Thursday, November 26, 2009

Britons to get £283m Spanish homes tax rebate

Thousands of Britons who sold their villas in Spain since 1977 are expected to receive a significant tax rebate after a legal judgment that they have been overtaxed.

In a landmark legal victory, Britons who sold a property in Spain during the Costas have been told they are now entitled to claim a 20% tax refund from the Spanish government by The European Court of Justice that means Britons may be able to claim back up to £283 million in capital gains tax charges, due to the discriminatory way the levy was implemented.

Britons and other non-Spanish buyers were charged 35 per cent and the inflated rate trap was a whole 20 percentage points above the charge for Spanish citizens - which has stood at 15% throughout the period - and contravened European Community Treaty rules. This two-tier system was overhauled and replaced with a single rate of 18% for both residents and non-residents Two years ago.

HiFX revealed that the Spanish government owes an estimated £283m to British citizens alone, at an average of £13,370 per claim. Furthermore, the new ruling extends the reclaim period by eight years. Earlier, Britons were able to claim for the period 2004-2006, but the ECJ's decision will open the floodgates to claims for any property sale in the period 1997-2006.

Mark Bodega, Marketing Director HiFX said: 'This announcement by the ECJ is huge. We are currently working with 600 British claimants who are in the process of putting their cases forward. We now urge anyone else who thinks they may have been affected by this to come forward.'

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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Andalucian announced 1 billion Euro to boost property market

The Junta de Andalucia, The government of Andalucia recently announced a subsidy of 1 billion Euros to help liquidate the regions excess properties in the region estimated at around 70,000 newly-built homes.

According to, the plan applies to local residents living in Andalucia including International residents who pay tax in Andalucia and the maximum mortgage is €245,000 and only applies to newly built properties. Moreover, the Participating banks will lend 100% interest for first 3 years and from years 4 to 8, the Junta de Andalucia will subsidize the mortgage payments and at the end of year 8 the subsidy will be added to the loan.

The way it works is the Developers must put there properties in at least 20% discount but most importantly at mortgage cost so the Junta wont be helping the developers make a profit but just help clearing the stock. Mortgages must be 100% loan to value and 30 years with a maximum interest rate of 1% over Euribor and buyers will save as much as 40% over 8 years, according to calculations by the Junta.

Industry analysts believe that the Andalusia housing market in general will benefit and hopefully take a large amount of the excess stock of the market. They suggested that foreigners - including Britons - could profit as a result of a rise in prices being stimulated in the area by the measure.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Spanish property is now safe to invest in if buyers are sensible

Property in Spain is now safe to invest in if buyers are sensible as the market may be showing hints of stabilising, an expert has argued.

According to, property expert Martin Dell noted that the Spanish government has said the bottom of the market is close. He stated that some data from the government cannot be relied on, such as the official price figures, with these underestimating the extent to which values of Spanish rental property have fallen. However, Mr. Dell stated, Property prices in Spain may be close to bottoming out and people can expect to invest "safely" in the belief that the upturn is not far away.

In news of interest for overseas investors, Kyero also noted that the smallest price falls are taking place in the areas that are favored by overseas buyers, such as Andalucia. Meanwhile, Data from the Spanish Housing Ministry for September revealed that the annual fall in house prices was 7.8 per cent in the month, compared with a record 8.2 per cent in the year to August. Such figures follow recent data from Tinsa recording an 8.3 per cent drop in the year to September, which was also a reduction in the rate of decline, noted.

AFI Felix Lores, Consultant for financial analysts told Reuters the statistics were unexpected. He commented: "This annual drop was a surprise as we were expecting prices to begin falling by double-digits before the adjustment had ended."

Last week, chief executive of overseas investment firm Assetz Stuart Law told the Independent that should the market be stabilizing, this may offer British buyers good reasons to buy with better times ahead, while further decline may create an increased supply of bargains.

Big snow in Spanish Pyrenees could interest skiing fans

Ski resorts in Spain are expected to begin opening soon, and earlier than expected, after heavy snowfall was reported by a number of the country's top resorts in the Pyrenees Mountains which could interest those planning a Spanish property break this winter.

For the winter sports and skiing enthusiasts, Spain currently offers more than 1000 Kilometers of quality marked trails situated in over 36 excellent ski resorts half of which are proud owners of the Q awards for their quality tourism facilities and services offered. The Aragonese and Catalonian Pyrenees in Northern Spain and the Sierra Nevada located in the heart of Andalucia in Southern Spain ranks amongst one the most popular. Sierra Nevada although the southern most ski resort in Europe has the longest winter season with skiers enjoying snow for almost 5 months a year.

