High property prices force first-time buyers abroad

High property prices are forcing first-time buyers to look for cheaper properties abroad, an overseas mortgage broker reports.

Despite an overall rise in property sales reported for September, the number of first-time buyers in the UK is now at its lowest level since records began in 1974. Figures released by the National Association of Estate Agents reveal first-time buyers accounted for just 13% of sales during September, compared with a long-term average of 25%.

Simon Conn, senior partner at overseas mortgage brokers Conti Financial Services, says business is increasing in overseas property, with a sharp rise over the last two years of first-time buyers deciding to buy a property abroad.

Conn says, by comparison, properties are far cheaper to buy in Europe and with no foreseeable let-up in rising house prices in the UK, Spain, France and Portugal can offer first-time buyers an investment that they would never have afforded back home.

Conn believes the attraction of owning a holiday home in the sun or a buy-to-let investment that can one day be sold is attractive and becoming particularly popular with people in their mid-20s.

He adds: “As with all our clients, first -time buyers receive guidance on where to seek professional specialist advice from solicitors dealing with the country in question to ensure their overseas property purchase is problem-free and that they comply with local laws and conditions.”