Property news roundup: Spain poised to overtake France as favourite destination for buying overseas home

Plus new construction industry jobs and Chinese interest in UK property

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The Independent Online

The three most popular locations people are considering buying homes in are Spain, followed by France and then Italy, according to a new Rightmove report.

France is currently the most popular location to own an overseas property. But Spain has now become the number one location people planning to buy say they are looking at and has the highest number of searches on Rightmove Overseas of any destination.

Just over half will be buying it as a second home, just over one third are planning to emigrate and 13 per cent will be buying as an investment.

However, a study from online visa application help website shows that three fifths of pet owners would be unwilling to commit to an expatriate lifestyle due to their pets. Around half said quarantine laws were the main influence on their decision, with 42 per cent concerned about possible distress suffered by the animal, and nearly a third worried about diseases found abroad.

The most common pets that people wanted to take with them were dogs (42 per cent), then cats (36 per cent), and rabbits (16 per cent). The animals people were most likely to leave behind were fish (29 per cent), guinea pigs (22 per cent), and hamsters (19 per cent).

182,000 new jobs predicted in construction industry

Around 182,000 construction jobs are set to be created in the next five years says the Construction Industry Training Board. It estimates that housing will account for 37 per cent of the UK's total annual construction output between now and 2018. 

Stewart Baseley, Executive Chairman of the Home Builders Federation, commented: "Help to Buy has addressed the biggest short term constraint on supply and as a result builders are increasing output and looking to recruit in all areas. To build the homes the country needs we will need a bigger and suitably skilled workforce and we are working with the industry to put this in place."

Surge in UK property search from Hong Kong and China

Real estate search engine Propertini says it is witnessing a trend of Chinese people making plans for property investment in the Lunar New Year.

Rhys Davies, Chief Operating Officer of Propertini, believes the high number of searches is driven by those who are keen to get prepared for the Chinese New Year of the Horse."This includes planning property investments and for many others arranging accommodation for their children who may be studying in the UK,” said Davies. "The average time they are spending to view properties is just over 14 minutes per session which is over twice as long as in December."

Paul Eden, CEO of developer Regal Homes, said: "We sell a large number of properties off-plan to Chinese investors and have seen a growing number of them looking to expand their property portfolio beyond their local markets."