Summer 2013 could go down as the turning point for struggling overseas property markets, after statistics from the Overseas Guides Company showed a record number of enquiries during July, August and September and highlighted soaring interest in homes in classic European destinations.
Demand for information about foreign property rose 30 per cent year-on-year during the third quarter (Q3) of 2013 and 37.8 per cent during the first three quarters of the year, according to the latest Overseas Guides Company Quarterly Index, which measures interest in destinations popular with second homeowners and expats.
The Overseas Guides Company, a free resource for overseas property-buyers, attracted 10,518 direct requests for information, in the form of downloads of its free Buying Guides, during Q3 2013, compared with 8,089 in Q3 2012. Also higher than the 9,906 downloads recorded in the previous quarter, Q3 2013 represents the highest number of downloads ever attained in a quarter by the Overseas Guides Company.
"Growth has clearly been driven by classic European hot spots," said Richard Way, Editor at the Overseas Guides Company. "France, Spain, Italy and Portugal all recorded a 50 per cent year-on-year hike in interest for the year to the end of September, and even Greece's popularity rose 23 per cent.
"Reasons for this surge are varied. At home in the UK, there is growing confidence in the economy, as well as consistent upward pressure on house prices. Meanwhile, most of the Eurozone is still very much a buyer's market, with property prices either at rock bottom or close to it, and mortgage rates at historic lows. The exchange rate edging back in favour of Sterling as the year progresses has also brought more buyers out of the woodwork. Add to this the fact that banks, primarily in Spain and Portugal, have little choice but to offer some very attractive deals on repossessed homes, and things are shaping up nicely for 2014."
The high number of enquiries during Q3 means that today the Overseas Guides Company has a quality database of more than 70,000 people interested in buying overseas property and/or moving abroad.
See below for an overview of OGC enquiries for Q1, Q2 and Q3 during 2012 and 2013, and a year-on-year comparison.