The Times source figures from Currencies Direct which report that transactions from Brits are up 84% in Spain and 65% in France on last year. It’s a small data set but the general trend (although perhaps not at the same level) is supported by many other sources.
It’s almost a perfect storm for the British overseas property market:
Rising UK house prices allowing significant equity release to fund international purchases
A favourable exchange rate. The pound is at a 22 month high against the Euro. British buyers get €1.25 euros to the pound today, a way off €1.45 at the height of the last boom but still not bad
Rising consumer confidence – The UK had the best GDP figures in Europe according to data publish this month
The biggest ingredient for a perfect storm is fear of loss, which always drives booms. Rising prices in Spain may yet provide that ingredient in this market (France, Italy and Portugal won’t rise any time soon and US seems to be levelling off).