What’s going on around here?

Strange people with nothing better to do might have noticed that I no longer publish a regular stream of Spanish property news in this section. From now on I’ve decided to put the news in a special section of the forum (Spanish property news) where discussion is easier. Personally I find I get more out of the news when it is picked over by our well informed and opinionated community of participants in the Spanish Property Insight forums.

So what’s left for this section? This is where I will publish my own articles, opinions, research and reports on everything to do with property in Spain, plus articles written by some of my expert guest contributors. This is where you’ll find the real insight to help you take informed decisions, be you a buyer, vendor, owner or investor in Spanish property.

One consequence will be more stuff to share with you, so I plan to send out a news bulletin once a week starting in June, up from the present rate of once a fortnight.

There is another good reason why there will be more articles, news and information to share with you from now on, and this because things are getting more interesting on the Spanish property front. After five years of declining house prices, declining transactions, declining housing starts, declining confidence…, I think we are approaching the bottom of the market in some popular coastal areas and key cities like Barcelona and Madrid. These are interesting times.

The bottom of the market is a time of risk and opportunity. It’s when the majority capitulate and smart buyers make money, and you only really see it with hindsight. Personally, I’d always rather buy close to the bottom than close to the top. The paradox is most people feel safer buying after years of rising prices that lull them into a false sense of security. As a rule of thumb you are safer buying after years of falling prices, when at least you are more aware of the risks. Spanish property prices have now been falling for five years, and are now down around 50pc or more. I think the bust is played out in many popular areas, but I don’t expect a dramatic recovery a la Florida or Dubai, but who knows. Whatever happens, I’ll be sure to keep you informed.

Thoughts on “What’s going on around here?

  • Hi Mark
    I am sorry but your optimism re the property market I believe is an emotional one and cannot be based on fact.
    What happens when the the banks start dumping their toxic assets? A further factor :- when the sliver lining appears and it really does seem things are on the rise the 69% of foreign residents who have had enough of Spain will dump their properties and depart ASAP, thus once again depressing the market. Add this to the “Spanish death wish” in imposing more punitive laws against the property owners and the silver lining disappears and the low pressure region stays put for a long long time.

    I would be interested in you comments if you can spare the time. All my articles are not depressive and if you would like a short item please let me know.


  • John Thompson says:

    Interesting that you’re calling the bottom of the market just at the point when – amongst other considerations – SAREB has finally come into existence with the objective of unloading a minimum of 45,500 residential units over the next 5 years – come hell or high water (i.e. at whatever pricing is achievable in this extremely depressed marketplace). No disrespect to you, but I think I prefer to run with the views of those (such as Standard & Poor’s, to name but one) who are predicting a further 20% fall in residential prices over the next 4 years – precisely because of the impact on pricing of SAREB’s future activities.

  • Mark Stücklin says:

    I see I’ll have to write a proper article on this question of the bottom setting out my position. For now all I can say by way of qualification is that I’m not sure we’ve reached bottom, but I do think we are getting close or may even be there in the best, most sought after areas. I’ve seen prices go down 50pc and I don’t think they’ll go down much further, certainly not another 50pc. I think that, if you can afford it, Spain now offers good value if you are looking for a home to enjoy. I also think professional investors can make a good return if they play their cards right in Spain today. But I am deeply worried by this Government, and I wouldn’t advise anyone who can’t afford it to invest in Spain today.

  • As a potential investor, I see spanish policymaking the most important factor now. The economy may have right-sized itself ( within the eurozone contraints at least…) and there have been no nasty surprises for a while. So, policy will now be the factor that makes or break the property recovery I believe. Unfortunately, I don’t have much confidence in this spanish government.

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