France Overtakes Spain as Top Spot for British Buyers

28 September 2011

France has taken over from Spain as the number one destination for Brits to purchase a second home, new research by Savills and HomeAway.co.uk has found.

 

While Spanish prices have fallen massively and with further falls likely in the future, France has gained a reputation as one of the world's most stable markets. According to the report, this feeling of stability and being a safe place to buy was cited as the main reason for France's popularity overtaking Spain, as well as ease of access from the UK.

 

The research also found that prime hotspots, where the main buyer is predominantly wealthy lifestyle buyers have seen prices hold relatively well against the downturn. The report named the Alps in France, and the Algarve in Portugal as being among those locations.

 

The report also highlighted what influences second home buyers, and it is still the obvious formula proximity to bars and bars, beaches and of course airports. As you'd also expect buyers tend to buy in areas that have good tourist infrastructure, including golf courses, children's entertainment, and beaches as well as cultural and historical attractions.

 

The report goes on to highlight the popular choice of properties among second home buyers. It said that second home buyers will usually buy properties with terraces or balconies, 80% of second home owners have either a shared or private pool, and more and more buyers are looking for air conditioning and internet connections.

 

It also said that traditional properties are the popular choice in France and Italy (as it has always been for lifestyle buyers of second homes in these priciest of countries) but new builds are still order of the day in Cyprus and the US, as well as Spain and Portugal though to a lesser extent for the latter two. However, this is as much to do with the predominance of new build properties in the popular locations in those countries.

 

Finally the report said that only 13% of second home owners made a profit from renting after costs, while almost a third of second homeowners found that rental income covered all their costs. Fifty five percent of second home owners said such incomes covered some of their costs.

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