British buyers are increasingly choosing to purchase property in Europe rather than more distant destinations due to increased transport costs, according to new data released by Rightmove Overseas. The website showed an increase in searches for overseas property in May of 15.3% compared to April.
Top destinations included Poland, which made it into the top 20 for the first time, as searches for the country increased by a massive 248%. The Bavarian region of Germany was also popular, with 82% more searches. Property in Germany is considered to be undervalued by many, and prices here have risen by 3.3% during the last year. Even so the increases are still quite modest, although there are signs that Germans are becoming more interested in home ownership.
The French regions of the Dordogne, Limousin, and Aquitaine are perennially popular, but even these received a massive increase in enquiries at 74%, 39%, and 47% respectively. There could be a further boost now Sarkozy has lifted the threat of a second home tax.
Given the considerable number of bank holidays in April, part of this increase in interest could be due to people settling down into a more normal routine, and with the increased cost of oil it makes far more sense that people should search nearer to the UK, with this trend looking set to continue. Rightmove recently partnered with a Polish property firm and now has much greater access to properties in the country, which is likely to account for the huge surge of interest.