A new social group has been identified in the UK, made up of a rapidly growing number of young British investors. Identified in a study commissioned by top insurance firm, Hiscox, the signs are strong that this influential new group is about to start pushing up the prices for overseas property investments across the board and across a wide range of markets. The so-called barbies (buying abroad, renting in Britain) are united in their dissatisfaction with the current property situation in the UK and are voting with their feet, committing their funds elsewhere by renting in the UK but making positive steps towards generating income and security by investing overseas.
A massive 27% of prospective first time buyers here in Britain were identified as preferring to invest overseas rather than at home, as a way of getting on the property ladder. Indeed, the younger the purchaser, the more likely they are to choose to invest in a property overseas, with 84% of 18-24 year olds believing that overseas bricks and mortar is a more affordable option than buying in the UK, where they felt that options were severely limited by prohibitively high prices and poor choice.
Not only is this group noting that the purchase of overseas property is a savvy investment move, they are proactively using the funds generated by such investments and feeding them back into the UK property market, utilising their overseas investment as a way of saving for a generous deposit on a property closer to home. With more than a quarter of those polled willing to move as far away as New Zealand or Australia as a way of securing healthy capital gain or high rental income, it seems that this new British social group is serious about entering the property game - on their own terms.
Nicola Christie is a freelance expert in emerging property markets and contributes regularly to national and international property publications both in Europe and worldwide. She also works extensively with developers and agents as a consultant on identifying key emerging markets and regional hotspots.
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