Demand for overseas property remains very strong – despite Covid – according to new figures from Europe’s largest privately owned real estate agency, Ideal Homes International.
The firm has already sold 150 properties in 2021 across Spain and Portugal, and is now turning its attention to Florida – where the strong pound is proving “extremely appealing”.
Pre-Covid, Ideal Homes International was running 20 holiday home exhibitions a year in the UK. The company has shifted everything online, from virtual events to hosting its own digital TV show on YouTube – with nearly 3,500 subscribers and counting.
Since late 2020, chairman and founder Chris White and his team have also begun negotiating package deals, with discounts of 5-10% passed on to those looking to buy homes in the sun.
“Covid has certainly pushed us to be more imaginative in the way that we connect with potential buyers, but it has done nothing to lessen the depth of the desire that many of those in the UK have to own property overseas, whether as second homes, rental properties or main residences,” said White.
Ideal Homes International’s latest promotion is The Grove Resort & Water Park in Orlando, Florida, where the 10% discount it has negotiated means prices start from just over $300,000 (£217,000) for a two-bedroom/two-bathroom unit on the resort.
Only five minutes from Walt Disney World, The Grove is ideally located for access to Florida’s main attractions and has its own on-site water park, three large swimming pools, a 20-acre activity lake, a spa, a marketplace and multiple restaurants and bars.
“Florida itself is very much open for business right now, with packed accommodation and theme parks open as usual, though America’s borders are closed to international travellers until at least 21 April,” added White.
“The pound’s stellar performance against the dollar thus far in 2021 means that Florida property prices are extremely appealing right now.”
The state is the most popular destination in the US for foreign homebuyers, with one in five of all foreign buyers picking up property there, according to the National Association of Realtors.
Prices in Orlando rose by 8.1% in the year to February 2021, according to Zillow, and White believes the potential for capital growth will be an additional lure for many buyers.
PORTAL FOR PORTUGAL
An expat property professional living in Portugal has launched a unique portal which only lists properties once, significantly enhancing the experience for buyers looking to invest in overseas second homes and holiday lets and offering UK-based agents with an alternative to the major players.
Unlike the UK, where only a couple of agents market a single property, the Portuguese property market is overcrowded with some 30 agents potentially listing the same property for sale, and ‘working the system’ to re-list these properties as new or ‘recently added, resulting in buyers seeing the same properties multiple times.
With this platform, agents can apparently achieve a higher level of serious interest and faster sales by guaranteeing prospective buyers that the listing they are viewing is the only and latest version.
Gavin Middleton, founder of PortugalsLatestProperties.com, says, “Those agents, approached to market their clients’ overseas properties should be aware that their newly listed property could so easily be buried on other portals. This new portal is starting to gain real traction among buyers interested in Portuguese property and agents should take note.”