UPDATE: Spanish property market autumn 2013
Property sales in Spain during summer 2013 reached the same level as peak boom year 2007, but prices averaged 44% lower across the main second homes areas such as the Costa del Sol and Costa Blanca.
Most international buyers snapped up the brand-new, key ready apartments and villas on offer from leading banks who had taken control of urbanisations where the developers had defaulted on loans. These properties, in limbo for years while the legalities and ownership issues were resolved, come with communal swimming pools, landscaped gardens and higher than ever specifications.
Q4 2013 Indicators on the Spain property market
- Apartments priced from €50,000 to €150,000 will continue to sell readily
- The market for €1M plus villas is growing steadily
- Market driven by foreign buyers, is up 43% year on year, say Notaries Council
- Housing Ministry sales figures remain unreliable and disputed.
- 83% discounts in Q3 exceeded peak to present averages discounts of 44%.
- Two Spanish banks have raised prices by 5% and 15% for Q4
- Scores of summer deals have sold out with new waitlists
- Spanish banks struggling to cope with buyer demand
- Spain’s Sareb “Bad Bank” holds sub-prime property stock devalued by 65%.
- All-cash buyers can gain further discounts from Spanish banks
- Mortgage-required buyers can compete better with a pre-approved mortgage and NIE.
- Buyers should benchmark likely properties before and during viewing trips.
- Mortgages rates from 60% LTV at 6.2% to 110% LTV at 1.25% first year.
- Buyers secure mortgage in advance and view that bank’s bargains first.
- Best overall mortgage is 60% LTV at 4.18% via Walker Property Spain
There are now few commentators who do not agree the market is returning to previous sales volumes and independent appraisals such as the recent ITV programme, “Bargains in the Sun” have been positive on prices and bank bargains. Spanish property expert Mark Stücklin said on the programme: “I would definitely buy today in Spain. I am seeing some incredible opportunities and there’s a general feeling around that we’re at the bottom and that the worst is behind us – even though we are not yet out the woods.”
The 30 minute programme carried “buyer beware” warnings from a British Embassy spokesman and a fearful Spanish lawyer, blatantly touting for business as well as a rerun of the UK couple whose villa was demolished. The TV interviewer failed to ask the obvious question: “Did you have a Spanish solicitor to advise you on the villa purchase?”
It is unlikely that any property offered by Spanish banks would be illegal as teams of lawyers have often spent months auditing the paperwork before offering it up for sale through their own websites or international brokers like Walker Property Spain, whose renowned Fly to Buy service includes lists of independent local lawyers and the advice to “Always use a Spanish solicitor.”
Spanish banks have tangled themselves in their own over elaborate sales procedures that delay or derail purchases, while the Spanish Government threatens negative legislation based on its own inaccurate market analysis.