Skip to content

France tops the overseas property search league table as Spain declines

In the last month there have been more searched for property in France than ever before, according the latest monthly report from Rightmove Overseas.

It also shows that overall 56.4% of locations saw an increase in searches, 43.4% of locations saw a decrease in searches and 0.04% saw no changes.

Italy, Germany, Poland, Bulgaria and Switzerland are all rise in popularity as winter approaches and South Africa has entered the top 20 for the first time.

Summer hotspots like Spain, Portugal, Cyprus, Greece, Turkey and Malta all saw a fall in searches as attention turned to winter destinations and six of the top 10 falling regions were in Spain.

‘The big news this month is that there are more searches for French property on Rightmove than ever before. The news this year that the French government chose not to tax owners of holiday homes an extra 20% seems to have finally percolated through to buyers,’ said Shameem Golamy, head of Rightmove Overseas.

‘This, coupled with the start of the winter sports season appears to have driven UK buyers to browse properties in France. All but three of the French regions have increased in search activity compared with only two Spanish regions which showed an increase in activity in November,’ he explained.

The report also shows that nine out of the top 10 most popular regions month on month are in Germany and Poland, the most popular being Brandenburg with a 82% rise. Rightmove Overseas said this suggests that, as in previous months, the economic stability of the Germany, together with the investment opportunities available in Poland are really attracting UK buyers.

Currency expert Charles Purdy, managing director at Smart Currency Exchange, said they have also seen an increase in buyers seeking money transfers to buy in France.

‘Our experience is very similar with France continuing to be ever popular. Buyers tend to be in a position to be act quickly and therefore get better value for money. Also we have seen some weakness in the euro which has reduced the sterling cost of their new property,’ he said.

‘The recent upheaval with David Cameron exercising his veto has seen the euro weaken to over €1.18/£1, a level last seen in the first few months of 2011. Market forecasters are predicting further weakness for the euro which should encourage increased interest in buying in France and elsewhere in the Eurozone,’ he added.