Survey Spain is a company of RICS* qualified surveyors offering building surveys, snagging surveys, property valuations, and due diligence for buyers and investors in Spain with the highest international standards of service.
We speak English and Spanish, and all our building survey and valuation reports are reviewed by a second surveyor for total professional integrity.
We are experienced, independent, conscientious, and work for our clients with no conflicting loyalties to other parties such as banks, developers, contractors, owners, estate agents, lawyers or town halls! We look after your interests, and your interests alone.
Our building surveys, which should be carried out before a property is bought or leased to identify potential problems before it’s too late, are of huge value to people buying or renting a home in Spain. These surveys aim to find defects that are in many cases not obvious to the untrained eye, identify their causes, and recommend solutions. We also check the paperwork such as deeds match the physical reality of the building. We also offer pre-occupation snagging surveys for new properties purchased off-plan or under construction.
The Survey Spain head office is in Malaga Province (Costa del Sol), but our team of surveyors and appraisal experts live and work throughout the Iberian Peninsula, from the Algarve in Portugal; all the Costas (Costa Blanca, Costa Brava, etc) and inland around Spain up to the French border, plus the Balearic (Mallorca, etc) and the Canary (Tenerife, etc) islands; and Gibraltar.
We provide current market valuations by RICS registered valuers, and expert witness valuations for legal proceedings in many other jurisdictions in connection with Divorce (Matrimonial), Inheritance (Probate), Tax and all other disputes where a Spanish property is involved. We also act for the British Government (Inland Revenue and NCA).
Our network of surveyors and valuation experts have many years of experience with residential, commercial and leisure buildings and land throughout Spain.
*Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. NOT controlled by the Bank of Spain.
The Importance of RICS Regulation when employing a surveyor in Spain
When employing a surveyor, a firm ‘Regulated by RICS’ is reassuring as you then know that as well as providing the service you need, it is also regulated by an internationally renowned and respected professional body. In a world where people, governments, banks and organisations demand greater transparency and certainty of professional standards and values, attaining RICS ‘regulated’ status is the recognised mark of property professionalism.
Survey Spain’s surveyors have all trained to graduate level and met the RICS entry standards that ensure all applicants and all new entrants into the profession meet high levels of technical ability. Thereafter, RICS members have to demonstrate that they have experience and maintain the highest standards of the profession. Similarly, Survey Spain has carefully selected the RICS members of their Network to ensure that they have wide experience and are living and working in Spain.
A professional body has to go beyond the initial training to ensure that people who enter the profession don’t let their standards drop and so all members have to comply with the requirements of Continuing Professional Development training, through formal and informal courses and support from more experienced surveyors to meet legislative or regulatory requirements. That’s an added benefit of working in a Network rather than an isolated ‘one man band’ or simple partnership.
RICS regulation provides assurance to clients, markets and the general public that members and firms operate to the standards set out in RICS Rules of Conduct and that there are sanctions if they don’t. Survey Spain’s RICS approved procedures, philosophy and ethics are in place to provide for the protection of our clients.
Survey Spain meets other essential parts of complying with RICS regulation in having an approved Complaints Procedure and Professional Indemnity Insurance.
Being advised by a Survey Spain Network RICS Regulated Surveyor means that you can have:
Confidence that you are assisted by the highest professional authority in property and that you can always expect to be dealt with professionally and ethically.
Complete transparency in terms of business and fees charged for any work undertaken.
Peace of mind that you have recourse to a prescribed Complaints Handling Procedure, including appeal to independent arbitration.
Trust in the professional knowledge, skill and experience of Survey Spain’s chartered surveyors; that they will advise with a ‘professional conscience’; and will include answering the questions you didn’t know to ask!
* This article has been written by a third party not owned or controlled by Spanish Property Insight (SPI). SPI disclaims any responsibility or liability related to your access to or use of any third party content.
As stated in Section 1 of this Report, which deals with Wider Trends and Evidence, there are many external influences on our very international market on the Spanish Costas and Islands. They cover a wide range of home economies of buyers, which, fortunately, has a ‘swings and roundabouts’ effect, so that when one is down another is up.
American interest is on the increase, perhaps in part due to a recent Forbes magazine article on ideal retirement places, including 3 areas of Spain.
