News: Murcia: Spains next big thing

Thu, 29 Nov 07

After all the headlines about a possible collapse of the Spanish property market, a rather different reality has emerged. Where there was supposed to be decline and crash, a much more gentle slowdown has taken place...

Evidence of this was provided recently by Spanish Property Insight's report on the market at the end of the third quarter of 2007. It stated that the annualised growth was running at the equivalent of 5.3 per cent during this quarter, compared with 5.8 per cent in the second quarter of the year.

This gentle slowdown certainly does not appear to have put off companies involved in the Spanish property industry. Halifax, for example, has just announced the setting up of a property section on its website, which will link up with services from its Spanish arm, Banco Halifax Hispana.

Spain’s market ‘very much alive’

Ian Andrews, the national intermediary sales manager for the Spanish operation, said: "There is growing demand for this service amongst the broker community," adding: "The number of people buying abroad has risen more than 60 per cent since the year 2000."

While there is, therefore, clearly a sign that Spain's property market is very much alive, investors will still be looking for the best locations in which to invest. Just as the UK has experienced regional variations, with London, Scotland and Northern Ireland leading the way in the recent boom, so Spain has seen some areas doing better than others.

Spanish Property Insight picked out Murcia as the area performing best in Spain, with 10.7 per cent annualised growth up to the end of the third quarter, a figure, the company noted, which was in contrast to worst performer Alicante at 2.1 per cent.

Commenting on the possibilities afforded by Murcia, James Dearsley, European sales manager for international property firm Atlas International, said the municipality was "one of the most up-and-coming areas" in the country.

Superb opportunity

He added that there were many reasons for this development, not least the forthcoming replacement of the current airport, a converted military base, with the new San Javier airport in 2010.

"In terms of investment potential, the airport will make it a lot more viable for people and as there are a lot of golf courses around that area, from a rental point of view investment becomes a lot more attractive for most buyers," Mr Dearsley stated.

So attractive, in fact, that Mr Dearsley gave it his personal recommendation: "If I was looking to buy tomorrow I'd be looking at Murcia, no doubt," he said, adding that anyone building today would have a couple of years to plan before the new airport arrived, making it a "superb opportunity for most people".

The reasoning behind the brokers requesting the new Halifax service was the rising demand from British buyers. If Murcia continues to thrive as predicted, Halifax's site may be finding a large proportion of hits coming from those keen on investing in the city.

For more information, please visit: http://www.assetz.co.uk

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