Buying overseas property has become one of the defining characteristics of consumer behaviour over the last 30 years. Millions of buyers with fairly modest resources have benefited from the growth in value of their investments - and found a better quality of life through ownership of a second home or permanent relocation overseas.
Issues in the wider economy and a media led stream of doom and gloom are now frightening many risk averse Brits from following in their steps. While they delay however, the property of their dreams may be slipping out of reach warns a Malta property specialist.
The credit crunch has of course led to a crisis of confidence in the UK Housing Market and delays for those still aiming to sell up in the search for a better quality of life.
The fall in the value of sterling against the Euro has accelerated the rise in the ticket price of property to UK buyers.
Just to make things worse, the widely publicised problems in areas like the Spanish property market have damaged perceptions of the benefits of investment in foreign property - and for those nervous of such a big step, provided evidence that National Savings is more palliative alternative.
However, this doesn’t seem to have affected natives of Asia, Scandinavia and the former Eastern bloc countries, who are all continuing to flout their affluence through the medium of bricks and mortar. Those in the Euro zone have benefited from exchange rate movements.
So while many in the UK are forced or choose to sit tight, the World moves on and property prices in most overseas markets continue to rise.
Ray Woods, a spokesman for UK-based www.maltabuyproperty.co.uk said,
“The current troubles may affect UK consumer behaviour in much more long lasting ways than we think – particularly in regard to the purchase of foreign property.
For many potential buyers, the purchase of an overseas property is a very big step that can be fraught with anxiety. The current publicity has certainly frightened many potential buyers away from overseas property. This is a shame as their opportunity to fulfill their aspirations may come and go. This has happened many times in the past. Some can remember not so long ago, when you could buy a house of character in Malta for £5,000!
Buying property should always be seen as a long term investment.
If we analyse the problems faced by some buyers in other countries, you are forced to ask how rigorously some of the buyers did their research.
We always recommend to potential clients that they begin their planning by drawing up their own criteria. This helps them to be more confident in their choice of country or region. For example, language barriers, local or regional government planning considerations, sound property rights, resale opportunities, climatic and geophysical concerns - and of course, political stability should all be taken into account at the outset.
We recommend that buyers use a major local agent – someone with a reputation to lose.
Unfortunately for many, their attention has focused too heavily on the initial buying price. This is understandable, but it can lead to a dream becoming a nightmare. Exit costs for example, can be higher than anticipated - diminishing the true return.
Men particularly like to by-pass agents and think that they are ‘cutting a good deal.’ This can however come back to haunt them and their families.
We are encouraging our clients to consider borrowing in Malta itself, where the credit crunch is just an overseas headline and interest rates stable. Off plan developments also offer good value, giving the opportunity to buy today and pay tomorrow.
Most importantly, the fundamentals are sound - with a limited supply of land, a growing population, a growth in tourism and a straight forward and transparent property rights system.”
For more details, go on line to www.maltabuyproperty.co.uk or Freephone 0800 781 1898 for informal advice and guidance on buying property in Malta.
Issued by: Ray Woods of www.maltabuyproperty.co.uk in association with Frank Salt Real Estate Tel: Freephone 0800 7811898 (UK) or +441213732440 .
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