Spain and Portugal lead property investment

– Spain enquiries up 46pc in Q3 on Q2 2014

– Portugal enquiries up 39pc in Q3 on Q2 2014

– Spain and Portugal enquiries at highest levels in 2014

– Gap between Spain and Portugal closing

On a quarterly basis, Spain’s enquiries jumped 46 per cent compared to the second quarter of 2014. The rise in interest was enough to take the country’s share of activity from 6.51 per cent in August 2014 to 8.74 per cent, overtaking third place Portugal (5.65 per cent) to become the second most popular destination on the site once again.

Spain was not the only country to enjoy a resurgence in demand.

The USA rebounded from a 22-month low in August to see its share of enquiries climb from 10.38 per cent to 14.8 per cent. US property has now been the most popular on for 15 months in a row. Nonetheless, demand is weakening for real estate in the country, with enquiries down 11 per cent in Q3 2014 from Q2 2014 and down 33 per cent from Q1 2014.

All the old familiar favourites enjoyed strong popularity in September too. Buyers continued to set sail to the Caribbean, with the Bahamas remaining in the Top of the Props top 10, while the UAE rose in the charts to enter the top 15.

Demand for real estate in Turkey has also been consistent all year, with the country holding on to seventh place for the second month in a row. September marks the ninth month this year that Turkey has been in the’s top 10.

Thailand’s appeal to overseas buyers has proven equally steadfast, staying in eighth place for a second consecutive. The country has appeared in the’s top 10 in seven out of the nine months in 2014 so far.

Europe on the up

Europe, though, is still dominating the investment landscape. Nine out of the top 15 countries are in Europe, including Greece, Cyprus and recent EU member Croatia. Bulgaria rose three places to sit just outside the top 10 in number 11. Germany climbed two places in the league to re-enter the top 10.

Four out of the five most popular countries on are in the EU: Spain, Portugal, France and Italy. Together, they make up almost 1 in 4 (23.34 per cent) of all enquiries on the site.

Brazil rebounded from a four-month low in August, but was knocked back out of the’s top five in September by Italy. Brazil’s share of enquiries fell down to 3.63 per cent last month, just above August’s 3.4 per cent. The pull of La Dolce Vita, meanwhile, pushed Italy into the top five for the fourth time in 2014.

While Italy has enjoyed a historically strong year, though, Portugal and Spain have become the driving forces of Europe’s property market.

Portugal vs Spain: Head to Head

Spain and France have long been property rivals, with French property becoming the second most popular property on in October 2013. France then held on to the runner-up spot for eight months, until Spain seized it back in June 2014. Now, though, Spain has a new rival: Portugal, which saw interest reach a nine-month high in August 2014, stealing the silver medal for the very first time.

Indeed, Portugal has received a higher share of enquiries than Spain on three times in the past 12 months. But the old stalwart Spain fought back once more in September to become the second most popular country for the third time in 2014.

Demand for Spanish property has steadily soared in 2014. In real terms, enquiries in Q3 2014 were 11 per cent higher than Q1 2014. Portugal has seen even bigger jumps: in real terms, enquiries for Portuguese real estate leaped 39 per cent from Q2 2014 and by 42 per cent from Q1 2014.

Director Dan Johnson comments: “Europe’s economic concerns may still be present but buyers have been increasingly drawn back to the continent this year. For countries showing economic improvement, investors are attracted by promising conditions and potential for capital growth. For markets struggling to recover, holiday home hunters are taking advantage of falling prices. Spain has been the perfect storm of both: the OECD forecasts growth of 1.2 per cent this year and 1.6 per cent in 2015, but property prices are still low, making this an ideal time to pick up that coastal property.

“Portugal, though, has also enjoyed a gradual turnaround, exiting its eurozone bailout in May. Combined with international investment stimulated by its ‘Golden Visa’ scheme and the timeless attraction of The Algarve, the country’s appeal has rarely been stronger.

“Quarterly enquiries for both Spain and Portugal are at the highest levels of 2014 so far. The difference between the two countries, though, is closing. In the first three months of 2014, Spain received 56 per cent more enquiries than Portugal. In the second quarter of 2014, Spain received 24 per cent more enquiries than Portugal. In the three months to September 2014, the gap closed to 17 per cent.

“Which country will emerge on top come the end of 2014 is unclear, but with interest in US real estate waning and demand for French property remaining steady, Spain and Portugal are driving the European property recovery.”

Notes to Editors

About Lead Galaxy and

Founded in 1999, is the leading independent website for international property, with more than 800,000 listings in over 100 countries around the world, marketed on behalf of agents, developers and private owners. is one of more than a dozen international property sites operated under the Lead Galaxy brand. Lead Galaxy provides online marketing solutions to thousands of property companies worldwide, focusing on portal listings, email marketing, qualified leads, paid search and social media advertising.

The business is headquartered at 24 Jack’s Place, Corbet Place, Shoreditch, London, E1 6NN.
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