The theory was that Brexit would cause a mass exodus of Brits from the EU property market, but in reality, the lingering threat of Covid related lockdowns affecting hotels, plus mask/social distancing rules, has actually sparked a boom in owning property abroad. If you own the place you can set the Covid rules, not the local Mayor.
News from Quotezone, who have been compiling the data;
New data from insurance comparison website Quotezone.co.uk suggests that the ‘staycation’ could be short-lived, as Brits favour owning holiday homes in Europe over the UK. An analysis of 15,000 holiday home insurance policies showed that European properties were up by 25% in 2020 compared with the same data in 2019.
Despite 52% of UK holidaymakers choosing to ‘staycation’ last year, holiday home insurance data from Quotezone.co.uk suggests a 17% decrease in UK holiday home purchases in 2020, compared to 2019. Suggesting that once travel restrictions are lifted, there will be little appetite for holidaying in the UK any longer than is absolutely necessary.
According to data from Taylor Wimpey Spain, UK searches for Spanish properties were up 39% in 2020, with the popular areas of Alicante, Mallorca and Costa Blanca taking the lion’s share of the searches. Demand in Germany and Belgium was also up significantly with German holiday homes increasing by 51% and Belgian holiday homes rising by 44%.
While the monotony of lockdown life will likely have played a role in driving up interest in European properties, it’s possible some British buyers might also have moved more quickly to buy in an effort to complete their purchases before the end of the Brexit transition period introduced extra paperwork and red tape.
Founder of Quotezone.co.uk, Greg Wilson, comments: “Quotezone.co.uk’s findings are perhaps a little shocking, given the recent enthusiasm the pandemic has inspired for ‘staycation’ holidays, especially given the stamp duty concessions and uncertainty surrounding Brexit.
“However, when people are allowed to take to the skies again, it does make sense that private, self-catered accommodation would be top of the wish list, given that the various international Covid restrictions and quarantines are still unclear – a private holiday home is likely to be the most accessible option this summer.
“Of course, the fact that many holiday homes are sometimes left unoccupied for extended periods means there is a heightened risk of theft or damage – more so than with a principal residence. This could be compounded by the fact that homeowners may be unable to check in on those properties as frequently while Covid restrictions are in place. Making sure these properties are properly insured is crucial, and securing a competitive price on holiday home insurance could help save money which might be needed for repairs.”