One agent has stated that the Málaga city demand is insatiable, with much of it being Airbnb linked, for at least part of the year. Given Barcelona’s experience and the leaning of the new national Government we now have in Spain, I foresee more draconian regulations coming in countrywide.
Regarding construction, one of our consultants is also very involved in Project Management and representing buyers of construction, not just of larger developments, of which there are fewer starting now than a year ago, but also of individual new build and reform villas. He has stated the following –
Market is very strange at the moment, as there are cranes and construction everywhere, but agents are saying that things are difficult.
Who is going to buy the excess stock?
Both construction prices and sales prices are high and rising daily and the feeling is that the market cannot sustain these prices.
Brexit is also still causing uncertainty with UK buyers.
I think we can say with some certainty that 2020 will bring about an adjustment in the market.
These comments are supported by little activity on development sites near the Survey Spain office, when I cycled around them on a Saturday morning. In the past there has been activity every day.
A recent article on a construction related website infoconstruccion.es , has shown graphs indicating reductions in the national consumption of cement and paints in 2019 compared to 2018, especially in the later months of the year.
On the other hand, in the later months of 2019 compared to 2018, there was a significant increase in the number of mortgages granted. No doubt this was encouraged by the low interest rates, but could also be an indication of all the new builds starting to come to completion, with the buyers being obliged to complete. If that is the case, it shouldn’t necessarily be interpreted as a sign of increasing numbers of buyers, due to these sales actually having occurred months ago.
As stated elsewhere, there are strong indications that the new build market is struggling, but we haven’t seen a wide range of prices being reduced.
The developers have a dilemma, in that if they offer lower prices to new buyers, those who have already bought with private contracts, but not yet signed at the notary, are going to demand equal treatment.
It can also make buyers less inclined to sign, in the hope that prices will reduce further, with a downward spiral effect.
Traditionally, Phase 2 of projects have been marketed with gains in value on Phase 1 as examples, but if these are not happening, it could lead to buyers reconsidering.
Also, if the developer hasn’t included a clause prohibiting ‘resale’ of the private contracts, then they could find that their prices are being undermined by existing buyers ‘off-loading’ their contracts at lower prices before they need to pay the bulk of the price on completion at the notary.
Statistics – average difference between the Asking Price and Actual Selling Price
We keep a record of these along with our valuations. Though the numbers of examples is relatively small, they give a good indication of the general strength of the market. Also, our statistics cover the geographical range of building surveys and valuation surveys, this quarter ranging from Girona, Barcelona, Alicante, Murcia, Alicante, Granada, Málaga and Cádiz provinces.
Quarters of 2019
January to March – 7.61%
April to June – 10.69%
July to September – 9.7%
October to December – 11.29% – These figures are the average of a range from 0 to 16%
They appear to show the changes in optimism in the market, with the most recent indicating that buyers have been able to negotiate harder with sellers and achieve better price reductions. It should also be remembered that many of these reductions will have been achieved after we have provided the buyer with a building survey report, enabling them to point out to the seller the defects and quantify the costs of remedying them. With an average buying price of 745,000€ euro, showing an average reduction of 95,000€ euro, our survey fee is repaid many times over.
Areas where Survey Spain has Building Surveyors and RICS valuers.The market in individual Municipalities and Areas – Reports from agents and valuers.NOTE that a number of professionals in all areas have been consulted and below is an amalgam of their responses. However, their opinions have been interpreted by Survey Spain and so the consultants bear no responsibility for the actual opinions expressed below.
Also, within these areas there are many variations in general value, between city and town, inland and coastal properties, even within urbanisations, frontline golf or beach, etc.
The highest value was just below 5,000€ euro/sq m for a villa in Benahavis; and the lowest was 1,043€ euro/sq m for a townhouse in Benalmádena.
San Roque (Sotogrande, etc) (Thanks for assistance from Charles Gubbins of Noll & Partners)
The average property size was 321 sq m and rate per sq m of 2,133 € euro.
Last year was poorer than 2018 for UK and Gibraltar interest, which was principally due to the uncertainties related to Brexit’s multiple deadlines and nobody knowing what the final result would be. However, there has been a much more positive response to the UK election and the acknowledgement that Brexit will happen at the end of January 2020. The terms are still unknown, as the UK Government in the last few days appears to have reneged on some of its election promises, but buyers appear to have faith that nothing radical will change now.
