THE OVERSEAS PROPERTY MARKET
“There is nothing like a dream to create the future” – Victor Hugo
Dare we say it, the future is looking bright(er)…. the world is cautiously making steps to come out of various lockdowns and restrictions. The vaccine rollout seems to be progressing successfully on the whole and there is a glimmer of light on the horizon that many of us have been searching for since March last year.
We have all had time over this past year or so to reflect, to plan, to prioritise and to dream…. For many of our clients, now is the time to put those plans and dreams into action and to focus on the future.
Last week, President Macron laid out a four stage plan to slowly open France back up, with a clear intention to ‘resume the French way of life’ before summer. This process started already, with schools opening this week and certain restrictions for French residents being lifted. Restaurant and cafe terraces open back up on May 19th along with Museums, theatres, cinemas and open air sports facilities. Non EU tourists will be welcomed into France from June 9th (with tests and/or vaccine certificates) along with the lifting of other restrictions on that date.
Finally, on June 30th, many other restrictions will be lifted to ensure France can really be ‘open for business’, unless your business is nightclubs, because at present, there are no plans for these to reopen. I guess we will all be happy to be dancing in the streets at that point anyway…. For full details on the four stage plan for France, click here
At Home Hunts, we have seen a shift in focus from our international clients in recent months, a new determination to find that perfect home. Everybody is different of course, we know that many people will decide not to travel in 2021, but our team are in contact with hundreds of clients who are determined to head overseas.
Home Hunts director Tim Swannie spoke to the Sunday Times this week regarding the situation with the property market currently and how things are looking for the future.
“We have seen a change in attitude from clients lately” said Tim “This is something we have noticed from the initial enquiries, we receive more in depth questions and are having longer conversations with clients about areas and so on. People are taking more time to speak and to do their research which is great”.
The travel restrictions have (perhaps temporarily) reduced the number of ‘tourist clients’ who are casually looking. Those that are willing to go through the tests, the masks, the quarantines and so on to visit properties are serious about buying. A large number of the overseas clients that make the effort to visit are determined to find the perfect home on their trip.
For many, the thought of buying their holiday home overseas has been one of the things to focus on and look forward to during the winter lockdown, that dream of waking up to a sea or mountain view or breakfast on your terrace has kept a lot of people going.
Tim went on to say ” The first couple of months of 2021 were fairly frustrating for us, properties were selling all around us, mainly to French buyers. We predominantly work with overseas clients and it was impossible to travel at that point. Travel has become easier for our EU based clients since February/March when it became possible to travel to France from certain countries if there is a valid ‘reason’ for travel, one of the valid reasons is to visit properties”
This is the same for UK clients too, they are now allowed to visit France with a negative PCR test and can leave the UK to visit overseas property. We have seen more British clients lately and that seems set to increase more and more over the coming months as travel becomes easier, restrictions become lighter and more flights are available.
In terms of sales agreed, April has been the busiest month Home Hunts has had since they started more than 15 years ago. May, June and beyond are already looking very busy with lots of clients booked in for visits from the UK and all over Europe, it’s going to be a fun summer! Home Hunts are excited about welcoming more international clients and helping them to find their dream overseas property.
Virtual Visits for Overseas Property
For those who have not wanted to or are not able to travel, Home Hunts are offering virtual visits, they have become almost second nature for many overseas clients over the past year. Buying in that way is not for everyone, but it is a trend that could be here to stay for many.
So far in 2021, Home Hunts has agreed 14 sales from virtual visits (and many last year). We always recommend our client to visit whenever possible to get a real feel for a property and an area, but as technology improves, virtual visits have become an increasingly important part of the property search process. For more about virtual visits, click here.
Home Hunts launch overseas property finding service in Spain
A big change for Home Hunts this year is the launch of our award-winning service in Spain which is happening next week and we are very excited about it.
We have built up a great reputation over the years and have won numerous awards for our service. We’ve worked with thousands of clients and many of them have asked if we can help them to find homes in different locations so Spain is a natural step for us.
Initially our focus will be on the Costa del Sol and the Balearic islands which are extremely popular islands with overseas property buyers. We plan to open in others regions of Spain in the future too, but are starting in areas where we have had the most demand from clients.
We already have a number of visits booked, both virtual and physical. We are currently listing hundreds of stunning homes in Ibiza, Mallorca and the Costa del Sol on our website and will be announcing the launch officially in the next few days, so watch this space!
If you are considering buying a property in France, Monaco, Spain or Switzerland, Home Hunts are here to help you to find your dream overseas property. If you would like to speak to one of the team to discuss your needs or just to have a chat about the market, you can call us on +33 970 44 66 43 or send us a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you just want to browse through thousands of beautiful French homes, visit our website at www.home-hunts.com or follow us on Facebook or Instagram.