Marina D’Or to close London Oxford Street showroom

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The Spanish press reports that holiday-home developer Marina D’Or has initiated proceedings to abandon its London Oxford Street showroom, in a further sign of the slowdown in the Spanish holiday-home market.

The Marina D’Or Group, developer of the Marina D’Or resort in Oropesa, Castellón (North of Valencia), on the Costa Azahar, opened its Oxford Street showroom in 2006, planning to sell holiday apartments and property investments at its ‘vacation city’ resort to a booming British market. But whilst Marina D’Or was fitting out its showroom, British interest in Spanish property was already cooling fast, and has recently all but collapsed. As a result Marina D’Or is stuck with a lease, reported to run until 2020, on a London showroom that costs more than 580,000 Pounds per year in rent and taxes.

Given the fall in demand the financial burden of the running the showroom has become a problem for Marina D’Or reports an article in the Spanish financial daily ‘Expansion’. British buyers have abandoned Spain, claims the article, worried by the economic crisis at home and collapsing property prices abroad. The article quotes Ben May, an analyst at Capital Economics, as expecting “a drop of more than 30% in Spanish property prices in the next few years.” And according to experts, the number of holiday homes purchased by Britons has fallen from around 50,000 per year in 2005 and 2006 to less than 5,000 in 2008.

A handful of other Spanish developers, like now bankrupt Martinsa-Fadesa, and Llanera (who also sponsored Charlton Athletic), also opened up offices in London at around the same time. Most of them have now closed their London offices.

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