There was a time when bank repos were a great opportunity. Between 2012 and 2014 you could find real bargains in nice areas on the coast, and even in cities like Barcelona. However, new research from the Spanish property portal Idealista reveals that most of the homes banks now have for sale are located in small towns with little demand.
Idealista has analysed the location of all the homes listed by banks with the portal, and compared them to resident populations. It turns out that 50% of bank repo listings are located in small municipalities with a population of 20,000 or less. These are typically towns in the Spanish interior with ageing and declining populations where there is little or no new demand for housing. Those homes are not going to be easy to sell at any price.
At the other end of the scale, just 4% of bank repos listed with idealista are in cities with populations greater than 500,000 like Barcelona and Madrid. That’s another way of saying banks have nothing interesting listed for sale with Idealista in big cities.
What about hotspots on the coast? I spent a lot of time analysing bank stocks for sale in attractive coastal resorts a few years ago, and at the time there was still plenty of unattractive homes for sale at low prices. I would expect stocks to be much lower now, and having just had a glance at bank stock listings in Javea, on the North Costa Blanca, that looks to be the case. There is very little on offer that would appeal to foreign buyers.
I did find one property for sale in Javea from a bank (pictured below, link here) with a location that would suit a second-home buyer, but the price was shocking. It is a 58m2 studio flat (just 38m2 useable) with sea views and terrace frontline beach with an asking price €700,000. That’s more than 12,000 €/m2, which puts the most expensive addresses of Barcelona and Madrid in the shade. If that’s what a bank is asking, imagine what private vendors of homes in that area must be thinking?