Gibraltarians are much less sanguine, anticipating border problems and realising that remaining living ‘under the radar’ in Spain is coming to an end. Accordingly, they are having to find accommodation in the increasingly expensive Gibraltar property market. Many of the 12,000+ workers who travel across the border daily, cannot afford Gibraltar prices and have to live in Spain, with firms in Gibraltar becoming nervous that these workers will have increasing problems turning up on time and so considering relocation elsewhere. If that happens, the La Linea and San Roque apartment and rental market is going to suffer, as it already is at the higher end.
On the positive side, Sotogrande SA has been investing in substantial marketing for the area, which has brought in new interests. In addition, the good reputation of Sotogrande International School, is bringing in families from along the Costa del Sol, who are looking for homes. The recent Russian purchase of San Roque Golf Course, linked to one of the most prestigious in Moscow, is also bringing investment and High Net Worth buyers into the area
Plots are selling and there are still buyers prepared to buy perfectly good houses for the site alone, knock down the house and then build to their own taste. It may not be economically practical, but it satisfies their ego.
There is some concern at the number of apartments proposed for the area, perhaps being signs of a ‘bubble’, but the local Councillors will carry on granting the licences as long as the they require the votes and support of the workers and businesses benefitting from the construction.
Casares and Gaucín. (Thanks for assistance from Oscar Ernstsen of Villas & Fincas)
The average property size was 102 sq m and rate per sq m of 1,281€ euro. These were largely coastal properties, whilst the comments below relate to larger country villas and the like. These are two very different markets. (See comments on ‘Overall Market’ above.
The market here has been strong since the beginning of October. The interest comes from all over the world, a regular United Nations, with US interest increasing recently. The problems of the EU and Brexit are not having any effect.
There is a lack of good property, being 250 – 300 sq m, on the SE side of the hills facing the sea and recently tastefully remodelled. A recent sale of such a property was at 1.3M€ euro, when its pre-crisis unreformed value was in the region of 800,000€ euro
The Gaucín market continues to be difficult, with only those with good views and well-presented having serious interest.
In the countryside, it’s not possible to get permission to build new or even demolish and build new on the site. The maximum that can be done is to strip the property back to the shell and then create modern services and finishes within that.
The Junta’s proposals to permit ‘regularisation’ of currently illegal properties will solve many problems for many owners, but this has been delayed by the National Government’s objections, and so the situation for these owners remains in ‘limbo’.
Manilva (including Duquesa and Sabinillas)
(Thanks for assistance from Damian Barrington of Barrington Homes)
There were too few properties valued to provide meaningful statistics.
There are still sales, but less than expected. It’s noticeable that when Brexit is high in the news, that sales drop, but when there’s a lull they pick up again. There have been the same number of enquiries or even more, which shows that the demand is there, just a hesitancy of knowing what’s to be the final situation.
The off-plan market has driven up prices too high. At least one developer has had the experience of mortgage valuers reporting at 20% below the asking price because that’s what their market comparisons are showing. It will take time for the actual sales of new development to show in the market evidence, which may lift the valuations. In the meantime, it’s holding back sales. (Survey Spain – the mortgage tasadores are bound to be cautious as they have to value by the conservative rules imposed by the Bank of Spain, and they’ll also remember the claims against them for supposedly over-valuing after every crash in values.)
Estepona (Thanks for assistance from Adam Neale of Terra Meridiana)
The average property size was 396 sq m and rate per sq m of 2,266€ euro
The quantity of sales in 2019 remained the same as the year before, but the average value reduced considerably.
The market is very dependent upon Scandinavian interest, and should their national markets contract, there is likely to be a considerable downturn here.
UK interest increased noticeably after the election, but that has settled now. Currency changes are important to this market, but geopolitical events appear to have little influence.
There has been a huge amount of new build and developers are definitely nervous, offering higher commissions, etc, but as yet there is no sign of prices being reduced. Once one developer does that, it’s possible that others will have to follow.
Perhaps the nervousness is in waiting to find if the ‘buyers’ will eventually proceed to the notary when the first occupation licence is granted, or decide that the overall price is too high and walk away, losing their deposits, but avoiding taking on a mortgage with immediate negative equity.
The average property size was 1,360 sq m and rate per sq m of 4,990€ euro.
Benahavis has seen an increase averaging 5% in the Catastral Values of properties in the Municipality. Not much compared to the market increase from when it was last valued in 1996. However, it will make occupation more expensive, as most taxes are based on that value.
