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Britons Rush to Sell Up Holiday Homes in Eurozone, Bulgaria

Date: 25.01.2011

British owners of second homes overseas are considering selling up during 2011 due to falling rental income and weakness of sterling, a survey has revealed.

Around 56 per cent of people with a property in the eurozone are considering selling as volatility between sterling and the euro has made it increasingly difficult for people to predict how much rental income they will receive, according to specialist currency broker currencies.co.uk, as cited by the Telegraph.

Agent Knight Frank estimates that the current total value of British-owned properties in the eurozone is GBP 47.5 B, with hundreds of thousands of properties in France, Spain and Italy forecast to come on to the market

More than a third of people who let out their second property said they had suffered from a fall in occupancy rates and rental income during 2010.

At the same time, many expats with properties in countries such as Spain, Ireland or Greece have also seen the value of their home fall.

The group said it had already seen an increase in the number of people selling properties abroad as a proportion of the transactions it handled.

British owners of second homes in Bulgaria are also facing ruinous losses on their investments after plunging price drops in foreign markets.

The high levels of debt used to engineer transactions have ratcheted up the risk of financial problems for purchasers following the collapse of property markets.

Owning a second home abroad was once the preserve of the super-wealthy, but in the past decade a heady combination of TV property shows and cheap mortgages has convinced an estimated half a million Britons to buy their own place in the sun.

The value of UK-owned foreign property investments peaked at GBP 58 B in 2008, up from GBP 10 B in 2000.

The number of Britons, who have put up their property in Bulgaria for sale, nearly doubled in 2009 over 2010, data of realtor Bulgarian Properties show.

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