Southerners Ahead In The Overseas Property Game

Warren Lewis
30th April 2013

More than a third of British people buying overseas property today come from the south of the UK, with the South-east being home to the largest number of buyers

Of the 1,255 people planning to buy property abroad that took part in The Overseas Guides Company's (OGC) on-line survey, 34.9 per cent lived in the south of the country. Breaking this down further, 16.2 per cent came from the South-east, 11.6 per cent from the South-west and 7.1 per cent from London.

Looking at the remainder of respondents, 9.5 per cent came from the North-west, 7.1 per cent from Yorkshire and the Humber, 6.9 per cent from Scotland, 6.1 per cent from the West Midlands, 5.9 per cent from the East Midlands and 5.2 per cent from East Anglia. The North-east, Wales and Northern Ireland all scored less than four per cent, while 17.6 per cent of respondents lived outside of the UK. All of the respondents were considering a property purchase in France, Spain, USA, Portugal, Cyprus, Italy, Greece or Turkey.

Commented Richard Way, Editor of The Overseas Guides Company:

"Crucially, our survey showed that nearly a third of respondents - 31.7 per cent - will finance their overseas property purchase solely with the proceeds of the sale of a UK home, with a further quarter buying abroad with a mortgage combined with the sale of a UK home or other funding. The South and London continue to record the UK's highest average property prices so clearly homeowners in these parts can afford to move abroad more easily."

The OGC survey results also revealed regional differences between British people buying overseas property. For example, Italian property appears to be especially popular with Scottish people, who accounted for 10.9 per cent of respondents looking to buy in Italy, third only to the South-east (14.3 per cent) and South-west (13.4 per cent). Furthermore, overseas home ownership in general would appear to be more popular with Scots than Welsh people - Scotland had a higher percentage of respondents for each of the countries covered in the survey, bar Cyprus and Turkey, for which the two Celtic nations were equal.

Meanwhile, while buyers from the South-east dominated results for the USA (23.4 per cent), the second largest group came from the East Midlands with 12.5 per cent. The one country where buyers from the South-east did not outnumber all other groups was Portugal, where people from the South-west came out on top with 14.8 per cent, followed by those from the North-west (12.3 per cent) and then the South-east (11.1 per cent).

"Another factor influencing where people will buy overseas property is air access and transfer times both ends of their journey," said Richard Way. "For example, travel to the Continent from the South-west has improved hugely in recent years as airports at Southampton, Bournemouth, Exeter and Bristol have taken on more flights. Not forgetting ferry services are easy from there too, for property-owners in France and even northern Spain."
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