International agents are not marketing to Danish buyers effectively, missing out on the chance to reach the estimated 43% of investors that plan to buy abroad in 2009, said Ole Bolvig Hansen, MD of Denmark-based exhibition organiser Bolig I Udlandet.
“Danes and Scandinavians don’t use and know English-language property portals,” he said. “Most people searching the Internet are using Danish and not English words and phrases. They don’t key in ‘property france’ for example, they key in ‘bolig frankrig’. When doing that, they will not find Propertyfinder and the rest in the results, and if they do it will be down in page ten and a lot of English-speaking agents are missing out on the Danish buyer.”
Danes already own around 50,000 properties abroad, with Spain (32 %) the preferred destination in 2009, followed by France (28 %), Italy (15 %), Turkey (12 %), Thailand 10%, Bulgaria (8 %), Greece (8 %), Portugal (7 %), Dubai (6 %) and Croatia (5 %), according to its visitor survey in November last year.
Organisers of international property events for five years in Denmark, the company is launching a new consumer portal for Danish buyers this month and plans to roll out native language versions in Sweden, Norway and Finland throughout the year.
“Danes don’t have a source or a place where they can find information about buying property abroad except when they visit our exhibitions,” added Hansen. “We don’t have any specialised magazines in Denmark and the daily newspapers are doing a poor job of covering this area. On the new website they can find information about our exhibitions, look for properties for sale and rent, read the news sections and ask for expert advice.”
The company’s research in November also revealed a profile of the Danish buyer. The average Dane has a household income of €140,000, and will look to spend around €283,000 on a property overseas. Some 43% plan to buy within the next 12 months, while 29% will look to invest by 2011. An additional 24% are also looking to buy their second or third property abroad in 2009. Around 35% of Danes will finance their purchase with cash, followed by a mortgage (23%), equity release (14%) and 28% haven’t decided on the method of purchase.