Country houses for sale

Property in film locations

If you have ever been tempted to buy a home in a place where Hollywood stars like Scarlet Johansson and Daniel Craig were captured on celluloid, then you are not in a minority.

Overseas property markets are being boosted by the locations chosen by Hollywood filmmakers, according to research from the Property Investor Show. Three top spots predicted to benefit from ‘the Hollywood effect’ are Spain, Panama and Australia, where big films this year will focus the spotlight on these countries.

Aviles, Barcelona and Oviedo were the locations chosen by Woody Allen for his latest film Vicky Cristina Barcelona, starring Scarlet Johansson and Penelope Cruz.

Although the Spanish market is witnessing turbulence, particularly on the saturated Costa del Sol, it is predicted that the love triangle story of a Spanish painter and two American tourists will attract buyers to the country.

Steve Long from Casacalida Properties SL in Spain, points out that Spain has more to offer than just the Costa del Sol. ‘The traditional and historic parts of Spain have been overlooked, and these offer a different type of property and lifestyle,’ he says. Due to the oversupply of new build homes, Mr Long advises purchasing an older property, ‘which will hold its value better and is competitively priced.’

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The second place tipped for a boom, following the release of the latest James Bond film Quantum of Solace in November, is Panama.

Scenes with 007 were shot in Panama City and Colon on the Caribbean coast.

‘With prices rising and good rental property in high demand as a result of tourism and more people residing permanently in Panama, there is a shortage of accommodation. This makes new homes highly sought after,’ says Alistair Powell of 7CI.

‘These factors have helped make real estate solid and put Panama at the top of the emerging property markets this year.’

Nicole Kidman plays an English aristocrat in the Outback at the start of the Second World War in the period movie Australia, also released in November, and a ‘See the Movie, See the Country’ campaign seems inevitable in an effort to encourage new buyers.

‘The size and difference in population density across Australia makes it a diverse market,’ says Iftikhar Ahmed from EMP Advisors.

‘Historically, the main cities of Melbourne and Sydney have pushed the property market ahead, but the coastal areas with popular tourist attractions also perform well.’

However, buyers are warned not to get too excited about filmed locations. James Hickman from foreign currency exchange broker Caxton FX (, says that most places made famous on screen tend to only have a short-term effect on the appeal of property.

‘Unless it is a classic film like Gone With the Wind that lasts forever, it is not enough to boost prices,’ he says.

Beautiful locations selected by directors tend to be expensive anyway, suggests Mr Hickman. ‘Lake Como was pricey before George Clooney arrived there.’

‘Wherever you buy, whether it has been filmed or not, you should be asking the same questions about enduring appeal and ease of arrival for you and your family.’