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July 28, 2017

British buyers abroad

Filed under: Blog — Instinctif Partners @ 4:22 pm

Annabel Smith, International Sales Manager at Jackson-Stops & Staff, shares her insight on British buyers’ confidence in the European housing market.

Despite the political uncertainty that has dogged the UK since we made the decision to leave the European Union, British buyers’ confidence in the European property market has remained relatively strong. High-net-worth individuals in particular, who are buying abroad simply for the lifestyle, continue to be largely unfazed by current events in both the UK and overseas, and although those buyers at the lower end of the market have found themselves holding off making a purchase in countries such as Italy and Spain, this isn’t down to a lack of confidence in the market. They are simply waiting for the value of the pound to increase against the euro once the political dust starts to settle.

Despite some buyers erring on the side of caution we have seen buyer demand increase significantly over the past year, with the number of buyers ready to purchase abroad at its highest since 2008. Interestingly, there doesn’t seem to be much demand in the way of buyers looking to let out their properties to fellow sun seekers or locals. Instead, Brits are buying with the intention of being able to relocate themselves abroad for a few months a year whenever they are in need of a more continental lifestyle.

L’Incontro, a four bedroom family home in Tuscany, Italy, available for €1.15 million through Jackson-Stops & Staff’s International division.

 

The majority of our buyers tend to be married couples in their 40s to late 60s, whose children have flown the nest. Many are about to retire and are looking for the perfect holiday home to relax in with their family during the summer. Areas such as Abruzzo in Southern Italy where, on average, four bedroom homes are selling through Jackson-Stops & Staff for €440,000, whereas in Le Marché in Northern Italy, our similar sized properties sell for an average of €565,000, are particularly appealing to this demographic. Despite our properties in Le Marché selling for around €100,000 more than those in Abruzzo, in recent months the North has proven marginally more popular – thanks to its location, equidistant from the beach and the mountains and similar style properties to those found in Tuscany.

Tuscany is currently Italy’s top hotspot. High-net-worth individuals particularly favour this region because of its grand homes, superb weather and sweeping coastlines. We are selling four bedroom homes here for an average of €1.36 million.

It is still unclear what implications Brexit negotiations will have on British buyers abroad. It is possible that individual European countries could limit the chances of non-EU citizens securing a mortgage or restrict the level of healthcare a buyer retiring to mainland Europe receives. What is clear however is that Britons will continue to aspire to, and be able to, purchase second-homes in locations such as Italy or Spain long after we have left the EU, just as non-EU citizens do today.