Britons lead rush for a place in the sun

4th November 2004, Comments 0 comments

4 November 2004, LONDON- The promise of sunshine, cheap food and a slower pace of life has prompted more than half a million Britons to buy a property abroad, according to a survey published on Thursday.

4 November 2004

LONDON- The promise of sunshine, cheap food and a slower pace of life has prompted more than half a million Britons to buy a property abroad, according to a survey published on Thursday.

The growth of no-frills airlines to Europe has also contributed to the decision of 550,000 Britons to invest in a second home overseas.
 
Spain is the most popular country, with 41 percent of overseas properties bought on the mainland, in the Balearics and Canary Islands, said Mintel, the market analysts which conducted the research.

France came second (32 per cent), followed by other European countries (10 per cent), America (six per cent), and the rest of the world (13 per cent).

Mintel reported that Britons bought 84,000 second homes in Spain between 2001 and 2003, with most properties having a swimming pool and easy access to golf courses and supermarkets.

Of those with homes in Spain, 65 percent said they were attracted by the climate, 45 per cent wanted to spend more time outdoors and 40 percent were lured by the cheaper cost of living.

Jack Hamilton, the managing director of Parador Properties, which commissioned the independent research, said Britons were escaping abroad in record numbers. "Owning a property abroad is no longer only for the well off. It is an achievable goal for many people.

"Between 1998 and 2003 personal disposable income has risen by just over 23 per cent.

"With house prices in Britain going through the roof, we all have more money in our pockets to spend on luxuries and investment purchases."

Charles Weston-Baker, the head of international residential property for FDP Savills, said he had received more than 20,000 inquiries this year from people wanting to buy a property abroad.

"There is generally more wealth around and people want a better quality of life, so buying a home abroad is perfect for them," he said. "You tend to get a lot more for your money abroad.

"What we are finding is that more and more Britons are renting here and owning property overseas."

Robert Chalmers, 53, and his wife, Anne, 51, took early retirement and bought a GBP 77,000 home in Spain in search of warm weather and a slower pace of life.

They left Scotland and moved into a three-bedroom terrace house in Playa Paraiso, at La Manga on the Costa Calida, only minutes from the beach in south-east Spain.

"We don't have any regrets," said Mr Chalmers, a retired police officer. "It is very relaxed and a world away from our old life. The only thing we miss are our children and grandchildren but we tend to see them quite often.

"We love the area and we love the fact that we have to go outside to get to the bedrooms - it's typical of Spanish houses.

"We wanted a traditional Spanish property and we feel we've got exactly that in this house." Mintel predicted that the UK Spanish property market - at present worth GBP 12 billion - would reach GBP 21 billion within five years.

By then, the company estimated that another 99,000 new properties would be sold to disillusioned Britons searching for a better quality of life abroad.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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