Paul McMullen of escapetospain comments on the Spanish property market in the UK’s Homes Overseas magazine.

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Paul McMullen of escapetospain comments on the Spanish property market in the UK’s Homes Overseas magazine.

Buying Spanish property on a budget

Spain may be licking her wounds after her spectacular property rise and fall, but there are signs that the worst is over. Statistics show that property sales are slowly recovering; agents and developers in spain are under close scrutiny following a series of corruption scandals; and there is now a healthy dose of caution in the air says sarah speight.

There are currently countless bargains to be had in sunny spain , thanks in part to a surfeitvof new properties as a result of over-supply. It’s a buyers market right now and people are slowly returning to spain as confidence is gradually restored. Do your research and spain can still provide a good investment.-as long as you are in it for the long haul.

It is relatively easy to find Spanish properties below €150,000, but first the old ceshnut – location. Get this right and your’e on a good start Mark stucklin head of Spanish property insight advises in this market the strategy is clear focus on established desirable areas then look for a good deal within that area everyone knows the location rule but its often the first thing that’s forgotten.

Go for popular coastal locations with good rental or investment potential such as the Balearics, the costas, Marbella  or Valencia. There are many locations inland that offer good value for money too, although you may need to look harder for somewhere with good amenities and ensure it’s not too isolated -  look for quality of build and amenities appealing surroundings that people can relate to adds stucklin cities such as Barcelona and Madrid will always be popular but property tends to be more expensive and appealing only to a niche market.

The type of property that is offering the best deals is newly built key ready  accommodation partly because there is so much of it just waiting to be sold paul mcmullen sales manager of escape to spain explains there are some really good deals out there at the moment the best ive seen are on new build key ready homes. In many cases the builders need to sell them in order to pay off the banks so they are willing to accept upto 40 per cent less than the original asking price just so they can close the sales office and move onto their next project

Victor Sague, sales and marketing manager of taylor woodrow espana adds – we have significantly reduced our prices on a selection of properties  in line with with the current market with some homes now priced at just over £100,000, this has opened up the property market to those who may have previously thought they couldn’t afford to buy anywhere in Spain." Julia Marriot and her husband from Coventry recently bought a townhouse through Taylor Woodrow at the Lagunas del Sol development in Rojales, Costa Blanca. Properties here were initially priced at just over £105,000. Julia explains: We decided to move to Spain permanently to semi-retire. For us, the proximity to the UK was really important as we travel back to visit family. We looked all along the coast until we found Lagunas del Sol, and it just ticked all the right boxes for us. It’s close to the shops and beach and our property overlooks the pool,which is great.” Asked if she had any concerns about buying in Spain Julia says that they did, but they carried out their research carefully, choosing a good developer and location, but “a good Spanish lawyer is essential" she cautions. Lagunas del Sol is now sold out, but over in the Balearics, Taylor Woodrow is offering two bed apartments at El Puerto 2, Cala d’Or, Mallorca. Close to the beach and the city of Palma, the properties are set around a marina and are priced from £144,500.

So unlike the heady days of the boom, is off plan now seen as too risky? McMullen says: “I wouldn’t advise anybody to buy anything totally off-plan at the moment – there’s just no point. Prices aren’t going up, so there’s no advantage – plus you always face the possibility that the developer might go bankrupt in the meantime , leaving you with a half-finished property and a legal headache in trying to recover your money. In the current climate buy something almost complete or key-ready.”

One example of a scheme that’s almost complete is being offered by Casas de Lorca. The Lorca apartments, located close to the new Lorca University in Murcia, are due for completion in early 2009. The one, two and three bedroom apartments are ideal for students and come with a guarnteed rental for three years. Prices start at 65,000 for a one bedroom unit, up to 123,500 for three bedrooms. good deals on resale ( second hand ) properties, too. But be prepared to do some extra homework. McMullen explains: “Buying resales can be a little more difficult as you will find huge variations in price as some owners are more desperate to sell than others – so you can find identical properties within the same area for vastly different asking prices. The best advice is ask your agent what the same property would’ve sold for two years ago; if they are an established agent they will have this information, and then you can gauge whether it’s a good price or not.”

Clearly, there are plenty of bargains currently on the market: provided you approach with care and research, and seek good legal advice, Spain can still offer a sound investment.

Taylor Woodrow’s Sague agrees: “ Unlike the newer emerging markets Spain is established and Brits have been buying property there for years, so providing you do your research you’ll have a good idea of what you’re getting in terms of product and location. If you look at Spain as a long term investment it will take some beating.”

This article appeared in the Jan/Feb 2009 edition of Homes Overseas.       

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