According to Fast Track Ski, a week of fresh snowfalls in the resorts in Pyrenees has been reported with Heavy snowfall in ski resorts Baqueira Beret and Formigal and Formigal in Spain has reported the first snow of the season on their ski mountain’s slopes. The 5cm dusting at Spain’s largest resort is a good sign for the coming season. Both resorts announced they would be opening their doors to holidaymakers soon, despite official opening dates being some three weeks away.

Commercial manager for the Formigal resort Jose Luis Del Valle said: "This is great news; we should be able to open very soon. And with our great offers like free ski hire and free lift passes for kids, a holiday to Formigal won’t break the bank."

The Pyrenees received some of the best snow in decades at many resorts last winter, and it all began in autumn last year, so the region is hoping for a repeat of winter 08-09. Commercial manager for the Formigal resort Jose Luis del Valle said: "This is great news, we should be able to open very soon. And with our great offers like free ski hire and free lift passes for kids, a holiday to Formigal won’t break the bank."

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The South Tenerife is the most expensive for property

The average price of a home in Tenerife is continuing to rise, new figures have shown, although there is price drops in some areas which could be of interest to those who own Spain property or are considering investing in the country.

According to Jayne Nuttall, from the Travel Counsellors, Spanish property visitors who love to jet off to catch some winter sun could be interested to learn that the island has a "super" all-year-round climate.

Commenting on which areas of the island Brits often head to, Ms Nuttall said: "Costa Adeje is the recently developed upmarket area and some of the most exclusive property is located. The region is a quieter resort chosen by many 5 star hotels to invest in. Playa de las Americas is the largest resort in south Tenerife. It was purpose filled holiday destination with wide range of bars, restaurants, beaches, nightlife and property. Tenerife also has a wide range of properties suitable for all budgets."

Meanwhile, in good news for first time buyers, Value It Espana SL, the Santa Ursula, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, based publisher of The Tenerife Property Price Guide revealed average property costs for each of the regions of Tenerife, and the island as a whole. There is fall in property prices for the three regions of Tenerife, (South East, the North, and the Metropolitan region). Property prices have fallen by 3 .48% in the South and South East still it is most expensive at 2185 euros per square meter. In the North, prices have fallen the least, by 2.64%, and in the Metropolitan region (Santa Cruz, La Laguna, El Rosario and Tegueste) prices have fallen by 3.27%.

John Gardner of Value It commented: "The answer for foreign investors looking to buy in Tenerife is thorough research and knowing the pricing trends in the areas and for the property types".

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Property prices in Spain will remain stalled during the next two years

The Spanish government is calling the bottom of the market but will remain stalled during the next two years and time for buyers to return, according to reports.

Prieto, a partner for property advisor Knight Frank told in an interview, "If you put a home on the market at a 35 percent discount to highs from three years ago, and partially-financed, prices are going to stay at these levels until 2011," according to Reuters reports. He said that for sales to go ahead, properties need to be located in prime areas within cities' metropolitan circles. Properties on the coast or away from cities are going to be stalled for years.

He commented: "If you're trying to sell somewhere like Valdeluz or Sesena, 100 kilometres outside of Madrid, forget it. Properties on the coast or with these kinds of setbacks are going to be stalled for years."

According to reports, the official data states that Spanish property prices have only fallen 6% or so from their (inflation-adjusted) peak, but the actual fall to be between 20-25%. The portal said that this will vary by area and property. The Spanish housing market is going through its worst crisis after an unexpected end to a construction boom that coincided with tightening credit markets, triggering price drops for both residential and commercial real estate However, Knight Frank said commercial real estate has experienced a slight recovery thanks to investors looking to make money on rental assets.

In a new report just released, 'For a Housing Market that Works: A Proposal for Structural Reform', a group of economists at Fadea, including Pol Antràs of Harvard University, Luis Garicano of the LSE, and Javier Díaz-Giménez of IESE Business School, explained how to fix Spain's housing market and help the economy recover, the report recommends 4 urgent policy steps to encourage renting over buying, and address other structural problems in the housing market. They suggested to Liberalize rental contracts and give landlords better legal protection, Remove all fiscal incentives that encourage buying over renting, Stop selling social housing and offer it for rent instead and Reduce or do away with taxes on property sales such as VAT and transfer tax.