March 2005, Brief comments on the property market in Teruel, Spain
Teruel is the southernmost province of the Autonomous region of Aragon. Much of the area is mountainous and there is some limited skiing. Some people consider it to have some of Spain’s most beautiful countryside.
Property in Teruel is relatively cheap compared to the Average for Spain. It is a rural province with little industry and the farming is not easy due to the terrain and climate. During Spain’s industrialisation over the last 100 years the young and able bodied left the region to seek work in the cities and local communities dwindled with their exodus. Many villages were abandoned, resulting in an excess of property and low prices. The government doesn’t publish figures for the province of Teruel but average property prices for the whole of Aragon are 12% below the national average. An index for new build prices – which is available for Teruel – reveals that Teruel is the 7th cheapest province in Spain in which to buy property. Only Pontevedra, Lugo, Badajoz, Cuenca, Zamora and Palencia are cheaper. However property prices have been rising of late in Teruel as buyers from Barcelona and Valencia acquire second homes in the province, especially in the most picturesque villages such as Rubielos de Mora. New build prices rose by 21% last year and resales are likely to have increased by a similar amount. Foreign buyers are becoming aware of Teruel as a destination in which to buy holiday homes and this will expand demand and contribute to upward pressure on prices.
The countryside is virgin and appeals to all nature lovers, hill walkers, and climbers. Teruel was the stage where the Moors and Christian both fought and lived together for centuries before the Moors were driven out by Los Reyes Católicos. This means it has some wonderful historic architecture and many of its villages are highly picturesque. The fact that Easyjet now flies to Valencia airport just 1&1/2 hours away by car makes the region more accessible than ever to foreign buyers, which inevitably drives up demand.
However there are several reasons why foreign demand here will always be niche, at least for the foreseeable future:
- Climate – very pleasant in the summer but extremely cold in winter ( by Spanish standards),
- Social isolation. There are very few expats living in Teruel and English is hardly spoken by local people. This also makes life for non-Spanish speakers a challenge when dealing with everyday issues of life and property-maintenance.
- Infrastructure. It is one of the least developed parts of Spain – part of its charm – but this does make getting to and from Teruel a barrier for foreigners.
Nevertheless, the increasing awareness of Teruel amongst foreign buyers (recently ranked one of top 10 places to buy in the world by Amanda Lamb of A Place In The Sun and featured in a recent Sunday Times article on property abroad), combined with increased accessibility means that foreign demand for property in Teruel will edge up and add to the increasing local demand amongst Spanish holiday home buyers.
Property in Teruel, Spain
© Mark Stucklin (Spanish Property Insight)