Altavista Property – is it a Good Time for Overseas Buyers to Invest in Spanish Property in Marbella?
With Europe and in particular Spain hovering on the edge of an economic avalanche, and with the poor Euro struggling increasingly each day, why are we at Altavista Property seeing an increase in foreign buyers looking again to invest in Spanish property? According to the Bank of Spain, in 2011 foreigners invested over 4,700 Million Euro’s into the Spanish property market, showing a rise of 27% on 2010. There is no reason by 2012 shouldn’t produce the same results despite whatever fate awaits the Euro or the Spanish economy.
Altavista Property Marbella blog
At the time of writing the pound to euro exchange rate is currently fluttering around the 1.2 mark, the highest since Autumn 2010, making Spanish property just that little bit more affordable for the British buyers and bringing them closer to their dream of a home on the Costas. But it’s not just the British who are considering Spain again – there has been a significant increase of interest from the Russian, Chinese and Scandinavian markets. Particularly in the areas in an around Marbella since the announcement of the 400 million euros investment by the Qatari royal family and associated companies into the expansion of the La Bajadilla port (known locally as the Puerto Pesquero or fishing port) which is located on the east side of Marbella town. This is planned for completion in 2015 and is expected bring huge revenue back to Marbella, not only from the new 12,000m2 commercial areas, but also from the cruise ships which will finally have facilities to stop off at Marbella, instead of having to take their passengers from Malaga straight to Gibraltar or beyond.
Marbella and Puerto Banus have received a huge increase in publicity and press coverage due to the influx of the jet-set and celebrity crowd (one of the highlight episodes of the ITV television series TOWIE has just been filmed in Puerto Banus) and this looks likely to continue through the 2012 summer season. Whilst we have to listen to reports of doom and gloom in the rest of Europe, and of course, the terrifying scare mongering stories of a collapsing Spanish economy, Marbella and the surrounding areas will remain very firmly ‘on the map’, making it a more than interesting destination for foreign property buyers.
As in many places along the Spanish Costas as well as inland, there are many great property purchasing opportunities with sellers who are in dire straits after not being able to sell their properties. Perhaps they simply wish to return to their home countries due to ill-health, old age or family commitments and many will accept brutally low offers just to ‘escape’ the continued costs of running their foreign properties. This is where the term distressed sale comes from and if a marketplace constantly has these type of sales around, then they do nothing to help shore up the prices. For many sellers these are worrying times, and clearly the Spanish Banks show no signs of being able to provide any assistance – due of course to their own greed during those ‘boom’ years.
The stability of property prices in Spain is heavily influenced by the number of distressed sales on the market and these define the real sale price of every property, irrespective of the (often optimistic) price placed on them by sellers. If the marketplace constantly has distressed sales then the downward cycle of prices will continue, until no-one is prepared to sell their property at a price below a certain level.
The price of new property in the Costa del Sol has dropped by 12.6 per cent in the last year, and by more than 30 per cent since the economic crisis began. These more reasonable prices have helped to reduce the number of unsold properties in the market – particularly when the Banks financing the developments are still offering up to 100 per cent mortgages at very favourable rates. They need to off-load their surplus stock.
AltaVista Property puts the emphasis on clients’ requirements. We focus our efforts on matching client requirements and sourcing suitable properties, but given our longstanding experience in real estate and knowledge of this market in particular, we are also able to identify those properties that offer great value.