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12th October 2007

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Brits buy abroad for lifestyle reasons - and neary half choose Spain

According to new independent research from currency exchange provider HIFX, Britons place greater value on the weather and lifestyle than on investment and profit making when they buy property overseas.

Based on research conducted by YouGov (from an online survey of nearly 2,500 adults in April & May), 62% see the chance to escape the cold and wet of home as the main benefit of buying a property abroad. Half want to escape their stressful lifestyle where working hours are long and over a quarter would eventually like to move abroad permanently.

HIFX's research shows that more than 29 million UK citizens hope to buy a property abroad and that 11 million could own one over the next five years. Spain remains the most popular location with 46% of potential buyers intending to own there. Almost half would prefer a villa by the sea, followed by a house in the countryside (19%). Only 5% of buyers would consider an apartment in a city and that includes those wishing to emigrate, suggesting that most Brits want their overseas home to be a complete escape from their current busy lifestyle.

Blessed with one of the country’s most favourable climates, Spain’s Murcia region is set to benefit greatly from the Brits’ passion for the Spanish sun. With more than 320 days of sunshine a year, it is already very accessible via numerous low cost routes into Alicante and the expanding Murcia (San Javier) airports, and this is set to improve further with the opening of Murcia’s new international airport at Corvera in 2009.

Thousands of UK buyers are choosing the extensive lifestyle benefits of golf resort property ownership, where shopping, leisure and entertainment facilities are provided in self contained gated communities. Market leader Polaris World is Europe’s largest developer of residential tourist property and is building a unique family of seven resorts in the region each featuring a Nicklaus designed golf course.

Mark Bodega, marketing director of HIFX, said: "There has been a shift from a second home being regarded as a luxury to it being something attainable by most people. In 1995, the average price paid for a second home overseas was 65% of the average UK property price. By 2005 it had fallen to 37% reflecting in part steeper house price inflation in the UK, but also the fact that second homes had become more of a mass market aspiration”.

"The impact of growing prosperity, cheaper flights and the low cost of borrowing - even lower in the eurozone than in the UK - mean the trend for buying property abroad is expected to accelerate".

James Espin. 5th July 2006.

About Polaris World & Polaris Golf Property UK

James & Debbie Espin are Directors of Overseas Property UK, the parent Company of Polaris Golf Property UK which specialises in the promotion of property for sale on the unique family of seven Polaris World Golf Resorts in Murcia, Spain featuring nine Nicklaus designed golf courses. Since being introduced to Polaris World at its outset more than four years ago, they have built up a widespread knowledge of the resorts, the Murcia region and the buying process in Spain as well as the extensive range of property, home and lifestyle services that the Polaris World companies offer to their clients.

For Editors

James & Debbie Espin are available to comment on Polaris World and the property market in Spain. Please contact them by telephone in the UK on 0845 4 66 55 44 or by email.