The town benefits from a benevolent Council, where residents are given very discounted passes for adults and children, to sports and cultural pursuits and training. However, it’s understood that the regional tax authorities are treating this as benefit in kind and taxing the recipient families accordingly.
The municipality benefits from some of the highest value properties in Andalucía and Spain. La Zagaleta is the peak, being a secluded, very private, planned urbanisation, with a minimum plot size of 5,000 sq m. The villas can be huge, 2,000 sq m and more, whilst the values will be 6,000+€ euro going up to beyond 10,000€ euro per sq m. It’s a place where egos and money meet, often creating properties of great splendour, way beyond their resale value. Indeed, whenever Survey Spain are asked to value there, requiring special permission to enter, we often find that there are a great many properties listed for sale, which will make it a buyer’s market most of the time, with substantial discounts on asking price being sought.
The lesser urbanisations, though marginally so in peak value, are all seeing apartment developments and cranes, mostly creating the boxed, large windowed homes, plus plentiful resales. As an address, Los Flamingos, El Madroñal, La Quinta and even Los Arqueros, are all respected by the market, but, as everywhere, they are made up of a mix of very popular and some blighted areas, with the latter struggling to find sales. Again, it’s largely a buyer’s market overall.
The average property size was 416 sq m and rate per sq m of 3,225€ euro.
There’s not much new that can be said about this town, as it continues to be the star attraction of the Costa del Sol. Development has been severely curtained by the planning controversies, but the Ayuntamiento have promised that a new draft will be ready for presentation during the summer. It will still have to go through the many exacting procedures of Local, Province and Regional approval, before becoming law, hopefully without legal contest to the Supreme Court, which saw the nullifying of the 2010 proposals.
As elsewhere, there are many larger properties, some of the beach frontline, that have been for sale for a number of years, but still the sellers hope that someone will come along and pay their well above market value prices. Perhaps it’s more likely that a lesser price will be paid, and the property wholly or partly demolished/remodelled and a new ‘ego palace’ created.
The highest value property valued this quarter was a beachfront villa at with an asking price around 24M€ euro, which we reduced in our valuation to 18M€ euro, largely due to Title, overbuild and Ley de Costa problems. Why do owners and agents not get those sorted out before putting the property on the market, as it will have to be done anyway before a sale? All the delay is going to do is test the patience of the buyers as they wait, perhaps for a year or more, with the strong possibility that they will walk away, having found somewhere as good that they can enjoy immediately.
Our local valuer states.
The small slowdown that house prices will experience during 2020 will not be caused by Brexit, but by other factors. The process did not affect market prices during 2018-2019, so there is no reason to think otherwise in the future. During the transitional period there should be enough time for the market to adjust and it is not considered likely that Spain will suffer significantly from Brexit.
What Spain is suffering from is an unprecedented level of public debt. The new coalition Government will have to do something about it during 2020. If one method used to reduce the public debt comes in the form of implementing additional taxes on banks, that could increase mortgage rates, which will reduce demand and probably prices.
An interesting comment has been received from Martin Brown of Villa Rent regarding the rental market. Perhaps it’s also showing that development, prices and rentals are rising so much that the will ‘kill the goose that lays the golden eggs”
As a holiday rental agent…one of my main concerns is how the number of reformed villas in Nueva Andalucia in particular, will affect the affordability of the holiday market. In Aloha and Las Brisas, etc, 10 years ago there were hundreds of villas. All very serviceable and priced around 1m. That could be rented around 3k to 4k per week to the average middle class family looking for a nice family holiday. Now, these villas are being snapped up and reformed, usually with exit prices over 2.5/3m, and weekly rental prices of 10k+, pushing them beyond the means of average families. I wonder how much the local area can sustain if we don’t have usual middle class British, French, Scandinavian tourism
I’m not saying it’s a bad thing that the area is developing and improving, and homes are increasing in value, but it will change the demographic of our user base enormously…maybe upwardly…but is there enough of that traffic? Time will tell
Jaimie Hamilton Millan also reports
“My instinct is that 2020 is going to be a stable, if not flashy year. It is very difficult to glean accurate information as there are very few official sources in Spain, so most of my intel comes from my network of colleagues and contacts.
