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Surge in mortgage applications for holiday homes

Conti puts the surge down to falling property prices in Europe and low interest rates. Operations director Clare Nessling said: "The staycation trend may have reduced the number of Britons holidaying abroad this summer, but many of those who did venture overseas have returned home with plans to buy their very own place in the sun."

Easy access to popular locations may also be a contributing factor, Nessling added. Good rental opportunities for Spain villas and gites in France are also likely to have influenced potential investors.

France (31 per cent), Spain (22 per cent) and Turkey (13 per cent) were the top three locations for mortgage enquiries. This leads Conti to comment that buyers are sticking to the destinations they know and trust, rather than investing in "more adventurous", emerging markets.

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