THE Brits may soon be elbowed out of the property market as the rest of Europe looks to snap up a second home.
In its European Housing Review, The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors’ (RICS) claim more people are purchasing second homes, either in their own country, or abroad.
However, Michael Ball, author of the study, offers a note of caution for those looking at properties purely for investment.
He said: “Europe has had some of the liveliest second homes markets over the past five years, but if people are looking for a second home as an investment rather than a holiday home, it is probably too late to expect good returns as the market is currently at its peak.
“The trend for second homes is likely to grow in the long-term because of cheap flights and lower living costs abroad.”
A second property is often used by one family and directly owned, but in countries with a high proportion of rental property like France, Germany and the Netherlands, it is not unusual for people to rent their primary home but own their second.
The proportion of second homes across the EU varies considerably, with some of the highest concentrations located in southern European countries because of both the high local demand and their attraction as classic holiday destinations.
Countries such as Greece, Italy, France and Spain have around 10 to 15 per cent of their housing stock comprised of second homes.
The second homes market is at a greater risk of a crash than the primary homes market, since they are the first thing to be disposed of when people need to economise.
However, the European Housing Review says an imminent crash is unlikely.