Beatriz Corredor, Secretary of State for Housing, is back on the road this week promoting Spanish property to buyers in cities around Europe.
She will kick off her tour tomorrow, Thursday 15 September, in Hamburg, Germany, and then visit France, the UK, Sweden, and Holland over the next month.
This is the second leg of a Government-led road-show to promote Spanish property to markets around Europe
The first leg, back in May, was aimed at institutional investors. This time round Corredor will be accompanied by banks and developers with a portfolio of properties to sell.
The objective is to find buyers to help digest the glut of new homes on the Spanish coast. There are too many homes for the domestic market to cope with on its own.
By some estimates, 55pc of Spain’s 700,000-odd new homes on the market were built on the Mediterranean coast with holiday-home buyers in mind.
To qualify for the road-show, the companies must first get a thumbs up for their properties from “some agency with internationally-recognisable valuation standards that certifies all their characteristics, from quality to town-planning situation, including locations (distance to the coast, to the closest airport, health and leisure facilities, etc.),” says the government press release, somewhat quixotically.
Will it do any good?
Spanish banks and developers have voiced support, but critics in the UK, like MEP Michael Cashman, say Spain needs to compensate innocent victims and sort our problems like town-planning corruption first. You can read the criticisms in this forum thread.
Personally, I think it is a futile gesture that puts the cart before the horse. There are more important things the Government should do first, or at least set in motion, for example:
– Reform town-planning legislation
– Pressurise regional governments to reform so-called “Land Grab” laws
– Enforce laws in a timely-fashion
– Fix the courts as justice delayed is justice denied
– Improve market transparency
– Reduce transaction costs (some progress)
– Tackle systemic corruption (some progress)
– Punish corrupt officials (some progress)
– Regulate estate agents
– Make lawyers more accountable to their clients
– Re-think the urban-planning model
– Reform the absurd Ley de Costas / Coastal Law
– Enforce bank-guarantees
– Encourage architectural diversity and innovation
– Stop peddling conspiracy theories
– Help innocent victims of scandals
– Compensate Len and Helen Prior
The last point alone would do more to boost Spanish property in the UK than any amount of road-shows ever could.
See also: Telegraph website article My solutions to the expat Spanish property scandal by Maura Hillen, president of an expat action group, on what the Andalusian Government needs to do to sort out the manifold housing market problems within its borders.