There's no escaping the fact that for us Britons, shopping is a favourite pastime! And even in these economically challenging times we cannot reign in our passion completely it seems. A new survey conducted by a private banking arm of Banco Santander has revealed that one commodity we still aspire to, hanker after and plan on buying is a home abroad.Yes indeed, property abroad is still an attractive investment commodity with up to three million of us Brits actively planning on making a purchase over the next two years according to the bank's survey.Depending on the age of respondents questioned by the Cater Allen Private Bank survey, the intention to purchase a home overseas was either driven by a strong desire for investment diversification or by lifestyle enhancement reasons.The younger the respondents were, the more likely they were to be planning a move into the world of overseas property for investment purposes. 60% of those aged between 18 and 34 who stated that they intended to buy a property abroad confirmed that they wanted to invest overseas. This age group are considered to have the longest time available to them to raise money towards their financial future, and so it makes sense to us that they see any purchase made as a part of their overall portfolio diversification strategy.Naturally enough, the closer respondents were to retirement age, the more likely they were to consider a purchase of real estate made abroad as a lifestyle enhancement choice. This ties in neatly with the commonly understood fact that increasing numbers of Britons are actively contemplating a retirement overseas. According to the survey by the private banking arm of Banco Santander, up to 2.3 million of us Brits already own homes abroad, and from our own research, a high percentage of these homes are owned by those who at least one day have a dream of moving to live overseas.No matter how bad the financial fallout from the immature and grossly negligent international banking activity will be, you cannot dampen the British enthusiasm for property and for property abroad in particular. As times get tougher and the winter draws ever closer, more and more of us dream of escape, and one sure way to be able to fly away from crashing markets is to own a bolt hole in the sun!