Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Fantastic bargains found in the Catalonia region of Spain

Foreign buyers may be able to snap up a number of bargains in the popular Catalonia region of Spain as fantastic bargains can be grabbed in the region than any other part of the country, experts have suggested.

According to, overseas property investors can use the changing nature of the Spanish property to their advantage if they carefully consider the nature of their investments. Sales in the Catalonia region have fallen by around half and new housing starts are down by 80 per cent. Coastal resorts in the area are also seeing falling prices, with drops of 15 per cent in Malgrat and Pineda y Premia de Mar and 13.3 per cent on the Costa Brava. The falling prices could spell good news for Britons hoping to move to the country.

The country's status as an established market for overseas homes will also help matters once its economic recovery gains momentum. There has been a slowdown in the Costas - which could open up opportunities to make a shrewd investment, as Spanish property remains very popular. According to Shelter Offshore, huge number of Brits found the nation irresistible and has made a permanent move despite falling prices in the country.

Citing its "fantastic" climate and rich culture as reasons people are drawn to Spain, the portal states that the nation is so vast and diverse there is a part of it which suits the needs of anyone thinking of moving abroad.

"Real bargains" are available for holiday homes and investors should not be put off by the current nature of the property market in the region, as demand for Spanish holidays will always remain strong thanks to a potent combination of sun and the accessibility of budget airline routes.

“Overlooked” is the best term to describe south Catalonia, says Rita Fryer, of The Property Finders. Coastal apartments in South Catalonia start at £100,000 and good-quality detached villas in close proximity of the beach are priced from £270,000. Inland, village properties start at £100,000, though buyers might find a 250sq m olive press to refurbish for £35,000. Rustic properties for refurbishment, with a few hectares of olive groves, start at about £120,000.

Whereas in North Catalonia, Good-quality coastal apartments start at €300,000 (£200,000); villas, at £400,000. Masias in the interior start at about £550,000.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Spain will always be a popular choice for British property buyers

Property in Spain is still as popular as ever with British investors and expats, especially now it is possible to find bargains, a property expert has claimed.

According to, house builder Taylor Woodrow de Espana has said people are also beginning to view property as a long-term investment opportunity. Victor Sague, Marketing director of Taylor Woodrow de Espana said that the country was recently chosen as the UK's favorite destination for buying property abroad.

He commented: "The continuing popularity of this country helps ensure that property purchased in Spain will always hold its value." Mr. Sague added that Spain has something for everyone and people dreaming of living near a beach, on a golf course, or in the "real" Spain can all find their perfect homes.

Developer Casas de Lorca said that the Spanish property market still enjoys several "strong pull factors" which include the warm climate, laidback lifestyle and comparatively low cost of living for British people looking to invest in a home overseas. Increased financial uncertainty means that many people are "less sure of the more untried and untested destinations", making traditional overseas property destinations such as Spain a popular choice.

According to the development company, Spain has also begun to benefit from the shift away from emerging markets brought about by the economic downturn. Spain also continues to perform strongly in the retirement market due to the good reputation of healthcare services in the country.

In related news, Liverpool-based property agent Ken Walker said that "no other country can quite compete" with Spain in terms of its popularity with UK investors, as it is a "tried and tested location which has gained a long-standing reputation when it comes to savvy property investment", he told the Liverpool Echo.

Mr. Walker also explained the benefits of buying off-plan in Spain, asserting that it represents the best way for buyers to ascertain "maximum choice for their property in terms of style, design and location".

Monday, March 1, 2010

Lifestyle buyers still favor Spanish properties

Property buyers looking for property overseas are now primarily purchasing for lifestyle reasons rather than investment, it has been claimed.

According to Paul Collins, property editor of, the lifestyle aspect of foreign investment is becoming more important nowadays. He said that buyers aren't tending to buy for investment these days so the lifestyle aspect of things is really coming to the fore.

Mike Hamilton, managing director of Casas de Lorca reiterated Mr. Collins comments that the "true Spanish lifestyle" is appealing to a number of Brits. He said that people looking for Spanish property tend to want to integrate with locals, enjoy the "rolling countryside" and learn the language, which Spain can offer to those house hunters.

