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Could you reign in Spain? How to get into the blossoming market in Spanish property.

Posted on June 18, 2016 · Posted in Chris Mansfield - Blog

The Brits appear to be falling back in love with Spain. We loved her for decades, because she was a wonderful place to take our holidays, she was a blissful place to retire to, and she was a sexy place to invest our money into and make a fortune from property. But then she let us down. She seduced so many of us that she ended up with nearly a million unsold properties, half built tumble-weed developments, and no suitors wanting to buy them.

So we withdrew our affection, and invested in other relationships with less beauty, like the UK Buy to Let market (and now she’s not all she was cracked up to be either!).

But now Spain’s coming back into our lives. And once again she’s proving that her beautiful warm nature, her easy-going lifestyle, and her very attractive property opportunities, are proving just too good to resist.

But will she let us down again?

Not if you’re careful and treat her well.

The truth is, that the Spanish property market has profoundly changed. The underlying economic factors of a weak economy and a massive over-supply of properties, have contributed to a new pragmatism in the Spanish property market. Prices of both land and property are now very realistic.

All the reasons for the love affair are still there.

A significant underlying factor in Spain’s reemergence as a strong property offer is the fact that all the things that first attracted us to the country in the first place, are all still true today. Beginning with how close it is. On average, it’s a two hour flight, making those short breaks all too easy, with frequent flights from many British (and other European) airports. And when you’re there, it’s hard to resist the heady mix of spectacular scenery, gorgeous beaches, super-friendly people, great restaurants and cafes, cool night life, and the ever-present Spanish sunshine. At the risk of sounding too much like a travel brochure, if you’re looking for a country that has the lot, from food to sunshine, from atmosphere to beaches, Spain pretty much has it.

Oh, and let’s not forget the golf – some of the best courses the world has to offer. And if you’ve not been for a while there are some great new courses and a greatly improved road network to get around them.

Developers have changed too, they’re now more cautious, and quality driven.

There are also some emerging property trends that can give investors great value. In particular the fact that many developers have matured from the “pile ‘em high and sell ‘em cheap” philosophy pre 2008, with a much more cautious attitude to oversupply. Plus, they’ve developed a healthy regard for quality too, recognising that it’s a strong differentiator that can get them sales.

Another difference from 8 years ago is the style and type of property purchase now being made. There’s a growing trend towards what is known as ‘Plot and Build’, which gives investors the opportunity to create exactly the property they want, in precisely the location they desire, all at a price they can afford.

So let’s take a closer look at some of these new property opportunities.

‘Plot and Build’ – back in favour, and back at the right price.

In the early 2000s property developers in Spain were building almost a million new homes a year. But in 2007/2008, prices started falling and construction projects ground to a complete halt, with many developers going bust. Basically – the market had broken.

But in May last year, Eurostat, the EU statistics office, recorded a year on year increase in Spanish construction of over 40% – putting Spain at the top of the league for European constructors. Plus: the market right now is being buoyed up by second home buyers who want a holiday home in the sunshine that one day they might retire to. So the market has matured – it’s now much less about investing and flipping properties – it’s much more of a lifestyle market.

And developers are cautiously easing themselves back into the Plot and Build market, looking for smaller projects where they are not over exposed financially. This means that investors who want to buy a quality plot in a great location, get the chance to do just that. And then have a brand new house built there in a sleek, contemporary, design.

The rise of the international, modern, Spanish new build.

It used to be the case that investors and holiday home buyers looked for the old-school and the traditional in their Spanish properties, with Pantiled roofs and stuccoed exteriors – it was all ornamental banisters and orange walls. Not any more. Many of today’s investors are seeking that sleek and minimal look of contemporary international architecture, like these:

Spanish Custom Build

 

Villa Sexton - Concept ModelToday’s properties don’t stint on the little luxuries of life either, almost all include a full AC system throughout, electric shutters, fully fitted kitchens with all electric goods fully integrated to maintain the clean lines of the house. Depending on the size of the plot, the gardens will be landscaped, and most have a private pool and plenty of outside terraces to enjoy the lovely Spanish weather.

If you want to see what your new build will look like before it’s built, you can have a complete interior design in 3D, before construction has even started. So you get a full service, from the outside design of the property, through to the matching interior. I fact, within 72 hours of your first meeting with the designers, you’ll receive floor plans, a full lay-out showing the positioning of the house on your plot, and a first 3D image/sketch of the finished property. All the steps in the process are taken care of, including liaising with your lawyer until the licenses have been granted and construction starts.

And your property is built in the location of your choice.

It used to be the case that your choice of location was pretty much pre-determined by the developer’s ability to find big enough parcels of land to build a reasonable number of properties. So your choice was not only restricted, you would end up with a property on an estate of new builds. Great, if that’s what you’ve always wanted. But sometimes lacking the individual personality of a single plot, in a stunning location. Well, that’s all changing. Many investors are now taking the house design of their choice, and having that built on the location of their choice. Which gives them huge potential for a stunning house, in a stunning setting. And at prices that are very affordable.

And if you’re thinking that all the above comes with a hefty price tag, then think again – you can achieve everything, including design, construction and plot, for a fraction of what you’d have paid pre 2008. I’m talking about plot and Build costs in great locations in the region of €400,000 upwards. If you get the plot and the house design right, a Plot and Build in the current market can get you an immediate investment return in some cases of €100k.

Luckily, at Davenport we deal with some of the biggest and most reliable of Spanish developers and property agents, who have ridden the ups and downs of the Spanish Property Market over the last 40 years. Through these selected agents, we’re able to source for our clients, excellent plots in great locations, with the latest designs. Which, with some good local intelligence, could well turn out to be an excellent investment opportunity.

This is a real turn around for the Spanish property market. To check it, I’ve been to one of the most exclusive areas of Spain to see the new market for myself, and have returned with a renewed respect for some of the Agents I met there, and some of the property opportunities I saw there.

Should you have any questions at all about this re-emerging Spanish property market, please contact me direct on 01273 763 900, or alternatively email me on at c.mansfield@davenport-wealth.com, and I’ll be delighted to give you all the latest intelligence.