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How could UK housing market trends influence the European property market in 2024

In this article we speak about how could UK housing market trends influence the European property market in 2024?

With Google searches for overseas holiday homes up 52 per cent this year compared to 2022, a group of international property experts at Your Overseas Home has revealed six ways the dynamic UK housing market could continue to affect overseas property purchases in mainland Europe in 2024. 

Whether you’re selling up to move or retire abroad full-time, buying a holiday home with the family, or investing in buy-to-let properties abroad, the UK housing market can have a direct impact on the overseas buying market. 

For example, UK housing price trends, changing housing policies and fluctuations in the pound significantly influence investment patterns and property values across the Channel and in mainland Europe. 

When property prices in the UK increase and become less affordable for domestic buyers, it naturally leads them to look for more financially viable opportunities abroad, particularly in areas known for lower property prices, such as SpainPortugal and Greece.

Similarly, economic shifts – including fluctuating interest rates and currency exchange rates – influence overseas property investments. A strong pound, for instance, might encourage UK buyers and investors to venture into the European market as they can get more value for their money.

Christopher Nye, Your Overseas Home’s content editor and expert in buying property in Spain commented: “For decades, the UK and mainland Europe have had a close but often complicated relationship. Unsurprisingly, this relationship extends beyond politics and economics and trickles into the world of property and real estate. 

“There are many benefits to owning property abroad vs. in the UK, which is why, despite the various ups and downs, people continue to want to buy in and move to mainland Europe. 

“Values in many locations abroad are still rising, for example, making properties in these areas safe investments. Not to mention, a lot of countries outside of the UK also enjoy lower property taxes, utility prices and general cost of living.”

Price trends

Fluctuations in property prices in the UK can greatly influence decisions to invest overseas. For example, if housing prices in the UK increase significantly, investors might look for more affordable opportunities in foreign markets. On the other hand, a slight drop in UK property prices could drive more buyers to purchase domestically due to increased affordability. This has a knock-on effect as it could potentially reduce demand for properties in mainland Europe. 

Economic factors

Changes in economic conditions, including shifts in interest rates, inflation and currency exchange rates, can greatly influence the profitability of investing in overseas property markets. For example, a strong pound allows buyers in the UK to get more for their money overseas.

UK mortgage rates are another factor to consider. When mortgage rates in the UK are high, buyers might be deterred from purchasing property domestically due to increased borrowing costs.

Housing policies

Regulations and policies related to housing in the UK can significantly affect overseas property investment, including things like punitive taxes on second homes. Stamp duty can be as much as 12 per cent on the highest-value properties in the UK, not to mention the threat of 300 per cent council tax on empty second homes in places like Wales and Cornwall. If restrictions or taxes for property ownership tighten domestically, it could cause buyers to consider markets overseas, where the regulatory environment may be more favourable.

Socio-political climate

For investors in particular, Brexit and its resulting uncertainty led many to diversify their portfolios and consider property markets outside the UK. Such socio-political changes can affect both domestic and overseas markets.

Investor sentiment and portfolio diversification

Perceptions of the performance of the UK housing market can influence overseas property buying trends. If investors feel the UK market is oversaturated, or they want to hedge their bets due to perceived risks, they may be more likely to invest in a real estate abroad.

Investors also often seek to diversify their portfolios to spread risk. When the UK housing market is volatile or unfavourable, investors may choose to invest in overseas property to balance their portfolios.

Demand and supply gap

If the demand for housing exceeds supply in the UK, therefore leading to increased prices, people might turn to overseas markets where property availability is higher and prices, as well as the cost of living, are potentially more affordable.