Good news for expats as Spanish property market stabilises

Published:  5 Oct at 6 PM
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After a wild ride down, up and down again during the past decade, the Spanish property market is now stable.

Over the past five years, the real estate market in Spain has undergone a remarkable transformation resulting in its becoming attractive to a far wider range of buyers. Whether purchases are made by newly arrived expats, Brits fleeing Brexit, second home buyers or investors, the rush to buy has seen prices increase substantially, especially in the country’s most popular tourism and expatriate destinations.

Marbella, Ibiza, Mallorca and Madrid are now prime areas for real estate. Barcelona is also on the list, although last week’s successful Catalonian independence referendum and the Spanish government’s aggressive reaction may result in a cooling of interest, especially from investors. The significant rise in confidence in the overall Spanish housing market and the resultant price increases are underpinning demand for property, with mortgage lending up by an average of 20 per cent over 2016 figures.

At the present time, upscale properties in prime Madrid and Barcelona locations are seeing the most interest from international buyers, with enquiries in general up by 150 per cent over the same period last year. The most expensive location is Ibiza, with Marbella and Mallorca also popular with buyers looking to emigrate. Other reasons for the soaring demand are increases in disposable incomes and interest from Britons chancing the Brexit effect and deciding to leave the UK before it’s too late.

As regards purchases by international investors, the current strength of the euro against the US dollar and the pound sterling is one sign that’s encouraging real estate agents in Spain’s property hotspots to take full advantage of the upswing in overseas interest. Predicting the future at the present time isn’t easy, but it’s possible that UK expats forced to leave as a result of a hard Brexit may find it easier not only to sell their properties but to do so at a decent price.
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