Sunday, May 24, 2009

Long-term investors in Spain could reap the benefits

Overseas property experts predicted that Spanish property would be buyer's market in the coming months and would create a golden opportunity to pick up a bargain.

Spain has long been the number-one destination for British buyers with as many as two in five buyers (43%), choosing Spain as their preferred location. But, with the country's property market looking distinctly wobbly, seasoned investors knows that distress may mean bargains for clued-up buyers who know how to exploit the market. Property prices from Barcelona to the Balearic Islands fell 6.5 percent in the first quarter of 2009 alone. This doesn't mean all properties are for sale at rock-bottom prices. Many vendors haven’t yet come to terms with reality, and some asking prices are ludicrous.

Spain is a large and diverse country, however, which means that different areas and kinds of property will perform differently. Barbara Wood, who runs the Andalusian end of The Property Finders, a search agency says "Much of the doom and gloom is misleading, because it comes almost exclusively from new-build property development". As the Spanish market re-aligns itself with fantastic bargains, the fact of the matter is that Spain is still one of the best places in Europe for the weather and stunning beaches. With its easy accessibility to the UK and the lower property prices for now has once again made it a buyers market.

Newly built flats on the coast are largely responsible for the property glut and villas are in shorter supply, problems in the market for flats mean that asking prices are also being pushed down for villas. There are some superbly priced properties now on offer, representing real value for money. The prices even compare favorably with pre-boom prices.

Andrew Lupton, of Stacks Relocation Spain commented "Prices for attractive villas in the upmarket enclave around Javea, on the Costa Blanca, are already 20% down; You can now get a lovely four-bedroom villa with a pool on a plot of 800 square meters for £300,000. A year and a half ago, it would have cost you £380,000".