When the economic going gets tough, holiday budgets are often the first item in the household budget to suffer. Which explains why holiday rental apartments on the Costa del Sol are struggling to find bookings this year, according to a recent article in the Spanish press.
Though not yet in recession, Spain’s economy is slowly but surely losing momentum, as a venomous cocktail of high inflation, low productivity, falling competitiveness, and a comatose housing market take the wind out of the Spanish economy’s sails. Rising unemployment and economic worries dominate the news.
As a result, Spanish holiday makers are looking to reduce holiday budgets for the first time in years. Holiday rental agencies in popular destinations like Benalmadena, Rincon de la Victoria, and even Malaga city itself, report that bookings for the high season have yet to materialise, when this time last year many rental properties were already booked up, with deposits paid.
What enquiries there have been suggest that Spanish holiday makers – still the biggest group despite internationally diversified demand – are looking for smaller apartments with more beds for less money. Many appear to be delaying booking until the last minute, in the hope of finding bargains.
The one exception is Marbella, where bookings, though down on previous years, are already being taken. But unfortunately for owners of rental properties in Marbella, the competition is also stronger this year, as a fall in property sales means more owners turning to rentals until the housing market picks up.