29 Sep, 2011 @ 20:12
1 min read

A Gallic tussle as France overtakes Spain as most popular place to buy for Britons

By Wendy Williams

SPAIN is still the most popular choice for British holidaymakers to rent a property abroad.

However, it has emerged that France has just pipped Spain for the first time when it comes to buying abroad.

A new report from Savills International and HomeAway.co.uk showed that the perceived stability of the French market has seen it transformed into a more desirable location than its Southern neighbour.

“It’s a confidence issue,” explained Rebecca Gill, Savills spokesman.

“France has proved more stable and while there have been negative stories the property price drop was not so dramatic.”

Jon Clarke (Publisher & Editor)

Jon Clarke is a Londoner who worked at the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday as an investigative journalist before moving permanently to Spain in 2003 where he helped set up the Olive Press. He is the author of three books; Costa Killer, Dining Secrets of Andalucia and My Search for Madeleine.

Do you have a story? Contact newsdesk@theolivepress.es


  1. It’s a shame as Spain is such a beautiful country.

    It can understand that people are scared as there’s been so many bad stories but even so, the bad stories are still in the minority.

    It would be a better idea if the Spanish government actually took action and showed the world that they wont stand for the corruption and swindling.

    I work in getting people their money back, but the worst part about my job is knowing that for every 2 cases that gets solved, another poor person is being scammed round the corner…

    Something has to change to lift Spain out of the slump.

    Again, I know it’s a minority but the stories of doom and gloom are the interesting stories that people read. You never see stories about how happy people are in Spain anymore, and that doesn’t build confidence in the market whatsoever. You can’t blame potential buyers for looking elsewhere…

  2. “the bad stories are still in the minority.”

    That’s 50-100,000 people at a first guess Sam, and it may be much higher. Not an insignificant amount of people is it?

    Truth is, Spain blames the stupid buyer for ending up with an illegal or irregular house, even when they used Spanish lawyers, Spanish notaries, Spanish gestors and Spanish banks. If none of these aforementioned entities can be trusted to ensure the person was buying a fully legal property, how can the buyer be at fault? And yet that is what Spain is telling the buyer – that they must pay thousands to “regularise” their houses, even when they’ve lived and paid taxes for a decade or more in some cases.

    Why cannot Spain show the world it means business and produce a proper and final solution to this problem once and for all?

    Finally, you’ve doubtless heard of the saying ‘no news is good news.’

  3. That is not real surprise. Maybe Greece would sell fewer properties than Spain with their problems. With the corruption in Spain and the endless stories of foreigners being ripped off I am surprised they sell anything. The Mayor in my small village has his own building Company and so on. Town planners have their own building Companies a lot of the time… The entire system is shot to pieces. Everyone is on the take when they are in a position of power. The ordinary workers are suffering because people like me can’t spend any money there, as they will not approve anything or they want you to have a Road built as in my case, on my land by a selected Company of the Town Hall when all I wanted was an extension. Would that have been the Mayors Company! They made up all sorts of rules. I spend my money in a country that wants it and where it is safe.
    You don’t hear the daily barrage of stories about France do you. Don’t throw your monye down the drain in Spain.

  4. I hasten to add – I didn’t say it wasn’t a huge quantity. But overall I still meant that problems weren’t the majority.

    I’m truly sorry if my comment came across as flippant. I’m one of the good guys! ;)

    As I said in dealing with these horror stories there is always the knowledge in the back of your mind that the case your solving wont be the last. And most of the time not even the last involving the same company or directors.

    I would love to focus on making dreams come true rather than picking up the pieces of broken ones.

    The people that scam the unfortunate buyer are to blame. No one else, and the fact that the government allow it to continue is just as bad. Trying to get a result for people that have been ripped off is hard enough without the legal system being a complete farce as well!

    I guess what I’m trying to say is that there are Spanish properties that are a good purchase and people shouldn’t write off Spain as a whole due to the mess created by these scammers. But in the same breath there are still scams running and potential buyers must be cautious.

    There’s 2 sides to every coin, it just seems that one side is horrendously tarnished.

    And Fred: “Why cannot Spain show the world it means business and produce a proper and final solution to this problem once and for all?”

    I couldn’t agree more. That would be an absolute dream… And to be honest, not really that hard to do either. Unless you count the fact that some of the scammers are pretty high ranking. Lie in bed with dogs and all that…

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