• Rome most searched-for location in the world
  • Interest in France on the up
  • Paris enters Top 10 most popular hotspots for first time
  • Italy neck-and-neck with Portugal

Ab property

Overseas buyers are heading back to Italy and France, reveals new research from The portal’s Q4 2015 Hotspots Index saw Rome remain the most searched-for location in the world in the final months of the year. This is the third consecutive quarter that Rome has held the number one spot.

portugalItaly’s rebound in popularity has been building throughout 2015, thanks to the country’s strong lifestyle appeal, which has been amplified by the weak euro. Favourable exchange rates have fuelled demand for all of Europe’s traditional property hotspots, with Spain and Portugal in particular stealing the limelight. Now, though, the tide may be about to change.

Portugal’s share of searches on reduced for the first time in Q4 2015, accounting for 11 of the Top 50 locations in the portal’s Hotspots Index. Interest remains high for Portuguese property, with the country accounting for four of the Top 10 locations. Indeed, Ponta Delgada rose 11 places in Q3 2015 to storm into the Top 10. It rose one more place in Q4 2015 to seize the second spot with 1.31 per cent of all location searches. Ericeira (1.21 per cent), though, slipped into fourth place, as Fiji’s Lautoka (1.27 per cent) overtook to take third.

Spain, despite accounting for eight locations in the Top 50 (up from seven in Q3 2015), saw Malaga slide into ninth place with 0.83 per cent. Cyprus and Greece, meanwhile, fell out of the Top 10 altogether, as buyers swapped their economically uncertain markets for old favourites.

Buyers have also returned to France in greater numbers, with the country entering the Top 10 for the first time in Q4 2015. Lyon raced 12 places up the chart to become the sixth most searched-for location (1.06 per cent), followed by Paris, which rocketed 28 places up the chart to become the seventh most popular location (1.02 per cent). Italy completed the Top 10 with another new entrant: Terni, the fifth most popular location in Q4 2015.

Director of, Dan Johnson, says,

italy“The weak euro has been the defining story of 2015, sending buyers from overseas – particularly the UK and the USA – flooding into Europe’s property markets to snap up available opportunities. While Portugal and Spain have dominated demand for the majority of the year, France and Italy are starting to steal the show, their relatively stable markets stealing house-hunters away from the more uncertain bargain zones of Greece and Cyprus.

“France’s record low mortgage rates mean that real estate in the country is more affordable than it ever has been, especially in comparison to rising UK house prices. You would expect to see Paris in the Top 10 most searched-for locations in the world, so it is revealing that the French capital is now taking its rightful place in the Hotspots Index.

“Italy’s economy underperformed in Q3 2015, with growth reducing from 0.3 per cent to 0.2 per cent, while house price declines are gradually slowing, but the favourable exchange rate has kept the sentiment broadly upbeat among investors. Indeed, the country now accounts for 11 of the Top 50 locations on, neck-and-neck with previous champion Portugal.”