Record day for overseas home-hunting as travel restrictions are eased

  • Searches for property overseas hit an all-time high as the government announced plans to relax blanket restrictions on non-essential overseas travel
  • The surge in interest for homes abroad equated to more than one million searches in a single day – the first time Rightmove Overseas has surpassed this milestone
  • This pent-up demand converted into enquiries with more people phoning and emailing overseas agents than at any point since the start of 2019
  • In June, the number of new users on Rightmove Overseas was 41% higher when compared with June last year

There has been record-breaking demand from UK home-hunters looking to buy properties overseas, according to new Rightmove data out today.

Rightmove Overseas saw searches hit an all-time high on Sunday 28th June as the government announced that travel to and from certain overseas destinations will be allowed without the need to quarantine.

The surge in interest for homes abroad resulted in more than one million searches in a single day – the first time Rightmove Overseas has surpassed this milestone.

The data shows that searches on Rightmove Overseas in June reached their highest point for the year, and were up 28% on June 2019.

Searches for property in Spain were up 25% compared to June last year, while France recorded a 32% year-on-year rise. In Portugal, the uplift was 24%, and in Italy it was 17% higher.

This pent-up demand was evidenced with a flood of phone calls and emails to overseas agents, with more enquiries sent for properties abroad on Sunday 28th June than any day since the start of 2019. The number of enquiries were up 73% on the same Sunday in 2019.

Last month, the number of new users on Rightmove Overseas was 41% higher when compared with June last year.


Five most-searched countries, June 2020


Rightmove’s overseas insights expert Rachel Beaton said: “We’ve seen a gradual resurgence of interest from home-hunters looking for properties abroad since April, but after the government confirmed there will be easing of travel restrictions to certain countries we saw demand for overseas homes rise even further to record-breaking levels.

“We know that activity on Rightmove Overseas is always an inverse response to the British weather – so traffic dips when we have good weather, and then bounces back when the rain comes – and this was exactly what happened in the final weekend of June. This, coupled with the news about fewer restrictions on overseas travel, saw UK home-hunters flock to our site to look at places they could relocate to or buy a holiday home.”


Agents’ views

Gavin Vercoe, chief operating officer, Chestertons International, said:“We definitely observed a surge in enquiries received over the weekend of 27th and 28th June. In fact, there was a 340% increase in enquiries for European properties across the Chestertons network, compared to European enquiries received over the weekend two weeks prior, on 13th and 14th June.”

Kate Everett-Allen, partner, international residential research at Knight Frank, added: Since 11th May, when the French property market reopened for business, our 30+ strong office network in France have reported their busiest weeks for more than a decade. Our British clients are now making plans to view their shortlist of properties following the announcement on relaxing of travel restrictions.”



UK Property news updates shared directly from Rightmove PLC - the country's leading property portal.

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