Over 1.8 million overseas property enquiries – a 25 per cent increase on this time last year – were made according to RightmoveOverseas, which shows there still are plenty of Britons aspiring to own a home abroad.

Requests for overseas property details were starting to tail off at the end of last year, reflecting consumer concerns about the credit crunch and state of the UK and international markets. However, this strong start to 2008 shows the desire among the British to own an overseas property remains as firm as ever, believes Justin Figgins, head of RightmoveOverseas.

Key to this surge of interest is the types of buyers looking for details – retirees, holiday homeowners, people relocating to another country and investors – and their reasons for buying.

‘Market conditions are tough in Spain at the moment, yet there are thousands of British people familiar and comfortable with the country, whose wish is to buy a holiday home or retire. Similarly, there will always be people emigrating to places like Australia or New Zealand,’ adds Figgins.

In addition, some first time buyers unable to afford property in the UK are buying abroad to get on the property ladder and investors will continue to snap up bargains overseas when the UK market is faltering.

The highest number of enquiries are for property in France, Spain, America, Italy, Portugal, Australia, Cyprus, New Zealand, Greece and Bulgaria, with more enquiries this year in California, Calabria, the Balearic Islands, the United Arab Emirates and Costa Verde.

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