Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Spanish property is the most popular overseas property searches

Spanish property is the most popular search on the portal despite difficult economic conditions and significant falls in the value of Sterling, according to primelocation.com.

According to the data released by the website, Spain attracted 300,000 searches in February, some 60,000 ahead of last month's most popular country, France (238,729). The USA held on to its third position with 153,912.

In another research from UK Wordtracker database, which listed the 101 most popular search phrases online in the UK in 2008 - analyzing over 200,000 search requests and revealed that Spain, as a whole, came top of the list accounting for over 10% of total searches.

Although the Costa Blanca (5th) and Costa del Sol (23rd) were the most searched-for regions, the popularity of the Canary Islands has considerably increased, while the towns and cities of Tenerife (8th), Murcia (9th), Marbella (11th), Mallorca (10th), Torrevieja (12th), Fuerteventura (15th) and the Costa Almeria (18th) all attracted a strong level of interest last year.

Paul Owen, CEO of the Association of International Property Professionals (AIPP) said "Some may be surprised to hear that Spain is still at number one as the primary destination for Britons buying property abroad, However, our figures show it is still the favorite destination for the British buyers; even a 6% decrease in purchases did not manage to knock it from top spot."

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Signs of recovery in Spanish market

The eagerly awaited March Spanish house price index from Tinsa is, unfortunately, not good new but it appears to be the beginning of the end of the worst period for property sales in Spain since the crisis began, according to a property expert.

According to kyero .com, when comparing January 2009 performance with January 2008, the index (and therefore house prices) had decreased by 10%. The Tinsa index for February 2009 shows this rate of decline slowing to 9%. The March edition of the Tinsa report shows their index decreasing by 9.7% - more than in February, but less than in January - by a whisker. There's no sign of a recovery in the Spanish property market according to Tinsa index but there is also no further damages.

Gonzalo Bernardos, a property market expert and professor of economics at the University of Barcelona, argues that Spanish property market will come back to life this year, after a dismal 2008. He comments: "the reasons are Interest rates are lower; house prices have fallen back to their 2003 levels; banks are lending more; investors are coming back; and many people who were thinking of renting have decided to buy."

The housing starts picked up in the last quarter of 2008, rising by 7% compared to the previous quarter is a positive sign, so far this year sales have been between 25% and 40% higher than in the same period last year.

Another real estate analyst cited say that sales rates at new developments have picked up considerably. This is the time for buying in Spanish real estate "In many developments properties have sold more in the first quarter of 2009 than in the whole of 2008," he says, also arguing that prices have already bottomed out. Whilst Bernardos expect the market will pick up soon but doesn't expect the prices to start rising soon.

"Sales will start to rise in 2009, whilst prices will stop falling in most places by the end of 2010," writes Bernardos in his report.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

18th century house available for sale in Gaucín

A five-bedroom six-bath home, dates to the 18th century in the spectacularly beautiful mountain village of Gaucín in southern Spain with sweeping views to Gibraltar and the Rif Mountains of North Africa is available in the market.

The house was renovated using old bricks, antique doors; other materials salvaged from demolished houses in the area and its Clad in white stucco. Each of the three floors evokes a different culture and century. The bottom floor, formerly an olive oil press, is heavily influenced by Moroccan style. The next floor, at street level, was designed to look like an Edwardian house, matching floor tiles, double glazing and solid wood interior doors. Dining room with attractive arch leading in to the living area and two bedrooms with large fitted wardrobes and two baths. The top floor, which houses the master suite, another bedroom and a living room, is decorated in a minimalist style. There are tiled kitchen on all floor - Large covered dining terrace ideal for eating Al fresco; the largest, on the bottom floor, has two antique marble sinks and exposed ceiling beam

Gaucín is situated against the looming dark backdrop of the Serranía de Ronda and has a population of only 2000 and is perched 626 meters above sea level on the crest of the Sierra del Hacho, and due to its key strategic position was once a major Roman settlement. Its magnificent castle, Castillo Del Aguila (Eagle's Castle) dates from Roman era and was later expanded by the Arabs into a fortress.

