New markets are growing in popularity and investors have opportunities to focus on renovation projects or buy to let properties to cater to a growing number of digital nomads, traditional expats, or domestic renters.
Kyero is the leading online platform for UK buyers looking for property in Europe and we have seen first-hand the changing trends and demands of the market over the last 13 years as we have helped almost 50,000 people buy a home or invest in property overseas. Here are some of the key trends we’ve seen over the last two years and why you should consider investing in overseas property.
The British are saying bonjour to France
Market research and user data point to France being a significant growth market, with the country emerging as a key location to watch for investors. While Spain is still top of the list for British buyers in search of European property, we are seeing an increasing appetite for homes in France.
In terms of property types, according to Kyero’s European Overseas Property Market Tracker, during the second quarter of 2021, traditional properties in the south of France top the list for overseas buyers. Alpes-Maritimes, Var and Dordogne are the most popular regions, and Nice, Cannes and Sainte-Maxime the most popular cities.
French asking prices on Kyero are among some of the most competitive of the key European markets - the average property price in France is now €236,350, lower than the Spanish average (€290,000) and Portuguese average (€249,000).
Over the last six months, the number of French properties available on Kyero.com has almost tripled, and we are working with a number of France’s key estate agents including Caprifrance, Optimhome, Barnes International and Leggett. We expect to see demand for French properties continue to grow throughout the rest of the year.
Ease of lockdown prompts surge
The easing of restrictions in the UK and Europe has prompted increased interest in European property across the board. Enquiries in relation to foreign property were up 92% in the first quarter of 2021 compared to the same time the previous year as overseas travel from the UK began to resume.
As lockdown restrictions eased in the UK, 39% of UK buyers were actively viewing or planning viewings abroad, with 51% planning to move within the next 12 months. According to research that we conducted with over 2,500 people looking to move overseas, moving abroad is a lifelong dream for many people with 28% of respondents saying they have wanted to move abroad for more than five years.
Now that overseas travel is becoming possible, we’re seeing a large number of pent-up plans being put into action. 52% more people searched online for homes in Europe in the first three months of 2021 compared to the previous quarter, and now that people can start turning those dreams into reality increasingly easily as travel restrictions loosen, we’re expecting to see more transactions take place.
Coronavirus and higher levels of remote working have driven up interest in property overseas as the dream of moving to Europe becomes a realistic possibility. This has prompted a new generation of ‘corona nomads’ to make their dreams a reality and move to Europe.
A younger generation of expats, with no office job, mortgage or family responsibilities to tie them down can now live and work where they really want to be - which for many is in the European sun. Last year we saw a 446% year-on-year increase in Brits aged 18-24 viewing Spanish property on Kyero.com, and we are seeing this trend being replicated across all our European markets.
With many European countries developing attractive freelance visa systems, the demand for both rental and owned property from this market segment is only going to increase.
Additionally, the surge in remote working means that people can often base themselves abroad for longer periods these days, making more remote areas increasingly viable and popular options. In Spain for example, we’re seeing locations such as Alcaudete in Jean, Deltebre in Catalonia and Jerez De La Frontera in Cadiz, which are off the traditional tourist trail, increasing in popularity. For investors, there is an opportunity to tap into these up and coming hot spots and cater to this growing market.
European asking prices remain attractive compared to UK property prices. On Kyero.com prices were
fairly static in Spain and Portugal in Q2 2021, dropping slightly in France (down on average by €13,650) and more significantly in Italy (down €22,800), which could partly be a result of an increase in the number and range of properties now available in these countries.
It’s becoming easier to research and find overseas property to buy. The number of properties on Kyero.com has increased across all four key markets over the last quarter. In Q2 2021 we had over 830,000 properties listed in Spain, Portugal, France and Italy, up 15% from the previous quarter.
At the same time, interest in European property has also risen for all markets. There was a 21% increase in visits to Spanish properties and 23% increase in visits to Portuguese properties in Q2. Interest in French and Italian properties also rose, and both supply and demand continue to gather pace on our platform.
Without doubt, overseas European property is becoming a more realistic and attainable option for buyers and renters, both from the UK, and from other European and international markets. With this comes a real opportunity for investors as new buyers, and new post-pandemic habits offer new potential.
*Martin Dell is the Founder of Kyero, an online real estate platform for buying, renting, and selling properties in Spain, Portugal, France and Italy.