Two of the best well known property portals in the UK have recently announced their statistics and traffic figures with relation to where website visitors are looking at buying property abroad in 2008.

TheMoveChannel and PropertyAbroad portals have both released their top ten property picks for 2008, based upon where their visitors are actively looking for homes abroad – and the findings are very interesting indeed.

Whilst many of the old favourites are still firmly embedded in the top ten, these sites, which are mainly used by individual buyers and investors rather than the corporate investor shark type purchaser (!), are also seeing that their visitors are becoming better informed about some of the bargain basement market opportunities out there at the moment.

Both TheMoveChannel and PropertyAbroad have America ranking very highly in terms of the nations most searched upon by their website visitors.  To some this may sound surprising, but when you consider the fact that the market has been in freefall across much of America for many months, and that the state of the market is far more serious than in the UK, you will begin to appreciate that there are certainly bargains to be found stateside.

Vendors are often in a position where they have to sell to avoid foreclosure and to cover their debts, what’s more, developers who have committed to large projects have to get their stock sold to avoid facing significant financial difficulties.  This all adds up to exciting times for buyers who have the cash and the readiness to buy immediately.  Prices are being cut, deals are being offered, and the wisest are buying now as values are depressed and there is eager enthusiasm to offer buyers whatever it takes to offload property stock.

Other markets that are proving very popular in 2008 are the likes of Spain and Portugal.  Spain has been hitting the headlines for many of the same reasons that America has – i.e., the housing market there is in decline, developers are having to sell at reduced prices, and there are private vendors slashing the values of their real estate just to offload their homes.  Again, this is fantastic news for British buyers who have an appetite for a home abroad.

We’re not surprised to see Spain and Portugal so well embedded in the top ten from both property portals – this is because both nations are what we term ‘evergreen’ – i.e., they have everything going for them as lifestyle destinations, and Britons love the accessibility, fine weather, great way of life and general atmosphere in both Spain and Portugal.  This makes them top flight destinations for Brits wanting to escape the UK – either on holiday or permanently.  When prices are falling in Portugal and particularly in Spain, this gives Brits with the cash the ability to enter the market at a potentially knock down price.

Turkey, Cape Verde and Brazil are popular with PropertyAbroad visitors too – proving that getting good value for money is probably driving more buyers in 2008.  All three destinations are now well known for offering exceptionally good value for money, and all three are considered emerging property destinations where there is the opportunity to potentially profit from strong fundamentals which may well inflate the markets’ popularity over the longer term.

TheMoveChannel can add India and Germany into the mix – we do understand the appeal that India has – there is massive demand in certain Indian cities for rental accommodation for example, but we have never understood the appeal of Germany.  The nation’s property stock is overpriced, the property buying process is complicated and very expensive, yes there is demand, however Germany is bankrupt despite its protestations, and so we see no profitability in that market at all.  But hey, it’s just our opinion!

Otherwise we believe the findings from both portals to be very interesting indeed.  It shows that British would-be buyers are switched on when it comes to their choices, and that there remains broad interest in the market from both the lifestyle home seeker as well as the investor.