Once all the rage, buying property off-plan couldn’t be more out of fashion. A great time, then, to publish an updated legal guide to buying off-plan in Spain.
Not only is buying off-plan now out of fashion, but even if you wanted to you would struggle to find any off-plan projects in Spain today. Planning approvals have collapsed by around 95pc since the boom (see chart), and the Spanish house-building industry has been wiped out by a lack of finance as much as a lack of demand.
How different things are compared to 2006, at the height of the Spanish off-plan property frenzy. Back then you could pretty much sell anything off-plan to speculators (mainly British, Irish and Spanish), and there was no shortage of fantastical projects to lure in investors.
That was an undesirable extreme, as is the situation today. At some point over the next couple of years there will have to be an increase in new developments for sale off-plan, and I even wonder if there might be a period of shortage that drives a mini sales-frenzy.
But whenever off-plan property comes back into fashion, which it will one day, buyers would be well-advised to proceed with caution, as buying off-plan is inherently more risky than buying the finished goods. A great place to start would be this updated guide to buying property off-plan in Spain just written by lawyer Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt.