Biggest Ever Study Reveals True Demand for Overseas Property

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A new study analyzes over 1.4 million international real estate searches on Google, categorizing them into towns, regions and countries across the world. The aim of the research is to provide reliable comparative information on demand for international real estate.

International property portals frequently publish data on popular searches but the results are always skewed towards the traffic of the portal publishing the information. Google search data is the largest and most reliable source of information and we're the first company to use it to look at demand for international property.

Real estate business portal Globaledge today published the results of what it claims is the biggest ever study into global demand for overseas property. The study analysed 1.4 million English-language searches undertaken on Google during September 2008 and employed a team of researchers to categorise the information into regional and country categories.

According to Globaledge Managing Director, Ashley Rigg, the results reveal true comparative demand for overseas property between and within countries. "International property portals frequently publish data on popular searches but the results are always skewed towards the traffic of the portal publishing the information. Google search data is the largest and most reliable source of information and we're the first company to use it to look at demand for international property."

According to the study, the most popular overseas property destination among English-speaking internet users is Spain. Searches for Spain and its towns and regions outstripped France, which came second, by a ratio of over two to one. "Most people in the overseas property industry would put France and Spain on a par, but these results suggest Spanish property is considerably more popular than previously thought" says Rigg. Among the most popular locations in Spain are Tenerife, Mallorca and Costa Blanca. All three were more popular than Paris, the top location in France.

The most surprising finding in the study is arguably the lowly position of Portugal which came bottom of the list of 11 countries and regions with only 3% of the searches. Explaining the findings Rigg says "Although Portugal is often considered a top overseas property destination; it's more of a niche market than many people think. It doesn't get the tourist numbers of France, Spain or Italy and the perception among consumers is that it's expensive place to buy property."

The Middle East is fourth in the table with 8.6% of the total search volume. Over 70% of Middle East related searches were for Dubai with Morocco and Egypt a long way behind with 12.7% and 9.4% respectively.

Central & South America is fifth with 8% of the total search volume. Panama is the most popular destination with 20% of the Central & South American searches with Mexico following behind with 11.4%.

Bulgaria (7.2%) and Cyprus (7.1%) are sixth and seventh. Eighth is the Caribbean with 5.6% of the volume. The most popular country in the Caribbean is Jamaica with 12.9% of the Caribbean searches followed by Dominican Republic with 6.6%.

Ninth in the table is Eastern Europe excluding Bulgaria with 5.4% of the total volume. The most popular Eastern European destinations are Croatia (17.6%) and Czech Republic (13.3%). Turkey is in tenth position with 4.6% ahead of Portugal in last place on 3%. Overseas property destinations table. View the results table

Notes on methodology

The Globaledge research team use a foundation list of over 20 000 location names and combine them with property and real estate keywords to produce phrases that are then queried on the Google Keyword Tool.

Exact match keyword volumes are extracted and de-duplicated and are then categorised into town, city, region and country categories. Any key phrases that may indicate the searcher is looking for rentals are deleted. Countries where English is the first language, like US, UK, Ireland and Australia are excluded from the analysis.

The above table was derived by adding up the total number of searches in all locations in the 11 regions. More details on the methodology is available here

Top 100 locations

Globaledge also publishes a Top 100 list of the most popular overseas property searches. This list does not group towns, cities, countries and regions together. It just lists the most popular locations in order. The full article is available here.

About Globaledge

Globaledge is designed to help real estate agents and property developers do business overseas. It provides the trade with a number of marketing and business tools including the facility for members to send and receive business alerts and the ability to customise your homepage so that you only receive news and information relevant to your business. Visit http://www.globaledge.co.uk for more information.

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