So, as we head towards a Christmas that is suddenly shaping up to be rather too much like the last one, how has this year been for you? Maybe you’ve contributed to it being a surprisingly busy year for the overseas property industry!
Estate agents across our favourite European locations reported a hectic summer and autumn when the loosening of flight restrictions permitted buyers to fly out and view properties. Some property hunters even purchased sight unseen – we interviewed one buyer unable to get out to Florida – whilst others drove down to France. According to Leggett Immobilier, the hot spots this year have very much been the ones most easily reached by car and ferry: Brittany, Normandy and the Loire region.
In Spain, there’s been strong demand all down the southeast coast, with an appetite for new-build properties beginning to surpass the speed at which they are being constructed in some popular locations – the Costas have not been immune from global supply chain issues. With an especially active German market – German buyers have marginally overtaken British ones in Spain this year for the first time – competition for some properties on the Costa del Sol has been fierce (but the sunbed war is not over...).
Over in Portugal it’s been a hectic year too and I would wager from agent and buyer activity that the British are still the biggest group of buyers of holiday homes by nationality – especially on the Algarve. Some are also moving over – with the D7 visa or the Golden visa that will still be available in low-density areas or touristic classified developments next year.
The A Place in the Sun TV show has been helping to keeping many people sane during lockdowns and the good news is that there’s another new series about to run to brighten up January – including a much-needed Caribbean fix.
Avid watchers amongst you might have clocked that despite Brexit and Covid there’s been an unusually high number of happy house hunters. You are not wrong! Two years ago, around 50% of house hunters would end up buying after appearing on the show – but in the latest run of shows that were filmed from 11 October, there’s been 20 sales and two offers on the table out of 28 episodes. We make that a 79% success rate which shows how serious about buying people are this year (and that the researchers are pretty clever at digging out good properties).
To give you a flavour of what to look forward to, 2022 sees filming starting off with Canary Islands sunshine, before teams head off to Italy, Spain, Malta, France, Greece and Cyprus. Cyprus has been having a bit of a moment, judging from the level of interest at our autumn A Place in the Sun Showcase, but Spain is always a favourite destination with over 50% of the shows coming from the Costas.
We’ve also been using this year to update and expand content on aplaceinthesun.com so do check out the Relocation sections, which include essential information on visas and tax post Brexit. We will be publishing the latest changes to the process of applying for a non-lucrative visa in Spain shortly but in the meantime you can catch up on our latest buyer stories. If you are keen to share your own story, why not email us at [email protected]?