Many Spanish citizens are still feeling the force of the Spanish financial crisis, but whilst families are being evicted at a phenomenal rate for defaulting on their mortgages or failing to make payments, foreign buyers and investors have returned in force to take advantage of the countries depressed property market.
For the first time in nearly ten years, foreign purchases of Spanish property have exceeded €6bn according to data recently made public by the Bank of Spain.
Mark Stucklin of Spanish Property Insight stated that “People are buying on the coast and in cities like Barcelona.” But it is not just private buyers who are closing in on cheap Spanish property, “The likes of Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Blackstone, George Soros and Bill Gates are all getting into Spanish real estate.” With big name investors like these taking interest in Spanish property, it is clear that there are definitely some exciting projects and investment opportunities out there.
The infamous Sareb bank has acquired thousands of unsold properties, from failed Spanish banks, building societies and investment companies, and some institutional investors are now buying these properties in bulk. With control over around 200,000 properties, Sareb is offloading houses at a rate of more than 60 per day. This rate is set to be upped as Sareb starts implementing a new marketing strategy in order to sell the €50bn of real estate that they control, and this is sure to create many further opportunities for potential international investors.
Spain’s property registrars have released a report which shows that Britons are still the largest demographic of international property investors, accounting for 15% of all foreign investments, although that is down over 50% from 2007.
With many British buyers believing that the Eurozone crisis has now passed and that house prices are unlikely to fall any lower, it is unsurprising to see them remaining at the top of the list.
According to Kate Everett-Allen of the international residential research department at Knight Frank, “People who want to make a lifestyle choice with a second home see that, if prices haven’t bottomed out after seven consecutive years of falling, they are close to it”.
With the euro-pound rate having risen from €1.05 to €1.22 in the last 7 months, British investors see this as an ideal time to make a move and secure a good deal whilst the pound is so strong.
Barcelona is currently one of the most desirable property hotspots for overseas investors, with the cities classy, upmarket districts luring in buyers from around the globe. Over 40% of purchases there are second homes, with many buyers intending to transform properties into hotels or holiday flats available for rent.
Buyers of non-EU nationalities are also being enticed by the Spanish government’s newly introduced so called ‘golden visa’. The visa provides an opportunity for non-Eu citizens to purchase property valued at over €500,000 and thereby attain legal residency. Estate agent Savills has said that a similar scheme in Portugal has been fairly successful in enticing foreign investment.
Estate agents report that here has recently been a notable rise in interest among Russian, Chinese and Middle-Eastern buyers, as well as new interest from Scandinavia and parts of Africa.
Bradley Shore in an avid property and investment blogger, he has been blogging for a number of years and worked for a large range of clients such as Alta Vista Property, he would one day love to have his own property blog which he could make a living off.