In short, last year did not live up to the expectations many had in terms of sales and activity. In my opinion, this year will be much the same. There inevitably has to be some kind of correction, and I think we are starting see that in the normal resale market. Many vendors are still hanging on to prices that can’t be achieved, but those who are more realistic can find a willing buyer.
The reformed luxury villas that are so ubiquitous now, are a different market, along with the comparatively expensive new build apartments. Development companies like Antima have single-handedly pushed Euro per metre rates up as much as 200% in some of their sales. However, at the same time, luxury villa specialists Sol Villa, are carrying a lot of unsold stock.
Assuming there is no global cataclysmic event to disrupt the economy, my hunch is that buyers will continue fall into three categories.
One, the tough bargain hunter looking to scalp anything with some profit in it or looking to the long term.
Two, the types of buyers coming from Scandinavia and the Benelux region, who tend to look for the right purchase for them and the long term, rather than immediate capital gain.
Lastly, buyers who are unaffected by economic swings, who are looking for brand new apartments and reformed or new villas, who are prepared to pay over-market value for their particular requirements.
However, another prediction I could offer is that we will see a number of developments dropping prices to increase sales as the terms of their borrowing change, and they see that demand is not as strong as they predicted.
Last year the British still purchased more units than any other nation, despite Brexit. However, as the process inevitably drags on, promises are broken and uncertainty continues, I can’t see this particular trend continuing.”
Mijas, Fuengirola, Benalmádena and Torremolinos
(Thanks for assistance from Mike Broad of Andersen Fox)
Mijas average property size was 262 sq m and rate per sq m of 2,232 € euro.
B. and T. average property size was 390.85 sq m and rate per sq m of 1,880€ euro.
2019 was a year that saw fewer interest from Brits, and more from Nordic, Belgian and especially Dutch buyers.
More stability is hoped for after 31st January, but until the exchange rate reaches 1.25€ euro to the £, it’s unlikely that the Brits will be back in the numbers seen before. There was no noticeable increase after the election, as all the doubts regarding the terms of residence are still here and will continue until the end of the transition period at the end of this year.
Exchange rates are important in the market up to about 400,000€ euro, but appear to be less so with higher value properties. Many properties are being remodelled instead of owners moving up market, and it’s notable that plot values appear to be reducing.
Climate change doesn’t feature strongly with most buyers, but developers have recognised the need to incorporate good water saving, heating and insulation specifications. These may be ahead of the market, making the properties appear more expensive than existing poorer spec buildings, but prudent buyers should recognise the running cost and living condition benefits.
For the best of the best there is always a buyer, but there is concern that the same overbuild mistakes are being made that are causing a bubble that will burst eventually.
We have received few requests to inspect properties or provide valuations, as the market there is very strongly tied to traditional local agencies, that do not encourage such prudent ‘habits’, that might reduce the value that they have promised the seller they will achieve. However, from the ones we have inspected, they are similar to other urban properties, with benefits and all the ‘usual suspect’ flaws seen elsewhere.
Being described as the “next Barcelona”, Málaga City is increasingly popular, where demand for apartments in the centre is described as ‘insatiable’. Much of it is investment/Airbnb linked, for at least part of the year, which will cause its own problems as we’ve seen in other intensely tourist cities.
The City council has just announced a 5 year ban on new bars or restaurants being created within the central area, as they are forcing out the shops and uses required for living.
Given Barcelona’s experience and the leaning of the National Government we now have, we foresee more draconian regulations coming in countrywide. However, the Government of Málaga City remains right wing and so may try to oppose anything they feel to be too draconian, which still wanting to preserve their City living.
However, that means that existing properties will be rising in value and as an investment location, it’s perhaps one of the safest in the Coastal areas. The new Metro will also open up areas that were previously property backwaters.
In addition, Málaga is noted as being one of the few cities where the rush hour goes in the opposite direction, with city dwellers moving out from the centre to their work place along the Costas, rather than the conventional suburban rush into the city. Therefore, as tourism develops, it should be that these city dwellers can find work closer to their homes, with all the personal and Climate benefits that could bring, and avoiding the ‘hollowing out’ of the central areas that has been seen in other cities.
Costa del Sol East and ‘Inland Spain’.
The average property size was 245 sq m and rate per sq m of 1,541€ euro.
Including Axarquía, Nerja and along the coast to Salobreña, this area has always had lower value properties, as most tourist turn right when leaving Málaga airport instead of travelling East towards some spectacular lake, mountain and cliff view that can be enjoyed here.
