Thursday, November 09, 2006

Sometimes I am Lost for Words

I phoned an owner this morning as we had a request for more information about a flat in Valencia. So I was to confirm the address, availability and most importantly the price. 144000 Euros was the price I had. So the address correct, the availability, yes it was still available, but what? no that is not the price. How much I said expecting the worst from previous experience. 180000 Euros!! An increase of 25% over 6 months for a flat that could not be sold at its previous price. It is coming off the books.

However, this is not an isolated phenomenon. In the UK, in general, if you cannot sell a property then you lower the price, accept an offer, or take it off the market, get Justin and his friend in to do a makeover, and relaunch. In Valencia if you cannot sell you put the price up! The logic behind this is always explained as "Well prices have gone up x% this year and therefore it is worth more." The law of supply and demand does not seem to be well ingrained into the Spanish, or rather Valencian, mind. I know of houses that have been on sale for over four years always a step above the market valuation and this in a rising property market of over 20% per year. We never take them on because we only take on value properties but beware because some agents will take anything just to have product. I have wasted many a morning going to take photos, taking down the details and then having to tell the owner that they are living in cloud cuckoo land if they want that much for their property and so it would be better if they went with another agency rather than us. I also know of people who have been mercilessly ripped off by paying way over the odds for properties worth much less in my humble opinion. We could just sell and take the commission but it doesn't sit well...

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