Lifestyle buyers are making a comeback in Europe and beyond, according to exhibitors at OPPLive London 2014, which is taking place today and tomorrow at the Novotel London West.
Overseas property professionals are seeing a rise in buyers looking for holiday homes or relocation for lifestyle.
Aimee Valaitis, a data analyst at Rightmove Overseas (sponsors and exhibitors at OPPLive London 2014), will be unveiling results of Rightmove’s much-anticipated survey in “The World of International Property in 2015 – Rightmove Overseas Buyer Insights” at 15.30 today.
She told OPP: “We’ve seen an increase in lifestyle buyers in our results and data. Some 59% of Rightmove enquiries come from people looking to relocate or buy holiday homes for lifestyle. That’s up 8% from last year.”
Why the big increase?
“Well, it could be because of the pension changes coming in from April – there will be a lot more flexibility for UK pensioners. It could also be because of the improving market in the UK, as people are releasing equity from their homes.
“Finally, I think some people are just getting sick of the UK!”
Fellow sponsor Smart Currency Exchange, in cooperation with the Overseas Guides Company (OGC), have this year opened offices in Costa del Sol and the Algarve. They explained that Spain’s economy is finally experiencing growth; and that the Portuguese property industry is seeing a continuing return to health and boosted property sales.
Angelos Koutsoudes, head of OGC, and Matthew Wilder, Business Development Executive at Smart Currency Exchange
Angelos Koutsoudes, head of OGC, told OPP, “We have a lot of faith in Britons buying overseas again. For that reason we’re tapping into the buyer market for the more traditional destinations.”
Michael Reilly from Select Resorts Properties, also exhibiting at the show, had seen similar interest. “We’re focusing on the Caribbean islands of St Kitts and Nevis. This year we’ve been seeing the return of lifestyle buyers from the US and the UK.
“2014 also saw an explosion of interest in Asian markets and 2015 looks as though that will continue,” he added.
Mr Reilly will be presenting a seminar at OPPLive today, at 12.30, where he will be explaining St Kitts’ unique citizenship for investment programme and how overseas property professionals could benefit from it. St Kitts and Nevis are special in that they immediately offer a passport with their programme – while most European ‘golden visas’ offer only residency, at least to start with.
OPPLive 2014 is off to a great start, with seminars packed out. It’s not too late to come along and take advantage of our free conference and exhibition – we’re at the Novotel London West. Register here or on-site.
By Francine Carrel, international property reporter, OPP