"I find that a great deal are drawn to the country for its lifestyle and therefore are looking for the 'true Spain' over and above more well-known 'Britain in the sun'-type resorts," he added.

In more good news for Lifestyle buyers that experts have stated that they could snap up properties in previously unaffordable markets as house prices in many parts of Spain have been in decline for more than a year. This means that property values in places at the top end of the market, such as Marbella, are now within the reach of more people. However, Spain's lifestyle attractions are still in place, which means it is still just as appealing to those who want a residence for personal use, According to Shelter Offshore reports.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Falling prices and favorable exchange rates attract investors

Falling prices in Spain and favorable exchange rates could make it an ideal destination to pick up a Bargain property, it has been reported.

According to the Financial Times, the property market is readjusting and buyers are now returning to take advantage of substantial reductions in prices. Many vendors are keen to sell, which is producing newly affordable property in the country. Furthermore, thanks to a strengthening GBP, Spain has become eight per cent cheaper for Brits in the last 12 months.

Meanwhile, World First has reported a large increase in the number of British investors purchasing euros for overseas property purchases. They have seen a 40 per cent rise in the number of its clients taking advantage of the improved exchange rate, and a 24 per cent rise in new enquiries for the currency. This could be a boost to the property market in Spain where falling prices and the poor GBP to euro rate have been keeping investors away, according to Overseas Property Professional reports.

Sterling has reached a rate of EUR 1.15 for the first time since August 2008, something which OPP put down to a run of good news for the UK economy.

Christopher Chad, project manager of property company Property Frontiers, explains that massive price falls in 2010 will help to attract investment from foreign buyers.

He commented: "this year there will be an increasing trend for people looking to buy property in the more traditional investment hotspots. It is all about looking at tourism trends and recognizing where the most likely capital growth is likely to take place."

The news comes after the National Association of Estate Agents International recently recommended that early investment in Spain was essential in 2010, to ensure buyers were able to capitalize on bargain properties.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

British airways adds flights to Spain

Some of Spain's most popular tourist destinations could be set to benefit from the introduction of new flight routes from London International Airport.

British airways have outlined its intention to expand at London airport following the launch of services less than a month ago. The carrier confirmed that schedules will be extended to offer five flights to Majorca and four services to Ibiza every week in July and August. The new links to the Balearic Islands will be launched from London City Airport in May.

British Airways confirmed that the decision to increase frequency had been made following strong demand from passengers. The routes represent the airline's first leisure-only flights from London City. As a result of the new flights, air passengers will benefit from more frequent and affordable access to popular Spanish tourist destinations. This could potentially impact on demand for rental accommodation in these areas, a development which may be of interest to foreign investors.

According to research by, trips abroad will take over from staycations next year and Britons are set to return to France and Spain for holidays in 2010. A study of 3,000 people found that 56 per cent said they were keen to travel overseas in 2010, with many noting Spain and France as among the destinations they would like to visit.

Simon Nixon, founder of, commented: "Staycation was the buzz word of 2009 but it seems that 2010 is will be more about a compromise culture, with people giving up short terms benefits to ensure they can afford that holiday abroad."

Those thinking of buying property in Malaga may be encouraged to know that Malaga was recently voted the third most popular destination for UK tourists traveling over the May Day bank holiday.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Overseas investors in Spain should try to make cheeky offers

House prices in Spain are continuing to slide as a result of the economic downturn and investors planning to take advantage of falling house prices in Spain should not be afraid to make low offers, a property expert has said.

According to, Martin Dell, property expert has said that some Spanish property sellers are currently willing to reduce their prices by as much as 30 per cent, though some see greater declines as possible as the end of a decade-long residential construction boom coincides with credit market turmoil. The fall in mortgage approvals coupled with bank pressure on developers with unsold new stock is creating a raft of top bargains. It means that potential buyers looking to purchase property in Spain could be in an unusually strong position to do so.

Mr. Dell explained: "Once you've found a property that appeals, make a cheeky offer.
What's the worst that can happen?"

