Zante, Greece Photo: Heatheronhertravels
Property buyers are shrugging off any concerns surrounding the Greek bailout crisis, according to TheMoveChannel.com. The portal’s latest Hotspots Index reveals that Europe has never been more attractive to house-hunters, with Greece joining the Top 5 hotspots in Q2 2015 for the first time.
Portugal led the way, with Braga ranking as the most searched-for location between April and June 2015. The Portuguese hotspot accounted for 2.13 per cent of all searches by location on the site, ahead of Italy’s Rome (1.55 per cent), which fell from the top spot into second place. Spain’s Malaga (1.46 per cent) also slipped into third. The Top 5 was completed, though, by two rising stars of the European market, Protaras and Zante, as buyers returned to both Cyprus and Greece.
Marseille and Como held onto their places within the Top 10, reinforcing the appeal of both France and Italy to overseas investors. While Spain’s popular Province of Alicante fell by four to ninth place, Armacao de Pera emerged as a new hotspot in Portugal, climbing 18 places to enter the Top 10 for the first time.
“With the Top 10 comprising of only six different countries, the Hotspots Index reveals an increasingly strong focus upon a select few favourites,” comments TheMoveChannel.com Director Dan Johnson. “Portugal now makes up one third of all the most popular hotspots on TheMoveChannel.com, as the country’s continuing recovery spurs confidence among investors. Spain may be bigger, but Portugal is fast becoming one of Europe’s hottest markets.”
“Greece, though, is the surprise success story of the year: the country’s economic problems have sparked uncertainty across the continent and beyond, but low prices and a weak euro have encouraged buyers and investors to snap up Greek property bargains. Greece made up four of the Top 50 destinations in the Q2 2015 Hotspots Index. This is down from Q1 2015, when it accounted for six, but the country now makes up two of the Top 10 locations, as demand grows stronger for select Greek hotspots. Together with Cyprus’ rising popularity, it is proof that even the markets worst hit by the financial crisis can still be an attractive investment opportunity.”
The Algarve has always been the most in-demand part of Portugal, thanks to the region’s stunning beaches and investment potential, but the north of the country is becoming increasingly sought-after among those looking for a laidback lifestyle at a lower cost. With the country’s economy and housing market both inspiring confidence, hotspots such as Braga demonstrate how widespread demand for Portuguese property has become.
Italy’s property market has enjoyed a steady flow of returning buyers from overseas, as the exchange rate between the pound and the euro favours British buyers, who remain enchanted by the country’s dolce vita. The renaissance of interest has been driven by major cities, such as Rome and Florence, according to the Italian revenue agency.
The spending power of British buyers in Spain has risen 15 per cent in the past 12 months, driven by exchange rates between the pound and euro and low Spanish property prices. The Costa del Sol remains the most popular market for Brits, with booming tourist figures and rising values ensuring that buyers do not wait around for long.
Cyprus has seen buyers return in force throughout the past year, with sales rising six months in a row in August 2014, according to the Department of Lands and Surveys. Protaras is located in the resort-fuelled region of Famagusta, where sales climbed 100 per cent in October 2014. Located near Ayia Napa, the town’s sandy shorelines and blue sky match the attractive range of apartments, villas and restaurants, making it a popular location for a holiday home.
Greece may be in a period of economic uncertainty, but the country’s impact upon the weakening euro has prompted a surge in searches from eager property buyers. With the pound and US dollar recently at historic highs against the single currency, there has arguably never been a better time to snap up a Greek island home for a bargain. Zante – or Zakynthos – is home to some of Greece’s most beautiful beaches, a fact that has seen its popularity surge in recent months.
France’s mortgage rates have been at historic lows for some time. Combined with the country’s relatively stagnant price growth, French property has become an increasingly affordable bargain for overseas buyers. With rates now showing signs of rising once more, overseas buyers are stepping up their activity to secure a home before they become more expensive. The French Riviera has long been the most popular region in the country, with the coastal hotspot of Marseille at the top of the list.
Italy’s lifestyle appeal has fuelled a resurge in demand from overseas buyers in the second half of 2014. Como has always been a favourite among British buyers, in particular, with the region of Lombardy traditionally attracting the second highest number of enquiries in Italy on TheMoveChannel.com.
The Algarve will never lose its appeal to tourists and holiday home hunters. With property sales across the country rising for the past 15 months in a row, the southern region is at the heart of the market’s recovery – and Armacao de Pera in Silves is the epitome of Portugal’s attractive coastline.
Located in the Valencian Community, the Province of Alicante is another regular among holiday home hunters. With tourist arrivals estimated to top 10 million last year, the area remains a key driver of foreign demand for real estate. Prices are now more than 40 per cent below the 2007 peak but have bottomed out, making the area more attractive to overseas investors. With Spain now the most popular country on TheMoveChannel.com, Alicante’s appeal is only set to continue climbing.
The Ionian Islands make up one in six of all Greek enquiries on TheMoveChannel.com. While Corfu has now been overtaken by Zante, the island remains one of Greece’s most visited destinations, a popularity that applies to both tourists and house hunters alike.
The full top 50 hotspots on TheMoveChannel.com in Q2 2015 is as follows:
|1||Portugal/Braga (Sao Jose de Sao Lazaro)||2.13%||New|
|8||Portugal/Armacao de Pera||0.79%||18|
|9||Spain/Province of Alicante||0.73%||-4|
|18||Spain/Province of Santa Cruz de Tenerife||0.55%||New|
|24||United Kingdom/Barking and Dagenham||0.50%||New|
|26||Portugal/Olhos de Agua||0.49%||-10|
|37||Spain/Costa Blanca South||0.45%||-17|
|40||Portugal/Ilha do Faial||0.45%||2|
|42||Spain/Province of Barcelona||0.42%||New|
|45||Spain/Lloret de Mar||0.41%||New|
|47||Spain/Costa del Sol West||0.40%||New|
|50||Spain/Province of Tarragona||0.38%||New|