Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Spanish property, is it time to buy now?

A well balanced article about the Spanish property market and the roadshow currently being toured around Europe. 

Spanish property, is it time to buy now?



So, the Spanish government is finally on a major push to get foreigners to buy Spanish property!

I keep reading about the ‘road show’ that is currently in the UK before it goes off to tour the rest of Europe to publicise the benefits of buying property in Spain. Clearly the Spanish government’s PR machine is working hard to publicise the event with the presence of Spain’s Housing Minister, Beatriz Corredor, an indication of how serious the government are.

This should not be surprising as something like 10% of all the properties bought during the boom years were purchased by foreigners. Indeed, there are now, supposedly, some 1 million Britons resident in Spain, all of whom will have contributed significantly to the Spanish economy.

Perhaps more to the point, as stated in a recent BBC article, is that some 1 in 5 jobs in Spain ‘were connnected to the property sector’ during the boom years – which just about mirrors the current unemployment figures in Spain of 21.3%. In other words, the collapse of the property market took with it at least 20% of the jobs available in Spain.

The trouble is that almost ever article that I have read about the Spanish government’s property roadshow has been hijacked by protesters who bought in Spain – and then found themselves in a nightmare. There are tales of illegal property and worthless bank guarantees and so on – none of which help Spain’s case.

Unfortunately, quite a lot of the horror stories about Spanish property are true. There is certainly no shortage of illegal properties or properties in Spain with inherent (and often very expensive liabilities). It is certainly not a place in which to buy carelessly and, despite the assertions of the housing minister, matters have not changed radically over the past few years to make matters noticeably safer.

That said, as I have written many times, I am constantly astonished by the lunatic actions of foreign buyers when they do come to Spain. It is unbeliveable how many people, for example, do not use a lawyer for their conveyancing – or, when they do, one who they know also works for the seller. This is just asking for trouble and is something they would never tolerate in their own countries under any circumstances.

Indeed, some of the Spanish property problems that I have seen (first-hand) appear to have been almost deliberately created by buyers during moments of what can only be kindly described as utter madness.

The truth is that you can buy safely in Spain – if you are careful and if you are sufficiently knowledgeable beforehand and if you treat Spanish property with the caution it deserves.

Spanish property certainly deserves to be treated with caution, as I emphasise in my book ‘How to Buy Spanish Property and Move to Spain – Safely’. Indeed, my watchword is to approach Spanish property as if it is illegal – and then get your specialist conveyancing lawyer to prove (in writing) that it is actually legal and has no possible liabilities. This is a reversal of the philosphy of the US or the UK but it is the right way to go.

As to now being the right time to buy Spanish property?

Well, yes – it probably is.

Although I believe that the market has a little further to drop there are such astonishing bargains available that (if you are careful) – really, you cannot go too far wrong price-wise. Just make sure that where and what you buy is right and that it is located somewhere that will be in long term demand by a significant and defined sector of the buying public (preferably Spanish and foreign).


How to Buy Spanish Property and Move to Spain – Safely’

Protests over a place in the sun

The Spanish property crash is not over yet


Original Page: http://www.culturespain.com/breaking-news/spanish-property-is-it-time-to-buy-now

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