The Federation of European Independent Financial Advisers

With the opening of European borders and the ability for Brits to travel abroad, estate agents are reporting a spike in online searches for overseas properties as lockdown is eased.

The summer holiday season is fast approaching and people across Europe have started to wonder whether they will be able to get away this summer – and how far they will be able to go.

Searches for properties in Spain, particularly in locations such as the Costa del Sol, were up 34% year-on-year during May, while those for homes in France, including in areas such as the Dordogne and Brittany, were up 33%, according to Rightmove.

As of 15 June, France, Portugal and Italy have opened up their borders and as such have seen overseas property searches increase 33% in May, compared to May 2019.

Following the recent economic crash, Spain still remains as popular as ever for British buyers in search of overseas property. Its close proximity to the UK and year-round perfect weather means it is an obvious choice for those seeking a new life in the sun.

The most common searches for Spanish property focused on five areas including the Costa del Sol, the region that features cities such as Malaga and Marbella and towns such as Torremolinos.

Spain has so much to offer to Brits. Some are looking at mortgage products and want to live in Spain full-time, whereas some want to keep their UK property but buy a second property in Spain for their own use for holidays and also for rental purposes.

A wide range of Spanish mortgages are available aimed at expats who are looking to invest in Spanish property, and these range from variable-rate to fixed-rate mortgages. Interest-only loans are not normally available.

The maximum loan to value is 70% and lending terms and interest rates will depend on a client’s overall personal financial profile and Spanish property valuation. If higher deposits are made available, the Spanish mortgage products that banks offer may be more competitive.

France is also proving popular with British buyers. The maximum loan to value can be as high as 75-80%, subject to the usual criteria around your personal financial profile and the French valuation.

Exchange rates have taken a nosedive in recent times, meaning you are likely to get less for your money. However, using an expert money transfer company such as MoneyCorp can help soften the blow – click here for further info.

Additionally, the current subject of air bridges which is enabling holidaymakers to travel overseas without entering self-isolation when they return, was announced at the end of June. This comes as much of Europe has this week reopened borders to allow travel within the EU Schengen Zone.

Despite the conflicting statements by Spanish officials this week, travellers from the UK would not have to quarantine on arrival. However, Spain’s foreign affairs minister said it is considering imposing quarantine restrictions for visitors from the UK unless the British Government lifts its own two-week isolation rule, which may put a hold on overseas mortgages.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

​​​​​​The above was kindly provided by Simon Conn, a long-term specialist in the international mortgage and property financing sector and originally posted at: ​​​​https://www.simonconn.com/blog/overseas-mortgages-searches-spike-lockdown/​​​​​​​​