Why are Brits Missing Out on Spanish Property Bargains?
09 Nov 2012
At the height of the boom, Brits made up 60 to 70% of foreign property purchases in Spain. By 2011 this British proportion had dropped to 19% with other European investors snapping at their heels. Agent Spanish Hot Properties fears the Brits are missing out.
Nick Stuart, Director of Spanish Hot Properties, gives his opinion, “In 2011 Brits bought only 4,294 of the 22,260 Spanish properties sold to foreigners, a measly 19%, and I fear they’re losing their chance. Likewise the Germans, who once dominated certain locations, have seen their share slip to 8%. I can’t get my head round this as, whilst the Brits and Germans watch Spanish property bargain after Spanish property bargain fly off the shelves, the Scandinavians, Dutch, Belgians and Russians are making hay and snapping up the best value homes we’ve seen in more than a decade.”
Of course there could be several reasons why the frighteners have gone on the Brits and Germans when it comes to Spanish property – not least the looming prospect of an economic bailout.
Nick continues, “Prime Minister Rajoy has implemented a raft of cost cutting procedures from labour reforms to tax hikes. He has also set up a bad bank to swallow up to 90 billion euros-worth of foreclosed assets - a condition of any European bailout. However, despite all this, certain economists in Frankfurt and London still believe that the Spanish economy is to fall off a cliff and we’ll be exiting the euro and paying with pesetas once more. I can’t see this happening, Germany will not allow the Euro or Eurozone to collapse, they will write a bailout cheque. If I am right, then this means that further house price collapse is going to be minimal rather than colossal – and bear in mind the best bargains are already near sold-out.”
Some Brits also cite the exchange rate as another reason to avoid a Spanish property purchase. Correct, at the height of the boom, this time back in 2006, a 200,000 euro apartment would have cost 134,000 GBP - today 160,000 GBP. But, sterling is currently towards the upper end of its five year range versus the euro and today’s 1.25 euro exchange rate is far healthier than the near pound-euro parity suffered in January 2009. What’s more, according to leading economists, those waiting for a return to 1.40 or 1.50 euros to the pound are being completely unrealistic.
Nick finishes, “To use currency as an excuse now is counterproductive. Granted, those in the Eurozone needn’t even consider exchange rates, making a property purchase in Spain much more straightforward, but the Norwegians and Swedes are currently buying in their droves – up 5.9% and 7.1% for 2011 over 2010 respectively – and they’re converting from krone and krona. It just isn’t an excuse. I wish the British buying public could see that they’re missing out and waiting for the right time, a better price, a better exchange rate, a return of the peseta, is futile – and all the while spending time in a country full of sunshine and smiles is passing them by.”
With a website in six languages, English, Spanish, French, Russian, German and Norwegian, Spanish Hot Properties caters for all nationalities – it’s just a shame that the Brits aren’t as dominant as they used to be.
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Contact Spanish Hot Properties on UK 00 44 207 558 8355 or telephone Spain 00 34 952 864 382, email Info@spanishhotproperties.com or visit www.spanishhotproperties.com
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