Where are the best-value holiday homes?

Day view of Mijas. Mijas is a lovely Andalusian town on the Costa del Sol. Spain
Day view of Mijas. Mijas is a lovely Andalusian town on the Costa del Sol. Spain

With stamp duty changes making second homes in the UK a great deal less affordable, many are looking to find a holiday bolthole overseas instead.

But if you want somewhere that will provide a good investment as well as a good time, you should pick your property with care.

While homes in countries such as Italy, Portugal and Spain are significantly undervalued, according to the Organisation for Economic Development (OECD), Germany, Austria and Sweden are currently over-valued compared with their long-term average.

An analysis of the figures by the Daily Telegraph shows Spain as a particularly good long-term bet. Property prices grew just 1.2% last year, and the OECD believes the market is under-valued by 26%. Developers are still, in many cases, trying to sell off the surplus of holiday homes that was left after the global crash, and some banks are offering 100%-plus mortgages.

Indeed, following the crash, most European property markets are now looking at significant growth. Turkey, for example, saw prices increase by 18.9% last year, and is being tipped for further rises, according to agents Knight Frank. Hong Kong, New Zealand, Sweden and Luxembourg showed the next-highest levels of growth.

But there's a lot more to picking a good investment than the national statistics alone. You'll have to think who you'll eventually be selling to when you want to sell up. Properties on dedicated holiday developments will obviously have far fewer potential buyers than those that can appeal to locals too. This means looking for things like good transport links and local services.
According to Rightmove, the number of Brits looking for a holiday home overseas has rocketed by 48% since 2014. Seven out of ten of these house-hunters have Spain at the top of their list, although more end up actually buying in France.

According to the Overseas Guides Company, Portugal, Italy and Ireland are also increasing in popularity.

"The strong pound, cheap euro mortgages and deflated property prices are believed to have contributed to the bounceback in the overseas property market in 2015," it says.

"At home in the UK, the Conservative all-out victory at the general election, maintaining stability in the economy and housing market, combined with the pension reforms that kicked in earlier this year could also have steered more British people towards investing in overseas property."

Empty Property After Spain's Burst Bubble
Empty Property After Spain's Burst Bubble