Europe News

British Expats Rush to Sell Euro Properties

Holly Ellyatt|Assistant Editor

Foreign property owners in continental Europe could face a devaluation of 50 percent on their homes if Greece was to leave the Euro, according to new figures from HiFX.

Martin Barraud | Getty Images

The foreign currency exchange broker said inquiries by British home owners into selling their properties abroad are up 191 percent since 2008. 

Data released today from a survey of British foreign property owners showed that 39 percent were trying to sell up in Greece, 34 percent in Spain and 23 percent in Portugal.

James Price, Head of International Residential Development at Knight Frank, told CNBC’s “Squawk Box Europe” that the numbers of people wanting to sell up and the drop in value of foreign property reflects the pressure on the housing market by the euro zone debt crisis.

“There are different levels in the market and I think that for the mass market of home owners overseas that there may well be issues for them around needing to sell and get out and I think there is quite a lot of pressure on them and they are having to reflect that in the asking prices that they are offering.”   

Home owners now had to be “more realistic about where the buyers actually are versus where the property might be” he said.

Price added that there was still room for investment in property abroad, with “prime destinations around Europe still offering firm prices” but that there was much more caution.

“What people are looking at now is the security of their asset in the long term. In the prime areas people are now looking at properties that they are going to use themselves, it’s about their own enjoyment.”