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UK bankers fuel rise in overseas property searches

The pent-up demand for second home and investment purchases is likely to spill over into increased activity and sales next year if an economic recovery causes the pound to rally.

Ann Wright, International Development Manager of Primelocation International, said: "The US saw the greatest increase in interest over the last month, possibly as a result of disgruntled City workers considering their options in the recent row over bonuses, regulation and income tax hikes for top earners. Similarly, the heightened interest in Swiss property can arguably be in part attributed to the possible migration of some major European hedge funds, as they seek lower tax environments.

"After a sustained period of rising interest in international property as a whole, I think we can be confident that foreign property purchase is now back on the agenda, in spite of certain barriers such as exchange rates and finance, which may be continuing to stall actual sales.

"The total number of searches is almost on a par with pre credit crunch levels and, as the health of the economy continues to improve and consumer confidence returns, we could see a marked increase in market activity next year and a long-term stabilisation of prices."

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