Barclays Buying Abroad has revealed that the number of Brits keen to buy property abroad has doubled (*1) in the last year, as Britain suffers one of the wettest, dullest summers ever.
Whilst many people cite rocketing UK property prices, rising crime and a skewed work life balance as reasons for increasing numbers relocating abroad, the new figures from Barclays Buying Abroad highlight the prominent effect of the weather.
These new figures are based on the number of enquiries received by Barclays for their locally based mortgage services in Spain, France, Portugal and Italy – soon to be joined by Dubai and South Africa.
The early summer was the wettest in Britain since records began more than 240 years ago, with 387.6mm rain falling in this period (*2). That is more than double the usual average of 186mm (7.3in) for the period, resulting in two bouts of devastating floods in parts of England in June and July. Britain has also recently experienced below average levels of sunshine, with parts of England suffering the dullest June on record.
This July, rainfall was well above the norm, with England and Wales recording over double their average, and some areas of Worcestershire recording over four times their average July rainfall – for example, Pershore College recorded 157mm in a 48 hour period (*3). Comparing this to Spain, with 436mm for the whole of 2006, whilst dry Dubai had less than 65mm during the entire year, along with the average hours of sunshine, and temperatures give a good indication of why more people are buying abroad to escape soggy Britain.
Richard Exton, Director of Barclays Buying Abroad said, "Brits are familiar with the idea that we only have two seasons: the winter and July. It seems that this year, with the terrible weather we have experienced in July and throughout the summer many people are not prepared to sit through a year-long winter and are looking for a getaway to sunnier climates. Barclays Buying Abroad offers a locally based service that will help you through the whole buying process and beyond, making the option of escaping our dismal weather far more attractive".
According to the BBC Weather Office "…it's too late to save this miserable summer". Looking at the forecast for the first half of September 2007 any hopes of an Indian summer may too be dashed; "Summer is over - here comes Autumn" (*4) With many asking, "what summer?" it may be that this is the last straw for even more damp Brits.
About Barclays Buying Abroad:
Barclays is a major global financial services provider engaged in retail and commercial banking, credit cards, investment banking, wealth management and investment management services with an extensive international presence in Europe, the USA, Africa and Asia.
It is one of the largest financial services companies in the world by market capitalisation.
With over 300 years of history and expertise in banking, Barclays operates in over 50 countries and employs over 127,000 people.
Barclays moves, lends, invests and protects money for over 27 million customers and clients worldwide.
Notes to editors:
(*1) Enquiries to Barclays Buying Abroad have risen from 9,000 to 18,000 on the equivalent six month period from 2006 to 2007.
(*2) http://www.metoffice.gov.uk August 2007
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