According to the recently published Atlas de la Crisis, properties in the Costa Blanca and Costa Calida areas were among the worst affected by the global economic crisis and resulting Spanish property market crash. While signs of recovery were seen in Madrid and Barcelona as far back as 2012, recovery along the Costas was challenged by tens of thousands of unfinished and abandoned development sites. As more popular tourist and ex-pat provinces in Valencia and Andalucía began their slow but steady march towards stability over the last two years, the rate and value of transactions in Murcia and Almeria were behind this trend – until now. The property market in Murcia in particular has seen recent interest from foreign pension funds, private overseas investors and even the ex-pat community have started (cautiously) looking for holiday homes, sensing perhaps that the prices are at their lowest levels but rising slowly and are not forecasted to decline again in the short term. Of course, the euro/pound exchange rate at the moment makes buying within the Eurozone more attractive for UK buyers and investors.
In our experience, money will always follow bargains and that is what is happening at the moment. What is, perhaps, of greater significance is the rise in successful mortgage draw-downs for local homebuyers. This is a boost for private domestic sellers and a positive signal that the tentative recovery seen over the last few years is real.
There can be no doubt that we are still in the midst of a buyers’ market in Spain at the moment but the opportunities that existed 12 months ago are starting to dwindle, with the best stock selling first. From a statistical point of view, this does not manifest itself in rising prices but rather that buyers today will get less property for the same price. For example, last year, developers keen to raise some much-needed cash were agreeing to extras, like free parking spaces, lap-pools, higher-quality finishes etc to attract buyers. Today’s buyer will get the standard apartment at the same price but is unlikely to score any additional benefits. This is simply the nature of the beast, the developers need X amount and will give what they have to in order to get that figure – as it happens, this year they will need to give less, and next year, probably less again. These are the very forces that drive the marketplace. In a rising market, albeit a very slowly rising market, ‘last year’ is always the best time to buy, in the absence of a time machine, now might just be the second best time.
For home or holiday home buyers who are considering taking advantage of the slow market and favourable exchange rates, why not rent for a few months first? Property negotiations in quieter areas can take a long time, renting for three to six months might be the ideal way to challenge or reaffirm your decision to buy.
Buyers, if you would like to discuss your options with an independent buying professional (we do not sell properties or represent sellers in any country) please visit our website on www.BuyerBrokerInternational.com or email Info@BuyersBrokerInternational.com