Insight into the Spanish property market, guides to help you make informed decisions, and a directory of real estate professionals and home service providers from a source you can trust.
This is a website for buyers, owners, and sellers of property in Spain, offering reliable information and resources to help you get things done with confidence. It is run by Mark Stücklin, author of the Spanish Property Doctor Column in The Sunday Times (2005-2008), and the book ‘Need to Know: Buying Property in Spain’ published by Collins.
When you buy or sell property in Spain the sums of money are large, perhaps one of the biggest financial decisions of your life. The high transaction costs you will face like taxes and commissions only make the decision more important to get right. And when you own property in Spain you face a host of extra challenges to manage, and costs to control. Unfortunately, the Spanish property market is opaque and full of pitfalls, and notoriously unprofessional. Buying and selling property in Spain is not a decision to be taken lightly, and you may find it much easier to buy than sell if you don’t take care. In this market it is crucial to do your own research, and don’t rely exclusively on people who are trying to sell you something – let’s just say they might not have your best interests at heart. Spanish Property Insight is the only independent source of information and analysis of the Spanish property market. Don’t even think about buying or selling property in Spain without subscribing to Spanish Property Insight.
Holiday home sales on the Costa Blanca (Alicante Province) have been particularly hard hit by the Spanish property crash, in part due to a heavy reliance on British buyers. Last year developers in Alicante province sold just 702 homes to non-resident European buyers, down by 83% in 2 years (4,233 sales in 2006), according to a recent article at the Spanish news website Información.es (quoting figures from the Ministry of Housing).
The Costa Blanca is suffering the consequences of relying too heavily on British buyers, explains the article, giving a number of reasons why British demand has collapsed.
Firstly, rising unemployment and an economic crisis at home is sapping British demand, whilst the credit crunch ensures that buyers can’t get financing.
“Many English mortgaged their homes to pay for the second home they bought here, but now that is impossible, they can’t get the mortgages,” explains Ramón Jerez, President of the Business and Construction Federation (Fecia), quoted in the article.
The weak pound is another reason why the British have stopped buying in Spain. Britons used to pay around 90,000 Pounds for a property costing 150,000 Euros. Now they have to pay around 136,000 pounds for the same thing.
Then there is the constant stream of property scandals and injustices, recently excoriated in the Auken report to the European Parliament, which have played a big part in turning off British buyers. “This has seriously damaged our reputation,” admits Ramón Jerez.
Interestingly, Jerez also concedes that Spanish developers might share some of the blame for the current mess. He calls for a halt to over-development, and suggests that developers should make more of an effort to understand the demands of their British, German and Scandinavian customers. “Before we start building again, we should get out to sell and understand what it is they want from us in each country,” says Jerez.
This is enlighten stuff, coming from someone in the Spanish building sector. Market research may be standard procedure in most industries, but Spanish developers have never given it much thought. If you have any doubts just look at what they did to the Spanish coast in recent years.
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