Investors in off-season flights alert

Potential overseas investors need to be aware of seasonal transport issues or face major problems, reports Assetz…

Andy Welland, a spokesperson for the firm, said that while certain destinations in Europe may seem attractive, one of the difficulties is that they have a limited tourist season, outside of which it is difficult to get a flight.

Such a situation, of course, is no help to any property investor, not least those in the buy-to-let market who could suddenly find they are limited in how much of the year they can realistically rent out a property.

The countries Mr Welland had in mind with his comments included destinations such as some of the smaller Greek islands or Bulgaria. Far better, he advised, to stick to locations such as Cyprus, Spain and Portugal, all of which have better year-round connections.

“Accessibility is not that difficult [with Cyprus]… It’s fairly straightforward to get to,” he said, adding that “most of the major airlines” are flying to the country.

Plenty of flights available?

He said that while Cyprus has plenty of out-of-season flights, many Greek islands do not, meaning that from October onwards many could only be accessed via a second flight from Athens, which, he said can “bump the prices right up, which doesn’t make it as appealing”.

What is true and advantageous about Cyprus is also true of the Iberian peninsula, he added: “This is why places like Spain and Portugal are still very appealing – you can still get there all year round at very, very cheap prices. I think once you go outside a three-hour flight-time then it gets very limited.”

Investors looking for year-round returns can certainly benefit from this effect. One key element of Cyprus, Spain and Portugal is that their climates remain sufficiently benign to be attractive to those looking to escape the cold north European winter.

Winter rental income ‘important’

Iberia Nature makes this clear with a list of average temperatures for cities in Spain, where cities with an average temperature (over 24 hours rather than just daytime) in double figures in December include Alicante, Barcelona, Murcia, Sevilla and Valencia.

Just as importantly, Spain in particular is well known as a popular destination with British investors, both in the rental and residential markets, meaning winter flights will always be in higher demand. But with Cyprus and Portugal equally well served for flights, it is clear that these countries also have an advantage.

Mr Welland points out that winter rental income can help with the running costs of a property. Clearly those who can rent out property in such places will be able to not just maintain the standards of those properties but potentially use the income to expand their portfolios.