Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Britons eyeing up European property bargains....hmmmm

Just seen this article in the Daily Telegraph.  An extract says:

"Eight out of 10 Britons looking to buy a holiday home abroad are interested in those European countries which have been hit worst by the recession.

Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain are now lumped together under the unflattering acronym of the PIIGS. They’re up to their eyes in debt and, in the case of Portugal, Ireland and Greece, they’ve had to be bailed out to keep them afloat.

So 82 per cent of Brits interested in buying abroad in the next 12 months are looking to these countries in the hope that prices have hit rock bottom and they can pick up a bargain".

Sorry but I simply don't believe that.

It might be that people are idly looking at houses in these countries - just as I have spent more time than I should looking at some of the "fire sale" property in the worst hit US states.  http://www.property4peanuts.com/ is a particular favourite.

But just as I wouldn't dream of buying anything in the slums of Detroit, Miami, Baltimore or Atlanta (I've seen The Wire) I tend to endorse the view of Mark Bodega of HIFX:

“The one country they are returning to is France whose property prices were least affected. French property buyers tend to be more affluent, older clients and having held off for the last few years they are beginning to dip their toes back in the water as retirement waits for no man (or woman)".

Ultimately, France has a long and unique relationship with the UK and buyers are comfortable with everything here from the climate & scenery to the decent wine and gentle pace of life.

Buying a home overseas is a major step and both the heart and head should be consulted or you'll end up with a "pig in a poke" that you'll regret buying forever.

Vive la France!


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