Poor ground conditions and especially planning irregularities have been a blight on many properties, although the Junta’s ‘Regularisation’ proposals could substantially ‘cure’ those problems, when they are finally approved. This could be a double edged sword, in that it will release a substantial number of properties onto the market, but take away the uplift from existing properties that have always complied with the regulations.
The coastal areas of Rincon de la Victoria, Torrox and Nerja are popular, both for long term living and holidays, with many being more Spanish and ‘authentic’ that their counterparts on the Western Costa del Sol.
Almería and Murcia
The average property size was 194 sq m and rate per sq m of 2,400€ euro.
Our valuer there, states
Well, it looked like it was coming and now it’s arrived! As indicated in the last quarter, notable in all my area (Almería and Murcia), with only slight regional variations, the market has certainly dipped, not only in terms of price increases, but also in number of sales. Whether this is just the time of the year, or something more fundamental, it’s difficult to say, but with so many external factors coming into play (i.e. Spanish political uncertainty, the Spanish and indeed, World economic slowdown and of course, Brexit, etc), we seem to be entering a new phase. Whether this is just a temporary ‘blip’ or more long term is impossible to say, but in my opinion, this will not be on the scale of 2008, just a ‘correction’ in the present ‘bull’ market. Only time will tell.
Murcia and Alicante South
The average property size was 508 sq m and rate per sq m of 2,147€ euro.
As stated above, the lower demand will not benefit the market, which has suffered from oversupply in many areas.
The popular area inland from and North of Torrevieja, has suffered from considerable repeat flooding, so that owners and potential buyers will be concerned at the prospects of what Climate Change might bring.
Costa Blanca North
The average property size was 225 sq m and rate per sq m of 1,986€ euro.
Our Valuer there states
The real estate market in the Valencian community has been stable in the last quarter. There has not been a remarkable variation in the market offer prices.
In the big cities, Valencia and Alicante, the pressure of the B&B and centralisation effect is still remarkable, and pushes prices to relatively high levels in certain areas. The market in these areas is oriented to investors, in the majority foreigners. The rental market is more and more concentrated in certain areas and focused on the tourist demand.
In the tourist cities, such as Torrevieja and Benidorm, a few big developments intended principally as holiday homes, are in progress.
In smaller coastal towns, the market is more orientated to resales. The market prices for new developments and land are quite overvalued, being very influenced by speculative elements. In this area, according to agent´s information, the British market is still the most active one.
The market in interior towns and cities has no variation, with low activity.
The clarification of the political situation in Spain and the UK, the low bank rates for deposits and a clear money politic in the Euro area, should make the real estate market an investment opportunity.
Barcelona and Costa Brava
The average property size was 238 sq m and rate per sq m of 4,486€ euro.
Our valuer states
The market is stable because prices are really high, even higher in some city areas than in 2007. There is demand, but there are not many transactions because the prices are too high for locals and leave little profitability for investors.
Investment funds are not buying buildings anymore because there is no profit left. They bought at 1014-2016 and now are selling properties.
Rents still are growing, but probably this year will stop because the demand can´t pay more if the local economy doesn’t grow.
Prices are growing surrounding Barcelona, but there’s much less demand when the prices get high, so prices will go lower to keep selling.
There not so much demand and many properties available. Only good locations and high quality properties will sell at a good price to foreigner investors. The prices for these properties could even go higher, because new urban plans are very restrictive for new properties close to sea or natural environment.
The rest of market may drop because the high prices are reducing the demand.
Balearics – Mallorca, Menorca and Ibiza
There were too few properties valued this quarter to provide meaningful statistics.
The general reports are that the market is still slow, with fewer buyers and lower prices.
It could be that the internationally reported protests against tourism in the Balearics as a whole has ‘spooked’ the market to some extent. That combined with the strong anti-development and property control stance taken by the local authorities, especially in Mallorca, mirroring to some extent those in Cataluña, will also have removed some of the excitement from the market.
Market reports show that the strength of demand is still from the UK, despite the lower exchange rates, with other traditional buyer nationalities of France and Germany also still buying. However, all have shown a slight decrease over the last year, perhaps reflecting their own domestic economy problems.
