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Buying foreign property remains a popular goal

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Buying foreign property remains a popular goal

Consumers from the UK have long been interested in purchasing property in foreign countries, with places such as France and Spain proving especially popular over the years.

But while many have looked to emerging markets for opportunities to get quick returns on their investment, destinations with strong lifestyle attractions seem likely to retain their appeal among Britons.

Indeed, Knight Frank has just predicted that people in the UK will keep snapping up homes in other countries for the foreseeable future. Places that can offer guaranteed sunshine were tipped to remain especially popular, underlining the continuing importance of lifestyle buyers to the overseas property market.

James Price, head of international residential development at the group, said this is likely to remain the case even though the economy in Britain is still experiencing difficulties.

"Climate and investment are the biggest drivers – the recession here is not really a factor," he observed.

In fact, Mr Price noted that in many cases, overseas property buyers often end up purchasing in a "less, not more stable environment". This, he said, means pull factors such as a foreign culture and sunnier weather are proving decisive in people's buying decisions, instead of "any perceived push" from the UK.

"Brits will continue to buy second homes in the sun," Mr Price added.

"It has become a reality for so many rather than the dream it once was for all but a few".

According to recent figures from HiFX, France is currently the most popular destination among Britons who plan to purchase a foreign property.

The country was the first choice of 35 per cent of people in the UK during March, while 16 per cent looked towards Spain.

Non-European countries also attracted lots of interest last month, with the US and Australia proving appealing to many, along with New Zealand. Indeed, these nations ranked ahead of some established European markets such as Germany and Italy.

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