Sunday, 15th September 2019
COVER FEATURE | FINANCE & INVESTMENT Article
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This Month's Magazine
Falling Prices and Golden Opportunities

Falling Prices and Golden Opportunities

Perhaps it is time to think again about that holiday home in the sun. - By Count de la Perrelle.

Sun, sea and sangria have long tempted people from all over the world to dream about that holiday home in the sun and live out a life in the warmer climes of Spain either for vacations or for more of a long term investment.

We are all fully aware though that, during recent years, the property market soured somewhat and crashed. With property prices dropping by around 30% – 50%, now could well be a good time to find that holiday home investment in the sun. According to Standard and Poor, prices in Spain have fallen by an average of 28% since 2008 and in some cases asking prices have fallen as much as 70%.

There are other buying hotspots of course including France, Italy, Portugal and Greece, where there have been significant falls. According to S&P, France saw house prices fall 2% last year and 4% the year before. Meanwhile Italy fell 5% last year and 3% the year earlier, Portugal was down 3% last year and apparently Greece prices fell 12% in the last 12 months and 10% the year earlier, but Spain would seem to be the best investment bet.

Spain is a good choice Spain has much to offer anyone who decides to settle or have the personal use of a holiday home here. Of course the crisis is aggravated by a surplus stock of new properties, having said that, some very good deals can be had with the banks with regard to mortgages. It is certainly the right time to consider buying for relocation or for a lifestyle reasons. Spain
is renowned for its relaxed way of life and the healthy Mediterranean climate which has attracted people from all over the world for many years and will continue to do so after the crisis.

Marbella and the Costa del Sol offer so much to the discerning visitor giving the feeling of being in some quality international resort set all on its own. There is so much to see and do all along the Costa del Sol and so much to explore, with a cornucopia of different villages, cultures and lifestyles offering endless ideas to enhance your holiday entertainment. Casares and
Manilva areas are just two excellent examples of this.


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We are all aware that during the real-estate boom, Spanish house prices rocketed, rising by an incredible 200 per cent from 1996
to 2007, before plunging back down to earth when the bubble burst. Major banks, including UBS and BBVA, estimate that
house prices may have bottomed out, so there are many good deals to be had right now. Of course, when it comes to properties
in ever-popular, reputable areas, some buyers are grabbing the best deals while they can.

There is still a lot of uncertainty all over Spain, but it is possible to buy a two bed apartment in southern Costa del Sol for substantial reductions. I do wonder just how low some of these property prices will go? Generally, most of the people buying at this time are semi-retirees who want a second home to move into in perhaps five, or 10 years time when they intend to be financially selfsufficient, living off their pension and savings”.

However many are seizing this as an opportunity to invest in the future, because eventually prices will move up again. Meanwhile
such investment properties can be used for renting or as holiday homes.

A word of caution Do make a point of checking all of the costs and the details associated with buying abroad. Exchange rates can make a big difference and do make sure you understand all the local taxes and fees that will apply.

A local Gestor (financial manager) and a good independent lawyer will advise you on such matters as transfer tax, IVA and stamp
duty on new builds, legal fees, registry costs, yearly costs and taxes. Such professional advisers will help you keep on top of all the new legislation regarding renting out your property if you so wish when you are not using it.

One last recommendation, if you are not buying for cash and if you are not financially independent avoid over borrowing, remember that Spanish banks are still very fragile while unemployment is high.



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