Boasting a holiday home in one of Europe's sunnier destinations was once the preserve of the extremely wealthy minority - those who had accumulated vast fortunes and could afford to splash out on lucrative purchases.

Yet given property prices in Europe and the growing numbers of people who aspire to own overseas property, one expert believes that buying a second home abroad is now a real option for many Brits, rather than the dream it once was.

"Brits will continue to buy second homes 'in the sun'; it has become a reality for so many rather than the dream it once was for all but a few," said James Price, head of international residential development at Knight Frank.

As the future of the eurozone remains clouded and experts speculate on the performance of the continent's various housing markets, it appears that lower prices could make a foreign purchase a far more feasible option for Britons than in years gone by.

Given the rain-filled week that has just passed, the chance to live under clearer skies in guaranteed sunshine and warmer temperatures may lure growing numbers to Europe's shores.

While there is a vast range of considerations for potential overseas property owners to take into account - such as the need for second home insurance if they are going to be dividing their time between home comforts and foreign sun - it seems that there is a clear opportunity to take advantage of the current situation.

French bank Credit Agricole has recently forecast that property prices in the country could drop by as much as six per cent in 2012 - a factor that suggests the cost of securing a dream holiday home could become even more affordable for Brits.

With many Britons aspiring to buy their dream holiday home as a means to escape the less-than-ideal climate that prevails on home shores at will, it appears that the dream is now a reality for far more people than in the past.