Airlines and the internet shape where we buy property abroad

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Airlines and the internet shape where we buy property abroad

Improved air access and cheaper fares combined with the convenience of the internet have changed how and where people buy overseas property today, according to a recent survey by the Overseas Guides Company.

Recent survey evidence shows that 50.6 per cent of people buying abroad want their new property to be within an hour of an airport, with 27.2 per cent happy to be within two hours of a flight home.

"There's little doubt that the increased choice and frequency of flights between regional airports both in the UK and popular European destinations means that overseas homeowners now expect short transfer times and this will influence where they look for property," said Richard Way, Editor at the Overseas Guides Company.

"The choice of flights in and out of regional airports is staggering these days, it's just a case of keeping up to speed with frequency and seasonality of services.

"Take Alicante on Spain's Costa Blanca, for example. These days you can fly there from Belfast, Birmingham, Blackpool, Bournemouth, Bristol, Cardiff, Doncaster-Sheffield, East Midlands, Edinburgh, Exeter, Gatwick, Glasgow, Glasgow-Prestwick, Heathrow, Leeds, Liverpool, Luton, Manchester, Newcastle, Southampton, Southend and Stansted."

Is it any coincidence that the Costa Blanca is the top spot for our property hunters right now?

The same survey, conducted by The Overseas Guides Company and which included responses from 1,255 overseas property-buyers, showed that for 17.9 per cent of people, transfer time isn't important - these are likely to be people looking to emigrate.

While the internet has made booking flights easier, as well as cheaper - especially for overseas homeowners who are organised enough to book a series of discounted flights in advance - it has also changed the way people find their overseas home.

OGC's survey showed that these days all-inclusive inspection trips are out of favour, with only seven per cent of respondents saying they would sign up for a viewing trip when their time is organised entirely by a single agent or developer.

Conversely, nearly half (49 per cent) of respondents said their preferred way to search for property was to arrange to view a selection of properties with a number of agents in their chosen destination, and then be free to arrange their own travel and hotel.

"It's typical for buyers to find a selection of properties on the internet, often with two or three different agents operating in one area, organise viewings for each and then make their own way out to Spain, France or wherever they are buying," added Richard Way.

"And most will continue their on-line search via their iPhone or a laptop while they're abroad, giving them flexibility to alter their itinerary that difficult to achieve on an organised viewing trip. Many don't find what they are looking for in their first visit but warm to one particular agent, who later sources the right property for them."

Meanwhile, a staggering 36.7 per cent of respondents to the survey said they wouldn't think about currency exchange until they came to pay for their overseas property. Speaking to a currency exchange specialist, such as Smart Currency Exchange, in advance of sending funds abroad to pay for a property, and planning a currency transfer carefully could save you a fair few pounds.

Search here for a property on the fabulously accessible Costa Blanca.


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