Gerard Rees, director of Mercers at the firm's Mazarron office, said Spanish property can now be picked up for bargain prices as sellers curtail their losses, the property market is readjusting, noting that buyers are now returning to take advantage of substantial reductions in prices.

He explained that many vendors are keen to sell, which is producing newly affordable property in the country. The financial gain would be good over a longer period of time, adding that the continuing popularity of this country helps ensure that property purchased in Spain will always hold its value. "We're certain those who pick up deals now will be well placed to make a significant return on their investment over the next two to three years," he added.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Key-ready homes are best bet in Spain

Following media coverage of the failing property market during 2008, most potential property buyers put their plans on hold and the complete market in Spain saw estate agents shutting through lack of sales and the crunch during 2008 was to get even worse. However as 2009 emerged, the estate agents were beginning to see a new surge of property buyers. The shrewd investor saw the decline as an opportunity to secure a dream home at a much reduced price. In fact this aspect of a declining market was the main purchasing selling point that the Spanish Market was using to attract buyers. New residences that have recently been completed has seen the best resulting sales in Spanish property market.

Known as key-ready properties, Martin dell of commented: "The difference is that these properties are available direct from the developer - who need sales to prevent the banks from taking possession." He added that these are better bets than repossessed lots being bought from banks, as developers are able to process matters faster and "negotiate from a more realistic property valuation.

He revealed in an article for International Property Journal predicting that overseas buyers will be able to negotiate "aggressively" over prices for Spanish homes in 2010. There is also a trend in Spanish market that follow the UK market. Smaller one bed apartments and studios seem to remain pretty consistent, as do the properties valued at over a £million.

Buyers looking for long term rental properties in Spain are able to push for bargains to the extent that only lets with no reserve price received offers at a recent auction organised by A Place in the Sun magazine, Mr Dell noted.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Demand for Spanish property is on the up

Falling house prices in Spain due to economic crisis and subsequent recovery of market will see more investors buying into the property market there soon, it has been predicted

Martin Dell of said that the high unemployment rate in the country is hampering the wider economy which in turn pushes house prices down further, while at the same time other European countries are recovering, leading to a situation whereby more overseas investors will "pounce" on a market full of bargains soon. Mr. Dell stated that this is already apparent at the "top end" of the market in Spain and is gradually working its way down to the "mainstream".

Irea Mikel Echavarren, head of Spanish real estate consultancy stated that prices have already dropped as low as they will go and anecdotal evidence in the sector has indicated that the level of transactions is going up. "As soon as there is a general perception that things are getting better, house prices will stop falling and start rising," he added.

In more good news for investors in Spanish property, Paul Bradley, Spokesman for the Spanish property Owners Guild said the rate of bookings for rental property in the country was up in October and is ten per cent up for 2010, as demand from sun-starved northern Europeans returns.

However, he advised that those looking to buy rental properties to ensure they have "exceptional rental qualities to defend a purchase", noting that "capital gains are not expected for at least four to five years" as a backlog of unsold properties remains to be cleared.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Spanish golf properties enjoy a 20% premium

Spain has some of the best Golf courses in the world and many of them are surrounded by wonderful properties such as villas, town houses and apartments which enjoy a 20 per cent premium over similar homes that lack this, it has been noted.

In a feature on the appeal and value of Golf properties, the Times stated figures from developer Clutton Resorts stating that such a price differential exists. With KPMG's Golf Advisory Practice stating that the country is tipped to be second only to Portugal as a golf property destination, The Times stated that this is beneficial for Spain.

Golf properties are among the easiest to rent out for holidays and represent an excellent investment. There are companies that specialize in renting out golf properties in Spain and include golf tee times and bookings. Over the last few years, the prices of golf properties in Spain have increased at a dramatic rate and huge profits have been made.

The Times also suggested the Desert Springs resort in Almeria as a good investment for a family in which Dad tends to be an occasional golfer. This has two-bedroom flats with discounted prices starting at GBP198,000.

In good news for golf property investors, revealed that the banks are willing to offer home loans to overseas buyers. It remarked that investors would be "surprised" at what is on offer and said that with prices having fallen the prospects of owning property abroad "may never be better".

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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