When Windsor-Clive first arrived in the area in 1996, he lived out of the back of a Land Rover in a local cork forest before buying in Gaucin in 2000.

"I had numerous reasons for choosing Gaucin, including easy access to my workshop in Morocco," he says. "The property cost about £110,000 and I spent £260,000 or so on refurbishments". "It took four years. During that time, I've been my own best client. I've decorated the property with about £250,000 worth of my own mosaics," He says.

Gaucin is well connected, very scenic and it appeals to aesthetically sensitive buyers. The countryside and views are magnificent, and the village has charm without the gimcrack tourism that has stained other Spanish villages. The expansion plans for the municipality will not increase the size of the village, so the supply of town properties here will remain tight.

Town properties with good features start at about £170,000 and isolated houses with a pool and parking space cost £340,000-£410,000. Country properties with good views start at £340,000 outside the village. Most decent-sized country properties, with some land, good views and close to Gaucin, cost €1m (about £680,000) or more. The property prices are high because demand outstrips supply and the plans for a new road that could cut the journey time from the coastal motorway to Gaucin by 20 minutes is likely to boost demand even further.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Rental investors in Tenerife to benefit from the opening of a new aviary

Tourists enjoy a piece of paradise in Tenerife due to its combination of warm weather, clean beaches and attractive landscapes. Brits are selling their homes in the UK and buying property in Tenerife, it has been reported.

According to News in the Sun, Tenerife is an island popular for its beaches and now the island will also boast some of the world's exotic birds following the opening of a new aviary. Loro Parque aviary which is expected to be open to the public in June will have one of the largest free-flight aviaries in the world, of 17,000 cubic meters, with a 30m height. It is intended as a terrific viewing experience for visitors to the park, with more than100 different varieties of birds from all around the world, but primarily exotic species from Asia and Australia.

The visitors will actually be able to go inside the aviary and experience the birds flying around and also it has the hanging bridges for the visitors with enough nerve to walk along the forest canopy. The Park could boost family tourism and create greater demand for properties letting to this sector.

Tenerife Property Shop reports that the Spanish government is boosting the BTL industry by introducing several financial incentive schemes and UK property investors have caught wind of the benefits of the long-term Spanish rental market.

Mary Spencer, director of the firm commented: "The influx of these new investors into the Tenerife housing market has been building over several months, to the point where we can now identify it as an accelerating trend”.

This comes after the news that Globaledge Search Index study into the most popular Spanish property destinations revealed that the island of Tenerife ranked highest, with more number of searches taking place in 2008.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Spain attracts record number of Irish holidaymakers

Spain is always going to be a top holiday destination for Brits and not so surprisingly more holidaymakers from Ireland are also holidaying in Spain despite the current exchange rate, it has been claimed.

Spain will continue to "retain its position as Brits absolute favorite country". Spanish airport operators AENA have just released new figures revealing that the number of Irish visitors rose seven per cent in February, compared to figures from 2008.

Despite a drop in visitor numbers from other countries, the data from the Spanish airports authority Aena shows that 13,288 Irish holidaymakers flew into the airport in February, 896 more than in January. The data revealed that 13,288 Irish holidaymakers flew into the airport in February, 896 more than in January. This News makes happy reading for owners of apartments and temporary lodgings in Spanish resorts.

The Costa del Sol and Marbella has long been a hot favorite with tourists and property investors from UK. Thanks to the year-round sunshine, easy-going lifestyle and low cost of living in Spain, adding that many others "emerging destination" does not have same family culture or quality of health care that the country offers. UK has firmly established as the number one market for tourism to Spain as British guests accounting for well over 50% of all visits made by foreign nationals.