Our local valuer states:
For years there has been a steady demand, but few new properties. Over the last 2 years many new developments have appeared, and prices have risen. Now we appear to be at the top of the market regarding price, which probably won’t go higher.
There is still a big demand for rental, but there is insufficient property to meet that, so to invest here could still bring a good profit.
The average property size was 95 sq m and rate per sq m of 3,356€ euro.
Our local Building Surveyor and Valuer states –
In the touristic areas of the Canary Islands, after the usual fall in number of sales in July, August and September, with people more interested in holidaying than property searching, the market was slow to pick up again, as last year. Estate agents noted more interest and purchases in November and December.
Even though prices have stayed constant and even increased a little, there is now becoming a feeling amongst potential purchasers that they can, in many instances, make an offer below the asking price and still secure the property, whereas previously vendors rarely entertained reducing the asking price.
Actual Market Experience: from one of our younger building surveyors on Costa del Sol.
For some time now, I’ve been looking either for a new rental or to buy a property in my area, but in my experience, prices are going up and up. For example, the apartment we rent is 500€/month and the exact one next to ours, which has the same owner, rented the apartment for 650 €/month, but the renters left this month. I’ve found out that he is now asking for 750€/month, and he has already got a person interested.
Same goes for prices for buying, I find them all extremely high and in the several years that I’ve been searching, I haven’t seen them going lower.
On the other hand, I hear a lot of comments from many people related to construction, saying that there’s going to be another bubble bursting, and that it will be sooner than later, so I’m trying to be patient and see if this is true, and we can finally find something that we don’t have to pay a mortgage for the rest of our life.
Snagging –An essential inspection for the new buyer. (So we repeat this advice)
With many new properties coming to completion, we are being asked by prudent buyers to inspect them before they are accepted. The building contractor or site agent will have inspected them, but that will be as part of the general relationship with the builder.
Then the promotor will employ somebody, perhaps their selling estate agent, to look round the properties and note defects. Some will be racing round the many apartments in an urbanisation, wanting to get the job done quickly to get paid, with that likely to be a small payment per apartment, and not finding anything that could delay the sale. After all, they are being paid by the promoter and not the individual buyer.
Then a buyer will ask us to look at his or her apartment only and we list all the uncompleted items, defects and variations from specification that we find. So often, well always actually, we find examples of each of these and wonder why the promotor or developer said they were complete when they obviously were not. Our list is given to them in English and Spanish, as that’s what the tradesmen will likely require; and then either our client can check the progress of completion works or we can revisit, but we only do so when told in writing by the promoter or their representative that all is complete. That way, if it’s not, our client can demand compensation for any further inspections we have to make. It’s happened and developers/agents have paid.
Portfolios and High Rent Increases
These are still making headlines, with many of the funds who bought early in the recovery now selling to late arrivals, perhaps sensing that the run in values is losing steam.
The Spanish banks are also selling their bad credit debt portfolios, all cleaning out their problems, before the ‘storm’ that a downturn could bring.
However, for the mortgage payer in default or the tenant already struggling to pay the rent or the individual who has maxed out their credit, there is likely to be less understanding or compassion from owners who have paid a higher price to acquire their debt.
Climate Crisis –
All property owners and everyone associated with them, has a duty to reduce energy usage and carbon creation.
Human activities are responsible for almost all of the increase in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere over the last 150 years.
The Energy Certificate tends to be largely ignored by owners and agents as a bureaucratic inconvenience that must be obtained prior to going to the Notary. However, it is an increasingly important document for buyers, in that the efficiency reflects the likely running costs and environmental impact of the property. How many kW of energy per sq m will be used and how many Kg, or often tonnes, of CO2 will be polluted by the house per year. Accordingly, we recommend that buyers insist on seeing the CEE prior to deciding on purchase, so that they can compare one house against another, with the annual running costs perhaps outweighing price differences.
As valuers and building surveyors, Survey Spain has to take potential climate change effects into account when inspecting properties. Properties that emit less carbon and use less electricity, are going to be increasingly attractive and so have a higher value than less insulated, poorly equipped or serviced properties.
Expat owners are likely to have a higher carbon ‘footprint’, as it’s been found in the US that the average carbon ‘footprint’ of the wealthiest households is over five times that of the poorest.
* This article has been written by a third party not owned or controlled by Spanish Property Insight (SPI). SPI disclaims any responsibility or liability related to your access to or use of any third party content.
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