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A place in the sun: The overseas hotspots of 2018

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03/01/2018
If you want to buy a holiday home abroad, where are the most popular places this year?
A place in the sun: The overseas hotspots of 2018

Portugal has been billed as the number one property hotspot in 2018 for those looking to buy abroad.

The prediction comes from Simon Conn, expert in overseas mortgages and property buying, as he outlined his predictions for the sector in the year ahead.

The adviser listed the most popular places to buy in 2018 and why he reckons they are set to be property hotspots:

Portugal

A lot of people are recognising the good value for money, nice weather and ambience of Portugal when compared to other Mediterranean countries, said Conn.

Mortgages are available up to 80% loan-to-value, although better lending terms are available for loans of 70% or less. The most popular areas include the Algarve and the Silver Coast north of Lisbon, but there has been more interest for Madeira and even the odd enquiry for The Azores.

Interest rates are currently available from approximately 1.75%-2.00% above 12 month EURIBOR (the interest rate at which some European banks lend funds to one another, where the loans have a maturity of 12 months).

Spain

Spain continues to be popular with its great weather, Mediterranean coast and laid back lifestyle. Holiday home and investment purchases seem to be increasing.

Mortgages are available up to 70% loan-to-value (better lending terms are available for loans of 60% or less). Interest rates are currently available from approximately 1.50%-2.00% above 12 month EURIBOR.

Ireland

Increasing interest will be shown in Ireland this year, according to Conn, although it can still be quite difficult to get a mortgage and the lending criteria is strict.

The maximum loan-to-value for holiday homes and investment properties is 60%, and interest rates are from 4.60% variable.

France

As usual, France will remain in the list of top countries. Transport links from the UK are excellent so it is easy to get to, and it offers a more relaxed lifestyle with fewer people and better weather.

Mortgages are available up to 80%-85% loan-to-value (better lending terms are available for loans of 70% or less). Interest rates are currently available from approximately 1.50%-2.00% above 12 month EURIBOR.

USA

Interest in the USA has waned since the Brexit vote and the exchange rate between the US dollar and the pound has led to a reduction in the number of potential purchasers, said Conn.

Popular areas include Boston, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Orlando, Tampa, New York and other parts of the East Coast. West Coast destinations are always of interest, including San Francisco, Los Angeles and Seattle.

Maximum loan-to-value rates are 70% (up to 75% in Florida) and interest rates are from approximately 4.50% fixed for three years, or 4.875% fixed for five years.

Exotic locations

There is also a growing interest in more exotic destinations – including places such as Argentina, Brazil, Cape Verde, Ghana, Morocco, Tunisia and even Sao Tome, off the coast of Angola.

But Conn sounded a note of caution about buying in these less established overseas property locations. “With the majority of these countries, mortgages for non-locally based nationals are very difficult, or not even currently available,” he explained, “plus it is imperative you take the necessary independent legal and valuation advice before signing any sale contracts.”

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