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Property Abroad Top 10 Most Popular Countries For Last Year

News Posted On: 08 January 2010

2009 was a funny old year for overseas property, and not funny ha ha either. It was a year I will remember as the materialisation of the statement "it could have been a lot worse". I'm sure many others will feel the same, certainly many in the industry have reported greatly increased activity since the spring.

As regular readers will know, we have been releasing details of the top 10 countries with overseas property buyers for several months now, and the annual top 10 for 2009 contains about as many surprises as almost all of those have (funny old year indeed).

For a start many will be surprised by Spain taking the top spot. No one would dare deny that sales have dropped drastically in the Spanish market, but as we, and several other portals have found, there still seems to be plenty of people looking at Spanish property; plenty of pent up demand. We also attribute its popularity to our listing of Spanish repossession properties earlier in the year.

In second place and a surprise for few is America. This is no surprise, again because of the repossessed and distressed opportunities that have abounded in the market throughout 2008 and 2009, and have many people around the world keenly looking for an American bargain. America has been number 1 most popular every month since May.

Portugal is third, again this is scarcely a surprise. Portugal has become a popular choice since the demise of Spain, because it offers comparable locations and climes to the old favourite, but very few of the problems with oversupply, depression, recession and property price drops.

Italy takes 4th, having fluctuated from top 5 to top 10 over the months. Turkey is 5th, again Turkey has spent a large portion of the year in the top 10 and several months in the top 5, so fifth place is about what we would have expected for Turkey. France is sixth having entered the chart in the second half of the year, due to increasing activity with a focus on established markets.

Cyprus is another surprise, its 7th place will shock many given the drastic drop i sales of Cyprus property to foreigners in 2009. Greece is a slight surprise in 8th, but it again reflects the current buyers' leaning towards the safety of established markets. Bulgaria in 9th is definitely a surprise, again given the collapse in demand from foreign buyers in 2009. This reflects the emergence of increased investor activity in the latter part of the year, and the focus on cheap property throughout 2009.

Finally Australia in 10th is another surprise. Australia has never been one of our top 10 countries. However, we saw Australia's popularity rising since February, and having appeared several times now in monthly top 10s its 10th place is well deserved. This reflects rising investor activity in the latter part of the year, as well as the continued exodus from Britain as people emigrate to warmer climes and friendlier environments.

The top 10 most popular countries with overseas property buyers in 2009 was as follows:

  1. Spain
  2. America
  3. Portugal
  4. Italy
  5. Turkey
  6. France
  7. Cyprus
  8. Greece
  9. Bulgaria
  10. Australia

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