There is always a valid reason when things do not quite work out to plan and this recent economic step back on the Costa del Sol is no exception. As a matter of fact I believe that there are several reasons that have contributed to the present economic setback.
Yes, it is true that income on the Costa is Â“importedÂ” from other countries, however I do believe that nowadays this statement needs qualifying somewhat. Â“ExpertsÂ” and newspapers love painting dark, gloomy pictures for the sake of making an impact. They tell us that the weakness of the USA economy has affected the stock market and therefore the economy globally, particularly in the UK and the Far East, with the result that, in all probabilities, there will be a severe economic recession all over the world and especially in Southern Spain, because it depends on income from abroad.
I am no financial expert and commonsense dictates that indeed there is a serious crisis in most countries resulting in investors staying put, while property investment in Southern Spain has lost its appeal. However, in my humble opinion, this is no real cause for recession and alarm on the Costa del Sol and, it is also my opinion that those who do understand the matter of essence will continue to prosper despite what the experts say. This predicament is self inflicted as a result of greed. Take greed out of the equation and conditions will get into the right perspective again.
It is greed that has resulted in building massive surplus property stocks; it is greed that has encouraged the enormous borrowing needed to build such stocks; it is the estate agents who have incited investors to speculate Â“on plansÂ” under the false prospect that sales at a profit before completion would always be possible, thus creating an upside-down pyramid.
It is the army of estate agents, all competing for the same market that created a Â“gold feverÂ” environment resulting in prices rising in all quarters. Food, rents, and clothes and so on, all increased rapidly and unreasonably, simply because everyone wanted a piece of the action.
Having said this, letÂ’s add another two ingredients to the cocktail. LetÂ’s start with the loss of confidence in the Spanish property market as a result of illegal sales we all know about. Then letÂ’s move on to those unimaginative business people, who quite simply copy what others do because it seems to work, regardless of the fact that they have no idea of the trade or profession and even less idea of the market they just moved into.
Too many estate agents, too many publications, marketing companies, furniture shops, web page and graphic designers, kitchen suppliers, interior designers and too many of several others, all trying to make a living from the same activity just because it seems to work, ignoring the market limits, under the wishful impression that they are better than those who know the market inside-out as well as the business.
And the result? Not enough business to keep everyone going. So, prices are coming down, rents are coming down, businesses are closing up, people give up and move on to greener pastures, yet they canÂ’t even sell up before leavingÂ…
Oh, how wrong you all are! Why canÂ’t you stop believing you are owed a living? There is no short cut to wealth and deception is short lived. Forget trying to make the Â“quick buckÂ” and the easy life; stick to what you know, do it properly and, if you need to work for a company, do so conscientiously, earn your trust.
It is the only way forward. I have seen the last recession here on the Costa, that was really a bad one and for very similar reasons, yet I came through it. Sheer hard, honest work was the answer. This time it is not as bad and what makes the difference is the fact that the foreign population of the Costa is so much greater than it was last time. So many more continue needing shelter, food, entertainment, education, leisure, clothes and the rest.
LetÂ’s provide it all, there is enough to go round but let us not be all estate agents just because a few seem to be making good, keep an eye on the size of your market, be imaginative and provide your own ideas if you have to.
A thoughtful and well written argument. I would add that corrupt local government has been a potent factor in creating this greed with all its dreadful consequences.
Rated: 4/5 (21st February 2009)
Editor's comments: Thank you. Yes I do agree with you, the corrupt local governemnets have seriously abused the system and they still are in other ways.