Friday, July 24, 2009

Jerez offers Real Spain, then, but not too Spanish

British property-hunters looking for an authentic Spanish environment can look for the Andalucian city of Jerez, according to reports.

Located inland, in the province of Cadiz in the autonomous community of Andalusia in southwestern Spain, Jerez holds worldwide acclaim for its sherry and brandy production. The city is equally famous for its fine horses as well as Flamenco music and dance. The property prices are reasonable and not very cheap in the southern Andalusian city. Like much of Andalusia, Jerez has a rich Moorish heritage and the city has been occupied by different cultures. Besides, Jerez is communicated very well through a great network of highways, railroad and airport.

Tony Haslam, a finance broker from Ormskirk in Lancashire having already bought on a golf development near Granada, he’s just expanded his portfolio to Jerez. He says, "It's unspoilt, it hasn't seen tourism like the coast. And, as in Granada, I don’t feel I’d be reliant on overseas buyers if I come to sell. There's a big take-up by Spanish nationals. Jerez is that little bit special - and not particularly expensive."

Barbara Wood, who covers Andalusia for The Property Finders search agency, says "the area is not always a cheap option. It is favored by top-end Spaniards and country properties tend to come with lots of land." There has been an influx of wealthy Spaniards from other areas buying hobby farms of 100-200 acres.

According to timesonline.co.uk, the old town’s narrow streets conceal magnificent palaces ripe for renovation - but they could prove a challenge for even the most ardent property hunter. Property specialist, Karen Robinson has stated that Jerez has largely escaped the notice of foreign buyers - until now. But with its palatial piles, attractive prices and easy access to golf and seaside resorts, all that's about to change.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Top-end market in Spain offers opportunities for buyers

Spanish property will be more affordable in the next few months before the market bottoms out and demand for top-of-the-range properties in Spain could be set to rise, it has been predicted.

Paul Bradley, a spokesperson for the Spanish Property Owners Guild (SPOG) said that the top-end market is seeing completions and is now at the bottom. There has been an increase in enquiries and this means 2009 will see an extra seven per cent price fall before the market bottoms out. Those seeking bargains in Spain may wish to consider this while looking for somewhere to purchase.

Laura Nicoll, Director of Iberian International claimed that with the low level of construction currently taking place, there will be an "inevitable supply shortage in the coming years", arguing that this will inflate Spanish property values as a result. Foreign exchange firm Currency Index recent figures stated that two-bedroom flats on the Costas have seen their prices drop by an average of 30 per cent since last year.

Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, the country's prime minister insisted next year will see renewed growth. He commented: "The government considers the worst of the crisis is already over and our resurgence will continue progressively, gaining more intensity in 2010 and it is reasonable to expect growth by the time we get to 2011".

Such a situation could help halt the slide in property prices while those buying property in Spain may gain if Mr. Bradley is correct, further price falls could mean more bargains for investors and then enjoy rising values as the economy strengthens.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Eco homes keep Spanish property affordable

Many investors buy a second home in Spain where sustainable measures are being implemented and it appeals to people as a great way to make a contribution to the environment whilst at the same time investing in a beautiful country like Spain.

According to the Telegraph, when the sterling began to fade in strength against the euro earlier this year, many expatriates found themselves struggling to cope. However, the publication suggested that by reducing the carbon footprint and living in a more self-sufficient manner, home owners can conquer the credit crunch. Developers took notice of the surge in interest and offer some kind of 'green' element in their buildings.

Peter Hughes and Kinga Monica has bought a property in Almeria, Spain and they decided to install solar thermal panels, wood-burning stoves, rainwater harvesting and grow their own vegetables to keep costs low property. It worked and their monthly running costs are around €25 (£21.50).

Peter said: "We're completely eco-friendly and self-reliant. We have all our needs: television, kitchen gadgets. We even ran high-power drills off the batteries without running out during the building work."

The Spanish Prime Minister, M. Zapatero stated that one of the solutions to get the country out of economic trouble is green growth. Several other countries including the United States, China and South Korea already did so and as much as 430 billion dollars have been already allocated to green New Deals worldwide. He further said that the country is well advanced in biotechnologies and it is willing to work much more on energy efficiency and conservation, renewables and high speed trains, according to the French daily Le Monde reports.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Spain is proving to be an attractive option for Russian buyers

Russians are investing heavily in overseas property and one out of four Russians interested in purchasing property abroad during the first quarter 2009 focused their search on Spain, according to new research.

According to the Russian property consulting firm Miel DMP, The slowdown in the market is the main cause for the surge in interest for the Spanish property market, which has resulted in some properties being cheaper than in Bugaria and Montenergo. Spain has become the most popular location for Russians eyeing property abroad, after France (20 per cent), and Bulgaria (15 per cent).

Despite the value of houses all over the world dropped due to global credit crunch, Russian buyers seem to be attracted by Spanish properties because of its beaches, culture and good quality of life. Global Edge revealed that nearly 15% of online searches made by prospective Russian buyers looked for Spain. Global Edge also found that Eastern Europe is one of the main hotspots for Russian investors.

