UK interest in overseas property reaches record high as restrictions ease

6 July 2020 | Investment

Demand from UK property investors looking to purchase homes abroad has reached record-breaking levels in recent days, according to Rightmove Overseas.

Following the government’s announcement that travel to and from certain destinations will be allowed without the need to quarantine, searches on Rightmove Overseas hit an all-time high on Sunday June 28.

There were over one million searches on June 28, the first time the overseas property website has surpassed this milestone. Compared to the same Sunday in 2019, enquiries were up by almost 75%.

Searches from UK buyers looking at homes abroad reached their highest point for the year in June and were up 28% on the same month last year. Meanwhile, the number of new users on Rightmove Overseas last month was 41% higher when compared to June 2019.

Demand for French properties soared 32% year-on-year, while prospective investors looking for home in Spain (25%), Portugal (24%) and Italy (17%) also increased during the same period. Greece was the fifth most searched-for destination.

European property agents have been inundated with phone calls and emails, with more enquiries sent for overseas properties on June 28 than any day since the start of 2019.

“We’ve seen a gradual resurgence of interest from home-hunters looking for properties abroad since April, but after the government confirmed there will be easing of travel restrictions to certain countries we saw demand for overseas homes rise even further to record-breaking levels,” explains Rachel Beaton, insights expert at Rightmove Overseas.

“Activity is always an inverse response to the British weather – so traffic dips when we have good weather, and then bounces back when the rain comes – and this was exactly what happened in the final weekend of June.”

Gavin Vercoe, chief operating officer at Chestertons International, says his firm observed a surge in enquiries over the last few days of June.

“There was a 340% increase in enquiries for European properties across the Chestertons network, compared to European enquiries received over the weekend two weeks prior, on 13th and 14th June,” he says.

Kate Everett-Allen, partner, international residential research at Knight Frank, adds: “When the French property market reopened for business, our network reported their busiest weeks for more than a decade.”

“Our British clients are now making plans to view their shortlist of properties following the announcement on relaxing of travel restrictions.”

This post has originally been featured in Property Investor Today.