The Meath Chronicle stated that a large number of Irish people are booking holidays early in order to avoid missing out as last summer's dismal weather and an equally miserable January, has led to a rush of early summer holiday bookings.

According to Victor Sague, of Taylor Woodrow de Espana said Spain has a "long lasting attractiveness to Britons".

He commented: "I believe the various underlying factors leave cause for optimism in the Spanish property market, chief among them the Brits' enduring love of Spain. Where else can you enjoy a beautiful balmy climate, spectacular beaches and scenery, affordable property and all just a short low cost flight from the UK?"

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Expat brits flocking to Alicante

The Spanish resort of Alicante is one of the most desirable destinations for Brits who want to escape the winter blues of wet, windy weather and for the retirees, it has been reported.

Writer Andrew Regan has stated that there are more British foreign nationals in Alicante than any other group while many activities and clubs are available for retirees. Even more social opportunities are available if expats also speak Spanish, reports Best Syndication Magazine.

According to Whatsonwhen, the town holds one of its most important festivals in December. The Moors and Christians festival is held in Alicante in December and according to their tradition plenty of food and drink must be consumed after the religious and historical connotations have been celebrated, so tourists should be prepared to ravish a feast of fine Spanish cuisine.

Janette Murphy who recently moved to Alicante "never looked back" and is now settled in the country with her family and own business. Janette and Howard now own a hobby shop in Alicante. She said she and her husband Howard had received "the hand of friendship at every turn" from their Spanish neighbors and are now financially much better off that they would have been in the UK, the Sun reports.

A recent study from the Immigration Permanent Observatory showed that Alicante region boasts the most foreign residents over the age of 65 and there are 45,012 foreign pensioners living in the Alicante province, while 22,414 reside in Malaga. The downturn in the property market has seen average sales prices down by ten per cent this year and sellers are accepting offers of up to 20 per cent below asking price. Three-bedroom homes in the area cost around 150,000 euros (£134,000).

In related news, Spain is still the number one destination for UK people looking to buy property abroad, according to PropertyIndex.com latest figures.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Tax rebates available for Brits on Spanish property

Nearly 10,000 Britons who were overtaxed by the Spanish government when they sold their villas in Spain are in line for rebates averaging £14,500 following a court ruling.

According to the Telegraph reports, the case was brought by retired aircraft engineer Alan Roy, 65, and his wife Margaret, of Molesey, Surrey. The British couple was charged the non-residents CGT rate of 35 per cent, while nationals pay just 15 per cent.

They argued that the higher rate contravened the European Community Treaty rules on discrimination. The court in Valencia ruled that the higher charge must be repaid to Mr. and Mrs. Roy, with six per cent interest and the estimated average payouts will be £14,500. The court accepted that the case was so convincing that there was no need for it to be passed to the European Courts of Justice.'

Commenting on the verdict, Mr. Roy said: 'We were overcharged on 10,000 euros' profit, so ours was a small claim.

'We'll get back about 2,000 euros, but the principle is established for others to get justice.'

Lawyer Emillio Alvarez, who represented Mr. and Mrs. Roy, commented: 'After winning the first case we are now able to guide other British owners who were wrongly overcharged to reclaim their money.'

Mark Bodega, from currency broker HiFX has stated that this is excellent news that the first British couple has been successful to contest the scandalous overcharge and remaining British claimants are now in the process of putting their cases forward. Between them they could reclaim £8.4m plus interest, based on the average reclaim amount of £14,100."

How to claim

Eligibility: You are entitled to make a claim if you sold a property in Spain between July 2004 and December 31 2006, and you were not a fiscal resident in the country. You must also have paid CGT on the property and to have sold as an individual, rather than as part of a company.

Ensure you have appropriate documents: British property owners who sold their villas in Spain must have a copy of the tax form called Modelo 212 or 210. If they do not have a copy, one can be obtained via Costa, Alvarez, Manglano & Associates.

Brits who believe they have a claim can check the website www. spanishtaxreclaim.co.uk