If the Spanish property market has been hot in recent years then the market for new developments has been the white-hot core. High profits in a booming market have sucked in many new entrants and the Spanish coasts are now awash with promoters, most of them Spanish but with an increasing number of foreign developers too. The majority are small companies with one or two developments, but in coastal areas where the British buy it is common to find big promoters with major projects that often include golf courses.
Promoters are the risk-takers who put together and finance a development, mainly through bank borrowing and the deposits taken from buyers for off-plan properties. It is the promoter who determines the overall quality of the development and the way that clients are treated. Estate agents may or may not stick around to help buyers deal with the promoter, though more often than not the estate agent will disappear as soon as the sale is made and the commission in the bank. This means that clients have to work closely with the promoters they buy from, and promoter’s attitude to business will largely determine how well things turn out for the buyer.
Standards of quality and performance vary widely from developer to developer and from region to region. Unfortunately for British buyers badly managed, unethical, greedy or simply incompetent developers are over-represented in the areas where the British tend to buy. It is very important to avoid these kinds of promoters, and size is not necessarily any guide to quality.
There are of course many excellent Spanish developers, large and small, offering new promotions in areas that appeal to the British. The problem lies in distinguishing the good from the bad, and British buyers are at a disadvantage when it comes to researching developers in Spain. It is much easier for people who live in Spain and speak Spanish to research developers than it is for foreigners who live abroad and don’t speak Spanish. Having said that it is not impossible, yet many British buyers make no attempt whatsoever to look into the reputation and background of promoters before buying from them. Before buying on a new development you should always do your own research on the promoter and not rely on the estate agent you buy from for all you information. To help you do this you will find independent information on developers and developments at the website.
© Mark Stucklin (Spanish Property Insight)