Spain is favourite spot for holiday homes

By Nicky Burridge, PA

Last updated at 09:02 31 March 2006


A slice of holiday home heaven... more of us are buying abroad

Britons buying property abroad are opting to stay close to home with nearly half purchasing places in France and Spain, figures showed today.

Spain remains the most popular location for people buying abroad, accounting for 25 per cent of all the currency transactions for overseas house purchases carried out by HIFX during February, followed by France at 18 per cent.

But Australia was the third most popular destination for people looking to buy abroad, followed by Bulgaria and New Zealand.

The United States and Portugal both accounted for 4 per cent of currency transactions carried out by the group, with Italy accounting for just under 2 per cent.

But other more exotic destinations to make it on to the list included the Cape Verde Islands at 3 per cent, and Morocco and Turkey both at 1 per cent.

The group added that it had also seen a strong increase in interest for property in Canada, particularly due to the growth in people buying ski chalets.

HIFX, which provides currency for around 12 per cent of Britons buying homes abroad, said the majority of people buying overseas were looking for holiday homes or retirement homes.

It said they tended to opt for France, Spain and other locations close to the UK so that they could take regular holidays in their new home. But it said there was also a group of people who were more daring and wanted to go further afield for their holiday home, and would often consider emigrating there at some point. These people tended to favour destinations such as Australia, New Zealand and Canada.

Finally, there were people whose purchases were driven by the returns they could make, with these investors looking to up and coming holiday destinations, such as Bulgaria and Dubai. Mark Bodega, marketing director for HIFX, said: 'People buy property abroad for many different reasons but they tend to fall into three main categories.

'For some people it's an emotional decision based on a lifelong dream, for others it's an exciting step into the unknown and for some it's simply a financial investment.'

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