- Spain takes top three most-searched locations
- Malaga, Almeira and Tenerife most popular places in Spain
- Portugal occupies eight out of top 50 property hotspots
Malaga accounted for 4.01 per cent of all searches on the international portal in the first three months of 2017, climbing 18 positions from Q4 2016 to knock Italy’s Florence off its perch. This is the first time in 18 months that Italy has not topped TheMoveChannel.com’s Hotspots Index.
Almeria was the second most sought-after location on the site, with 3.56 per cent of searches, followed by Tenerife (3.40 per cent) and, down three places, Florence (2.63 per cent). Benidorm completed the top five with 2.53 per cent of searches. Indeed, Spain was home to eight out of the 10 most popular locations in Q1 2017, the highest percentage of the Top 10 ever held by a single country since Hotspots Index records began in Q4 2014. Spain was also responsible for 13 out of the Top 15.
Portugal was home to 8 of the Top 50, ahead of Italy (5) and France (3). Portugal’s most popular hotspots were Albufeira (14th), Cascais (18th) and Alvor (19th). Interest in Italy was fuelled by Florence (4th), Rome (8th) and Verona (27th). France’s most sought-after hotspot was Paris (15th), highlighting the capital’s importance as a magnet for romantic lifestyle buyers and a safe haven for wealthy investors.
Thailand’s Pattaya climbed two places in the chart, attracting the 16th biggest share of searches. Greece’s Athens was the 45th most popular hotspot, while the USA accounted for one hotspot: Detroit, ranked in 33rd.
Spain, though, dominated buyers’ wishlists at the start of the year. The country was home to 31 of TheMoveChannel.com’s Top 50 hotspots, more than double its share of the index in Q4 2016 and an all-time high for any country.
The figures follow Spain’s similar rise in TheMoveChannel.com’s latest Top of the Props report, which saw the country account for 14.02 per cent of all enquiries on the site in February 2016 – its largest share of activity since 2013. Indeed, new data from Spain’s Land Registry shows that sales of property increased 19 per cent in January year-on-year to reach the highest number of transactions since January four years ago.
“Spain is undoubtedly the flavour of the month,” says Dan Johnson, Director of TheMoveChannel.com. “Searches and enquiries are both at highs not seen for several years, showing that foreign buyers are actively seeking opportunities in Spain and are following through on those searches. Agents have reported a slowdown in enquiries from British buyers since the Brexit vote, but expat favourite Benidorm’s position in Q1’s Top 5 hotspots shows that there is still interest from the UK, despite the pound’s weakness against the euro.
“Foreign buyers are still drawn primarily to tourist hospots, such as the Costa Blanca and Malaga, where they are helping to drive property prices up. With Spain’s economy growing, though, business hubs such as Barcelona are also fuelling overseas demand. Spain’s housing market is still not recovering at the same rate across the whole country, but with property values starting to rebound, the promise of capital growth and the country’s timeless lifestyle appeal mean that Spanish real estate has rarely appeared so attractive.”
Click here to see the full Top 50 Hotspots on TheMoveChannel.com