REVEALED: The top European countries for overseas property buyers

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REVEALED: The top European countries for overseas property buyers
A European rural idyll. AFP PHOTO MYCHELE DANIAU (Photo by MYCHELE DANIAU / AFP)

From a holiday home in Spain to a pied-à-terre in France or a new life in Italy - a new study reveals which countries are most popular with foreigners looking to buy property.


Property in Spain is the most sought-after in the world, with people from 34 countries searching online for homes in Spain more than elsewhere, according to a study.

International moving experts used online search data tools to analyse searches for properties in every country around the world and identify the most popular locations, for foreign property hunters.


The study also found that Britons are the most keen on a move abroad, with the highest overseas property search interest per capita for 22 nations. 


Spain came out top - its climate, affordable living costs and tempting property prices are the lure for Europeans, while the golden visa reward for investments over €500,000 tempts some. 

It’s increasingly popular with American buyers, looking to take advantage of direct flights and friendly conversion rates to buy Spanish homes at record rates, the report said, although Spain is not the destination that Americans are most interested in.

In fact, Americans’ first-choice destination is Italy, with buyers often using their own Italian ancestry to access visas, according to the report. 


Property hunters from 13 countries, meanwhile, looked for homes or second homes in France.

Perhaps surprisingly - given the UK media’s representation of France - it is the number one destination for British property buyers. 

While Brexit has made Europe a more difficult destination for the British, the idea of being ‘a bit more European’ while picking up a property bargain remains appealing, and France is particularly attractive to retirees in search of a good life without venturing too far from home.

Like their British counterparts, Irish and Australian overseas property hunters look most often for a pied-à-terre in France; while Americans and Canadians are most likely to look for a place in Italy. New Zealanders, meanwhile, search mostly for overseas property in Australia.


For their part, Spaniards with a sense of adventure look across the Atlantic for homes in Colombia. The French, meanwhile, would most love to move to Portugal, the study found, while Denmark is the top cross-border property choice for Germans. 

The Danes themselves mostly look for property in France. Austrians hanker after a place to call their own in Italy; the Swedes have a thing for Spain and America; the Swiss would cross over into France, as would the Norwegians; and Italians love to search for homes in Greece.



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