Spain is Still the #1 Destination for British Property Buyers

A British magazine survey has once again confirmed Spain as the number one property destinations, despite nearly half a million brits leaving the country in 2011 due to the economic crisis in Europe. Official statistics place 391,000 British in Spain, a figure that is usually considered much lower than in actuality due to the number of expats who don’t register for NIE or empadronamiento.

Helping insulate the property market from further losses were 24,815 British new arrivals in 2011 a significant percentage of are presumed to have bought property whilst prices remain depressed.

The value of property in Spain has fallen by around 30% in major cities Madrid or Barcelona, and as much as 50% or 60% in some places where availability is higher than demand. Coastal areas popular with British expats like the Costa del Sol, Costa Calida, and Costa Blanca were particularly hard hit.

The annual ‘Ten Best Places to Buy Abroad’ conducted by A Place in the Sun is widely considered a barometer of British perceptions about the overall safety and desirability of foreign property destinations, and Spain placing first will no doubt be a huge relief to real estate agents who specialise in expat property sales.

Destinations appearing in the top ten list in order of popularity were Spain, France, Portugal, Italy, USA, Turkey, Greece, Cyprus, Caribbean, and Malta. Seven of the ten destinations are Eurozone countries including the top four.

The USA has risen in the list, notably due to the availability of foreclosed homes in sunny states such as Florida, and the Caribbean is a new entry, suggesting that cashed up buyers are willing to relocate considerable distances.

Reasons for continuing to buy in Europe haven’t changed, with Liz Rowlinson, editor of the magizine saying “What’s really interesting about our annual ‘Ten Best Places to Buy Abroad’ survey is that it shows UK buyers as sticking to tried and tested European countries – yet also willing to travel further to destinations such as Florida and the Caribbean to find their perfect holiday home location.”