News: Spain shining in adversity

Wed, 23 Jan 08

Spain's property market has taken a media battering over the last few months...

With so much talk of late of the credit crunch, a market correction and the demolition of illegally-built properties, the picture painted of Spain has not been a positive one.

Yet despite this, Assetz argues that the country is still popular, with plenty of places being talked of as good locations to buy property. Writing in the Times this week, Mark Stuckin of Spanishpropertyinsight.com mentioned a number of locations which were well worth a look from investors in 2008.

For one thing, he suggested, those who were keen on a bargain could cash in on areas with oversupply, such as some of the coastal areas which have seen a high level of building in recent years and consequently now have very affordable prices.

Tourism increase

He cited an example quoted by Andrew Lupton, of Stacks Relocation Spain, where a four-bedroom villa with a pool and 800 sq m of grounds would now cost £300,000, down £80,000 on 12 months ago. Bargains like this exist both on the coast and further inland, stated Mr Stucklin, with those investors who are keen to sell as prices fall offering opportunities for investors.

Yet the possibilities are far from confined to those taking advantage of fire sales, it would seem. The buy-to-let industry in a tourist area is always likely to be boosted by increases in tourist numbers and one piece of research has suggested Spain is on course for a good year in this regard.

Exceltur, the holiday industry group, were reported by Reuters to be tipping the number of visitors to the country to exceed last year's 59.7 million, topping the 60 million mark. Jose Luis Zoreda, Exceltur executive vice president, told the news agency: "For 2008, we expect 60.7 million tourists in Spain."

BTL boost

This, suggests homesworldwide.co.uk, offers a possible major boost to the buy-to-let sector, not least if the trend continues for 70 per cent of them to head for popular coastal resorts. Moreover, this predicted rise comes on top of an actual 2.2 per cent increase in 2007, which may suggest a long-term trend for rising tourist numbers has established itself.

For all the flak it has faced, Spain remains the most popular place for Britons to buy overseas, be it for personal or buy-to-let use. Proof of this came in the latest survey by A Place in the Sun magazine, reports homemmove.co.uk. The country stayed at number one ahead of France, proof that it has an enduring appeal. For all the recent concerns, it may endure for some time yet.

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