 12,600 branches including major estate agents such as Savills, Knight Frank and Hamptons International. It lists just under a million properties to rent or buy in the UK and overseas and has over 5.2m visits a month*. PrimeLocation.com is part of the Digital Property Group, a division of A&N Media.

*Source: Cognesia, September 2011.

About PrimeLocation.com
PrimeLocation.com is the UK's principal portal for leading estate agency firms, representing 12,600 branches including major estate agents such as Savills, Knight Frank and Hamptons International. It lists just under a million properties to rent or buy in the UK and overseas and has over 5.2m visits a month*. PrimeLocation.com is part of the Digital Property Group, a division of A&N Media.