2017’s top holiday home destinations

As summer hits full swing, Brits are packing their bags ready for the long Bank Holiday weekend. Holiday homes will be on the brain for many tourists, as the appeal of staying in the sunshine lingers long after their return home. Where, though, are the best places to buy a holiday home?

Tourism is a significant driver of activity among foreign buyers, as TheMoveChannel.com’s latest Top of the Props report confirms. We therefore compared data from Thomas Cook with our own figures and house price trends to rank the best opportunities for overseas house-hunters.

From Spain and Greece to Turkey and Cyprus, here are the best holiday home markets in 2017.

1. Spain

Benidorm, Spain

Share of Enquiries (H1 2017): 17.8%
Price growth (Q1 2017): 0.9% (Knight Frank)

Current Market

Spain has been the subject of much speculation in the last year, as the UK’s vote to leave the European Union has seen Spain’s biggest market face a more expensive exchange rate and political uncertainty. Nonetheless, Brits are not being deterred as much as some feared, with Thomas Cook seeing bookings “broadly in line” with last year. On TheMoveChannel.com, Spain remains the second most popular country, accounting for more than 1 in 6 of all enquiries. Figures from Spanish Notaries shows that foreign demand is at a record high, with international buyers from other countries making up for any shortfall in British interest. Indeed, with prices and rents still climbing and construction also improving, Spain remains one of the world’s most attractive real estate markets.

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2. Greece

Share of Enquiries (H1 2017): 1.84%
Price growth (Q1 2017): -0.6% (Knight Frank)

Current Market

Greece is officially on the comeback trail this year, with flight bookings up 22 per cent year-on-year. As tourists return to the country, so do investors: Greece entered TheMoveChannel.com’s top 10 destinations for the third time in 2017 in July, with enquiries for Greek real estate more than doubling in the three months to July compared to the previous three-month period.

Golden Visas have been a notable driver of foreign interest, particularly among wealthy Russian and Chinese buyers, but Athens and apartments have also been sought-after by investors seeking short-term holiday rentals to cash in on the country’s renewed tourism boom. Away from the mainland, islands such as Tinos in the Cyclades have been major drivers of investment activity on TheMoveChannel.com.

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3. Turkey

Bodrum, Turkey

Share of Enquiries (H1 2017): 1.9%
Price growth (Q1 2017): 3.4% (Knight Frank)

Current Market

Turkish has seen a significant pick-up in demand among holidaymakers, say Thomas Cook, which it attributes to both the quality and value of the destination. Russian tourists have been a particular driver of the sector’s growth, as relationships improve between the two nations. Turkey has certainly returned to favour among property investors, jumping back into the top 10 destinations in July with 1.61 per cent of enquiries. With property prices growing 3.4 per cent in Q1 2017, building on 13.3 per cent growth in the last year, the appeal of a Turkish delight shows every sign of rising once again.

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4. USA

Share of Enquiries (H1 2017): 20.9%
Price growth (Q1 2017): 1.2% (Knight Frank)

Current Market

The USA has been subject to heated political debate in the last year, following the divisive election of President Donald Trump to the White House. The American economy, though, has remained bullish, with the Federal Reserve raising interest rates multiple times, encouraging both the dollar’s growth and positive sentiment among investors and house-builders. With an undersupply across much of the country, the housing market’s recovery is cooling slightly, but price growth is expected to continue, as demand from buyers remains strong. With values in Florida and Detroit still below their market peaks, though, and with markets such as Atlanta and Niagara showing signs of popularity, the American Dream is still coming true in the right hotspots.

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5. Cyprus

Share of Enquiries (H1 2017): 3.5%
Price growth (Q1 2017): 0.1% (Knight Frank)

Current Market

Cyprus has seen flight bookings climb 14 per cent, as tourists head back to an old favourite for a taste of the sun. The island has always been a popular lifestyle destination, and now that it’s house prices are beginning to rebound, confidence is improving in its legal infrastructure, and the nation’s Golden Visa scheme is in full swing, Cypriot real estate is set to see that popularity return. Construction has also increased in the last year, particularly in Limassol – a sign that the property industry is firmly getting back on track. Tourist arrivals were at a record high in 2016 – could real estate investment follow suit?

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6. Bulgaria

Share of Enquiries (H1 2017): 2.5%
Price growth (Q1 2017): 2.4% (Knight Frank)

Current Market

Bulgaria is not one of Thomas Cooks’ top five destinations, but the airline highlights the country as enjoying notable growth in interest: flight bookings hvae risen 19 per cent year-on-year. The country’s affordable Black Sea and budget ski resorts have long been drivers of tourist and investor activity, although with Sofia house prices seeing a strong start to 2017, value growth in the capital is also a positive factor. For British buyers, the affordable prices of the Sunny Beach area have helped to drive interest, as the weak pound forces lifestyle investors to look for lower-priced opportunities.

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