The latest figures from the Rightmove Overseas search report with currency specialists Moneycorp, reveals that interest in foreign property increased by a dramatic 55% in January compared to December, as Brits battled with the January blues, low consumer confidence and high inflation.
Australia proved to be the most popular country for those dreaming of the good life, with searches for property in Oz more than doubling compared to the month before. The chart of top 10 countries rising in popularity is also dominated by Australian regions: South Australia (+183%), Victoria (+138%), Western Australia (+114%), New South Wales (+92%), Queensland (+87%)
Commenting on the climbers and fallers in this month's search chart Robin Wilson, Head of Overseas at Rightmove said: "We always expect searches to increase in January, with a 'new year new start' mentality acting as a catalyst amongst overseas homebuyers and this year has proved no exception. The start of 2011 has seen a massive 55% increase in traffic on December, fuelled by the miserable weather in the UK.
"The emigration season kicked off with a bang for Australia with searches up 114%, pushing it into the top five countries for the first time. Traditionally a strong emigration destination, Australia has seen as increase in nearly all regions. Close neighbor New Zealand posted a 91% increase and the other prime emigration target for English speakers, Canada, wasn't far behind on 80%."
David Kerns, Dealing Manager at Moneycorp comments: "With inflation and fear of job losses hitting consumer confidence, a strong economic headwind is forcing many people in the UK to look for opportunities to emigrate or purchase property overseas.
"The surge in interest in Australian property chimes with recent Moneycorp research which found it to be the favored destination for Brits longing for a new start. Commodity-based currencies such as the Australian dollar remain strong though, which is pushing costs up for expats and reinforcing the need to plan ahead when transferring money."
Source: Red Consultancy