Spanish property more popular than FrenchSpanish property is now more popular than French, according to new research from TheMoveChannel.com. The portal's latest Top of the Props report shows that Spain has overtaken France to become the second most sought-after property destination in the world.
Demand for French real estate surpassed its European rival in October 2013, as interest reached a seven-month high. France remained the second most popular country on TheMoveChannel.com for eight months in a row, thanks to historic low mortgage rates and lifestyle appeal. Now, though, Spain has surged into second place once more. Spanish property accounted for 7.47 per cent of enquiries in June 2014, up from 5.8 per cent in May and almost double the record low of 3.81 per cent in April.
Despite Spain leapfrogging France, though, interest in French property still increased, accounting for 6.84 per cent of June's enquiries compared to 6.54 per cent in May. Portugal's share of enquiries increased too, from 5.28 per cent in May to 5.43 per cent.
Four out of the top five countries saw demand rise month-on-month, with the exception of Brazil, which saw its share of enquiries slip from 5.90 to to 5.06 per cent. The South American country, though, has established itself as a firm favourite among investors. In the first half of the year, Brazil was in the top five countries on TheMoveChannel.com, alongside USA, Spain, France and Portugal.
US real estate continues to dominate activity of TheMoveChannel.com, accounting for more than 1 in 4 enquiries since the start of 2014. During the six months to June, demand for property in France and Spain proved almost equal, accounting for 10.63 per cent and 9.29 per cent of enquiries respectively. Together with Portugal (6.74 per cent), Europe's three main lifestyle destinations made up more than a quarter of activity (26.65 per cent), indicating how strong the appeal of European property markets remains.
Demand for Bulgaria also rebounded in June 2014, taking the country back up to 11th place. Bulgaria has ranked in the top 10 destinations on TheMoveChannel.com twice in the first six months of this year. Bulgaria's bounce was blocked, though, by another Eastern European market: Poland.
Polish property jumped 18 places up the property portal's chart to reach 10th, its highest ranking on TheMoveChannel.com, despite a lack of any concerted marketing activity or project launches. The number of listings in the country on TheMoveChannel.com has increased in recent months, though, which has encouraged attention from buyers across a range of opportunities. Poland's economy is also strong, says Boleslaw Drapella, VP of estate agency Morizon Group, which is making the country increasingly attractive to foreign buyers.
Investors seeking economic stability continue to flock to the UAE. The emirates' share of enquiries grew from 2.61 per cent in May 2014 to 2.69 per cent in June 2014, a new record. This is the second month in a row that UAE property has risen in the charts, now standing at an all-time high of eighth place.
Spain's slingshot back into second place, though, is the surprise of the month. Spain's share of enquiries is its highest since January 2014, when the country accounted for 8.55 per cent.
TheMoveChannel.com Director Dan Johnson comments: “Across the first half of 2014, it is telling that Spain and France are sitting almost neck-and-neck: both are enjoying attractive levels of affordability to boost their never-ending lifestyle appeal.
"The recovery of the UAE and USA is attracting investors' attention from all around the world, but after several months of being overshadowed by other, more attractive, markets, news that Spain may have bottomed out appears to be bringing buyers back to the traditionally popular Costas."