Leading UK property website Rightmove has released new data showing that the interest in searches for overseas property has surged during lockdown.
If you’ve found yourself seriously toying with the prospect of buying a holiday home, contemplating a relocation, or dreaming of a trip abroad after your trip was cancelled due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, it turns out that you’re very much not alone.
Research by Rightmove data analysts shows that searches for overseas property in May reached their highest point for the year and were up 33% compared to this time last year.
This followed the trend from April where overseas searches increased by 50% from March.
After an initial dip when lockdown first commenced, the countries seeing the biggest uplift in searches are Spain, France and Portugal.
Searches for property in Spain were up 34% and in particular, the biggest surge was seen in searches for property on the island of Ibiza which was up a whopping 174% compared to last May.
It’s thought that this is thanks to the new Netflix series White Lines.
White Lines is a 10-part Spanish/British thriller series which aired on Netflix last month.
The show follows a young woman visiting Ibiza to learn the truth about what happened to her brother – a Manchester DJ who disappeared on the Balearic Islands 20 years prior – and it received positive reviews from both critics and fans alike.
Kieran Byrne, owner of international estate agency, HomeEspaña in Spain, said: “After a significant dip in activity and enquiries in March and early April, when lockdown measures were first introduced in Spain and the UK, we’ve witnessed a gradual resurgence of interest towards the end of April, and this gathered pace throughout May.”
“Of course, we’ve spoken to clients who are putting their plans on hold, waiting to see what life will be like post-coronavirus, which is totally understandable, but we’ve also spoken to new customers who had never previously thought about buying a property in Spain.”
“Being confined has made them reconsider their lives in cities and towns, as has the thought of returning to being crammed onto buses and trains, and they’ve concluded it would be preferable to be somewhere with more of an outdoor lifestyle, better weather, access to swimming pools and beaches.”
“Of course, we still don’t know how any of this translates into genuine interest or transactions”.
“We’re still not fully out of lockdown here in Spain – international flights haven’t resumed and we’re still in a period of uncertainty – but it does seem like there is a lot of new interest in people relocating or having a second home here”.
For more information on overseas property, visit the Rightmove website here.
Heritage railway arches in Manchester city centre to undergo £3.7m transformation by HOME arts centre
A section of the iconic railway arches along Whitworth Street is set to be refurbished into a brand-new development space for up-and-coming local artistsunder HOME.
Having existed as a recognisable part of the city’s rich transport and architectural heritage for as long as we can remember, three of the familiar archways situated on Whitworth Street West are now about to be given a new lease of life which will also help support Manchester’s beloved arts community.
Coming under the HOME theatre and arts umbrella with the work being carried out by the North West arm of Robertson Construction, the transformation is set to start fairly soon and is scheduled to be completed by May 2024.
Sitting between Whitworth Street West and HOME’s main arts building at Tony Wilson Place, which has been a popular cinema, gallery and restaurant since 2015, the new development centre will provide a space and vital resources for artists of all ages, disciplines and stages in their careers. Wonderful stuff.
Costing £3.7m, the goal of the ‘HOME Arches’ project is not only to give the Whitworth Street West Arches some much-needed TLC, but to help nurture, attract and retain creative talent in Manchester by providing them with a high-quality, low-cost rehearsal and training space.
Moreover, being connected to the ever-thriving First Street district will further strengthen it as a well-known and go-to city centre destination for artists and visitors alike.
Funding for the renovation was secured back in 2021 following a £2.3m government grant, with a further £0.9m contribution from Manchester City Council and around £0.5m from HOME themselves, who are helping cover some post-construction costs.
The Arches project is part of a wider £20m redevelopment plan under the national Levelling Up fund, with the bulk of the £17.5m scheme seeing the Upper Campfield and Lower Campfield Market buildings (both Grade II-listed structures) lovingly transformed into a new tech, media and creative industries hub.
Issuing a statement following the announcement, Director and CEO of HOME, Dave Moutrey said they are delighted to provide “meaningful, additional creative space for artists” and allow them to “grow the work that we do with artists in the North West, across theatre, film, visual art and digital works”.
As for the Council itself, leader Bev Craig said: “These arches are part of our heritage which have sat unloved and underused for many years. This scheme is bringing them back to life with a very modern purpose – complementing the thriving cultural economy in our city.
“Culture has a huge role to play in the success of our city and its people – creatively, for health and well-being and economically. This project will enhance this part of the city centre, create new jobs and further strengthen Manchester’s cultural ecosystem.”
We can’t wait to see how the new historic railway arches look under the loving stewardship of HOME and see the impact it makes on local creativity and culture.
Darren Spratt from estate agent Fisher Hopper told the BBC: “We’ve never had anything quite like this.”
“It’s about a 20 to 25-minute walk to the property,” he added. “That’s one way to lug your shopping.”
He also said that although the home has drummed up a lot of interest, a new buyer hasn’t yet been found for it.
The property listing states: “Exciting renovation project in a stunningly beautiful location. 3 Bleamoor Cottages is a former railway worker’s home situated on the main hiking path up Whernside, in the Yorkshire Dales.
“Adjacent to the famous Settle to Carlisle railway line above Ribblehead, the property presents an interesting investment, with a range of potential commercial opportunities apparent: private holiday home; unique AirBnB style experience; bunkhouse or refreshment stop on the Yorkshire 3 Peaks Challenge route. Plans will be subject to the necessary consents – this is in the heart of the National Park – but for the right buyer with vision, there is great potential here.
“Due to the unusual nature of the location, interested parties are advised that it is a 20 minute walk from the parking at Ribblehead Viaduct to reach this property. There is no vehicular access for viewings.”
When Rightmove shared the listing, they wrote: “When having neighbours is just not your thing… This home located in the Yorkshire Dales takes remote living to the next level!”