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Spanish Property Market - The Truth Behind the Headlines

At Carrington Estates we’re delighted to inform you that the Spanish property market is in fact not dead. Homes are selling and transactions are taking place on a daily basis, it just does not get widely reported – apparently good news does not sell newspapers unless of course it’s citing Spain’s triumphs in Euro 2008 and Wimbledon. Follows some professional insights into the Spanish property market that probably haven’t made the front pages, as to be frank, they’re probably just too positive…

From the AIPP (Association of International Property Professionals) 2007 Property Survey, “Despite some people doubting its future in the international property market and some negative press coverage, unfair at times, Spain has yet again come out on top as the number one destination for British people buying property abroad in 2007, according to annual research conducted by the Association of International Property Professionals (AIPP). 25.4% of properties purchased overseas by British buyers in 2007 were in Spain. Further proving the enduring attraction of the established names, France was again the second most popular country, taking 17% of the market. When you add in the 3rd most popular, the USA, at 9.7%, it is clear that once again the established destinations are holding up well against the huge number of emerging markets (these 3 alone taking 52.1% of the market).”

From online news provider Adfero in May 2008, “Property buyers are still set to flock to the Spanish market in 2008, even if demand will not reach that seen last year, it has been claimed. Mortgage consultant at Savills Private Finance Remi Gashi explained that factors such a stronger euro will make a dent, but there are elements of Spain that mean it can still pull in investments. The weather in the country is unaltered, he asserted, with a good deal of holidaymakers opting to leave the UK behind. He commented: "They're going to get millions and millions of people going there [to Spain], that's hardly going to change." And while the property market is going through a rough period, he added, this is not a trend restricted to just Spain. In total, 34 per cent of Brits with a second home chose Spain as the place to invest, the Department of Communities and Government recently said. By comparison, 23 per cent of these are in France.”

From the global information and news service, Reuters, posted in June 2008 “The sharp slowdown in Spain's housing sector will be over by the second half of 2009, according to Housing Minister Beatriz Corredor, 'Forecasts by international and national organizations, as well as the government, point to an economic and property sector recovery beginning in the second half of 2009.' Corredor noted that the sector slowdown is a necessary correction for Spain, where house prices tripled in the decade to 2007. Economy Minister Pedro Solbes said earlier on Wednesday that he does not think the slowdown will get much worse.”

According to Saga Travel Money spokeswoman Lisa Harris, quoted in June 2008, “Despite the availability of low-cost housing in emerging markets, a large number of older expatriates still prefer living in France or buying property in Spain. Bulgaria and some of the other newer members of the EU are becoming attractive locations to retirees from the UK because property "bargains" are available. However, the most popular destinations chosen by those retiring from the UK are Spain and France in that order."

From award-winning Spanish property website Kyero, posted in July 2008, “A bit of good news for once. The Spanish property sector has made some progress towards cleaning up its act, according to the latest bi-annual report on real estate sector transparency published by Jones Lang LaSalle, an international property consultancy. In the 2008 edition of Jones Lang LaSalle’s Global Real Estate Transparency Index, which measures corruption in real estate sectors worldwide, Spain has risen two place from 18th in 2006 to 16th today. As a result, Spain is now rated 10th in Europe, and 16th in a world ranking of 82 real estate markets. Corruption is not the only variable measured by the index, which also takes into account other factors such as legal frameworks, respect for private property, levels of professionalism, and the availability of reliable market statistics. The improved availability of information, plus greater professionalism in the Spanish property sector lie behind Spain’s rise in the rankings.”

And recent research from Rightmove says, “In the latest list of the top 20 countries by property search between January 1st and May 31st 2008, investor website found that Spain and France were still the top two, with Portugal also making the top five. Mr Collins noted that locations in the west and south of Europe are not only popular, but also that these "will remain that way just because of the ease of getting to them and the fact that the culture and economy is geared up to foreigners buying property". He concluded: "The emerging markets are popular with investors but they are not so popular with holiday home owners," which might explain why, for all their exciting potential, the Rightmove top 20 does not include Cape Verde or India.”

Oh and it’s affordable to boot, according to Helen Warburton, head of travel at the Post Office, “Holidaymakers face a steep rise in the cost of trips to the eurozone this year because of the plummeting pound, but Spain remains the cheapest place to holiday within the zone, with tourist staples costing 15% less there than in the most expensive destinations, France, Portugal and Italy.”

So please, halt the obituaries, Spain’s property market is far from dead.

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