In related news, Conti Financial Services stated that Russian investors and Brits are going to Spain as it offers numerous bargains. Spain remains a buyers market because of the several number of properties opted for resale at lower costs, which indeed prove a great advantage to prospective buyers. A number of Spanish developers sliced their prices by 25% from last year. The properties sold in the market are reasonable because of its inherent qualities complementary to buyer's value.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Smile, you are in Spain - campaign to promote tourism

The Spanish government has announced it will be spending more than twice as much on tourism this year than it initially planned, according to reports Spanish Tourist Office boss Ignacio Vasallo said: "The UK market is 25 per cent of our tourism so supporting the industry is vital." One in four of Spain's visitors are British, generating £10billion a year - but families have been taking cheaper options such as Egypt and Turkey. Spanish Tour operators have already slashed prices in a bid to win Brits back.

Last year, Tourism officials unveiled a scheme to spend €400 million on improving infrastructure in the sector, but this has been increased to €1 billion.

"The granting of 100 per cent of the planned credit in such a short period of time is evidence that the modernisation of tourism infrastructure is a key demand of the sector," Spain's ministry of tourism said.

John McEwan, of the Advantage network of independent travel agents stated that Spain is much more family oriented in terms of package holidays and its families who are holding back from committing expenditure.

Spanish tourism chiefs in association with Britain's big operators for a £2million TV and travel agency ads campaign plugging the mainland and Balearic and Canary Islands under the slogan: "Smile, you are in Spain." 2£ million will be spent in the autumn promoting individual locations such as Benidorm. Spanish tourist board believes that this marketing plan will enable them to reach a large proportion of the UK population and communicate that Spain offers much more than just sun and beach tourism. This is an extension of previous campaigns that have also sought to promote the leisure facilities and natural beauty.

According to the flight search engine, growing competition from other Mediterranean countries is not denting the appeal of Spain and the country is the most popular destination for families for the upcoming school holidays.

Barry Smith, chief of business development at Skyscanner said Spain has always been very popular with British holidaymakers and he added that the country is still an attractive option because it offers relatively low prices, good weather and easy access from the UK.

Skyscanner also found that Alicante was one of the main hotspots for those heading abroad in the October half-term, along with Malaga, Tenerife and Murcia.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

The sedate holiday resort of Puerto Pollensa offers family holidays

The enchanting Puerto Pollensa (aka Port de Pollenca) in Mallorca has everything - magnificent scenery, beautiful sandy beaches and a laid-back friendly atmosphere.

Travel writer Chris Shearer in an article for the Daily Express said that the said the resort is old-fashioned, making it perfect for those who enjoy the quiet life.

The sheltered horseshoe shaped bay is set against the dazzling backdrop of the Tramuntana mountain range. No wonder Puerto Pollensa and its near neighbor, the tranquil resort of Cala San Vicente remains a favorite with families and couples who return time and time again. He added that the non-tidal waters of the Mediterranean are great for children, as they can paddle safely in the warm sea.

On warm, balmy evenings visitors like to loiter up and down between the marina where the yachts are moored and along the celebrated Pine Walk. The bay of Pollensa in Majorca is an ideal place to practice all manner of water sports from sailing and wind surfing to snorkelling and scuba diving. The beaches are uncrowded, even in the height of the season; most visitors are families with young children or older couples. Entertainment in most hotels is geared primarily towards children. There are also opportunities for hiking along walking trails in the surrounding scenic mountains. On the outskirts of the adjacent resort of Cala San Vicente there are ancient burial caves.

In addition to this, there are also several great birdwatching spots within walking distance of the town, as it is close to the Albufuera marsh, including the Boquer valley which is great for migrants.

In related news, TV presenter Kirsty Wark has named Mallorca as her piece of heaven on earth. Mallorca is great for hiking, although holiday makers can partake in numerous other activities, from the strenuous to the relaxing, according to Telegraph reports.

Those eager to explore the island, like Ms Wark, renting a villa in Puerto Pollensa and walking along the coastline in search of some remote beaches that are inaccessible by car is the best option.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

2009 is the ideal time to pounce for Spanish properties

Spain's deflationary collapse is now hitting levels of intensity which will soon have profound repercussions on greater Europe. Spain "is touching bottom in the (economic) crisis," Deputy Prime Minister and Economy Minister Elena Salgado said.

However, Mr. Salgado said that next year Spain will achieve stability and will begin to grow "very weakly" again in economic terms, but then it will begin to grow "more quickly" starting in 2011. There will be no more tax hikes this year and after the summer officials will have better data to use in making fiscal decisions with an eye toward 2010, he said in an interview published in the daily El PaĆ­s.

According to the Bank of Spain, Zapatero's government has already committed 50 billion euros ($66 billion) to stimulus measures for this year, wiping out three years of budget surpluses and putting it on track for a shortfall of 8.3 percent of output this year. The European Central Bank purchased an additional 60 billion Euros worth of Eurozone covered bonds in an effort to shore up the rapidly deteriorating housing prices in Spain and Ireland.

Now could be a good time to buy Spanish properties as recent figures indicate that in the 12 months leading up to April, the cost of housing fell by ten per cent. According to Shelter Offshore, the fall in the cost of housing in Spain might mean that prospective buyers could pick up a bargain. It stated that investors who want the "pick of the property stock" and a "handsome bargain" might find that 2009 is the ideal time to "pounce".