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Five countries generate 91% of buying interest overseas

By contrast, those top five countries were responsible for 77% of searches in July 2008. These five countries have also seen the highest annual increase in searches, despite starting from a higher base than countries lower in the ranking.

The 14% swing indicates that international property buyers place a high value on the familiarity of destinations in Western Europe and America that have traditionally offered security and price appreciation over the longer term. On the other hand, countries such as Bulgaria that became popular with UK buyers much more recently have seen a searches increase at a slower rate post credit crunch.

Ann Wright, International Development Manager of Primelocation International, comments:

“The continuing high levels of interest in international property remain stable, despite the fact that the July holiday season would normally see people drawn away from property searches. The flipside of that is the clear trend of potential buyers favouring the more established holiday destinations.

“Some emerging countries such as Bulgaria and the UAE became popular during the boom years as a sector of the market looked to profit on property purchases. Whilst those countries are still seeing increases in searches, the downturn has served to rebalance the market in favour of more traditional holiday home buyers and holiday lets instead of investors purely interested in a quick return. The well-known attractions, accessible culture and ease of access to destinations in France, Spain and the USA in particular, make these countries increasingly firm favourites with overseas buyers.”

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