This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government
Expats urged to point friends and family towards Foreign Office information
Spain has emerged as the Number 1 destination for people seeking expert advice about buying a home in the sun. Two thirds of prospective purchasers who sought advice from Foreign Office property experts at the ‘A Place In The Sun’ show at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham last weekend said their preferred destination was Spain.
Foreign Office advisers from Spain and France, including Alicante Consul Paul Rodwell and British Embassy Madrid property expert Bernadette Gallagher, spoke to a total of 2,209 people who were considering buying a place abroad.
Two-thirds (66%) wanted advice about purchasing in Spain, with a quarter (24%) considering France and the rest (10%) looking at other countries or undecided.
More than four out of five people said they found the advice very useful and would use it when buying their home. They particularly liked the fact that the advice was impartial and free.
Most advice given by the Foreign Office team concentrated on three key areas:
the value of following the Foreign Office property buyers’ checklist before moving abroad (take your time, rent first, access healthcare correctly, consider the impact of moving exchange rates on your savings, etc.)
the importance of getting good independent advice around your purchase (legal advice, following the buyers’ checklist)
the wealth of information on GOV.UK about pensions and benefits abroad and living in a specific country
Expatriates who have friends or family who are considering buying a property here in Spain can help them by pointing them towards the Foreign Office’s How to buy property in Spain guidance and a new Foreign Office video on YouTube.
Spain also features heavily in an ITV programme at 20.30 Spanish time (19.30 BST) on Thursday 3rd October. ‘Bargains in the Sun’ looks at how, with property prices falling in southern Europe, many people in Britain are starting to think again of owning a place in the sun.
Organisers of the ‘A Place in the Sun’ show said visitor numbers were well up on last year, suggesting increasing interest among Britons in buying abroad. More than 12,000 homes in Spain have been bought by Britons over the past three years.