Thoughts on the Spanish property market in the light of the Coronavirus crisis

It’s difficult to predict how the property market here in Spain will react to these unprecedented times. So, with regards to the actual market, who knows what will happen next. 

Looking at it positively, there are huge portions of the world now at home, every day in self-isolation, with not much to do but dream.  While some may be able to work from home, others are all undoubtedly experiencing more downtime than ever before, and may use this as an opportunity to reevaluate their life, their plans for the future, and, perhaps, their dreams of finding a new life in the sunshine. So, whilst actual property enquiries and viewings have been paused right now, you can be sure that many people are passing the time each day house hunting online comparing the many different properties available in search of their dream home.

Face-to-face contact has temporarily stopped, and we have all become more reliant on technology, and we’re utilising it more than ever. It is allowing us to work, and stay connected with friends and family, while we remain at home. Will these enforced changes influence the way we view work in the future? How many employees and businesses will now realise that with an internet connection they can live, and work, from anywhere, and stay connected through video conferencing or the occasional commute when required?

So, once all of this uncertainty has passed, we might see a spike in enquiries, as people have decided that it is the right time to relocate, to make their move and find a place in the sun. 

The timing of this wave coming into the market is the biggest doubt because, as of yet, we don’t know for certain when the current restrictions are likely to be lifted. The countries who have been affected later will essentially become pariahs and prevented from travelling by the others that have gone through the process and are cautiously reopening their borders again. In Spain, we will be desperately awaiting the return of the tourists as their spending is a major part of our economy.

Although at Survey Spain we’re still receiving a handful of enquiries for snagging surveys from people who are scheduled to go to the Notary, effectively now we can say that the market has stopped. It hasn’t fallen, it has just stopped completely. Once the activity starts again, we’ll see people who are desperate to sell and others who are keen to buy, with speculators in the middle offering low prices in the hope of making a quick profit. 

I believe that although the market will see a drop, it won’t crash, and after this initial drop, it will then stabilise. The effects of the larger world economy, and especially currency exchange rates, are more difficult to gauge, and they could change everything that I’ve written. Personal, company, and national debt will have increased by the loss of income and the costs of the efforts to contain and prevent the viral spread. 

However, one thing is for sure, as always, there will be winners as well as losers. So once again, “who knows what will happen next”.

* This article has been written by a third party not owned or controlled by Spanish Property Insight (SPI).
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One thought on “Thoughts on the Spanish property market in the light of the Coronavirus crisis

  • Jan – Holiday makers and ‘new residents’ have different outlook. For holiday makers, its short-term thinking, largely related to cost. For non-euro, that will be greatly affected by exchange rates, so what level they stabilise at will makew the difference between staying at home or travelling abroad. Warmer, drier summers in Northern Europe could also influence that choice.
    Individuals and families considering making a new life here, will consider all you’ve mentioned, but I think that Spain’s response has been stronger, less ‘please’ and more ‘do’, which should see a quicker escape from the problem, as China appears to have done. In all the things you’ve mentioned, it appears that Spain has done better. Delayed too long as have other countries, is the main criticism.

    Gillian – Good point that needs to be added to Jan’s above. There’s going to be much less competition, which will raise prices, but within a year or so, especially if oil/fuel prices stay low, new airlines will start up and prices will get back to previous levels. Travel guilt will also have to be taken into account, as the Climate Crisis hasn’t gone away.

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