News: Spain to 'stand the test of time'

Mon, 05 Nov 07

Investors should take a long term view about Spain’s property prospects, argues Assetz...

Amid all the speculation about the future prospects for the Spanish property market after the slowdown in the past year following the boom, or the recent threat by the Spanish government to demolish illegally-built homes on the coast, some might ask if a more long-term perspective is the best way to judge how things will turn out. This is certainly a question property investors committed to longer-term investment would want to ask.

Of course, those looking at developments of dubious legality would simply need - as any investors in any country should do - to have carried out the necessary checks to ensure what they were buying conformed to building regulations and any other rules.

The more pressing issue for property all over Spain, whether on the coast or inland, is the long-term viability of the market. Here a longer-term perspective has been provided by Mark Stucklin, managing director of property portal Spanishpropertyinsight.com, who said the key issue about the property market was that the involvement of Britons has expanded hugely in the last 30-40 years.

Ups and downs

Reflecting on the long-term nature of this trend, he stated: "There will be ups and downs like there are with any market, but the long-term trend will be more and more people buying and relocating and retiring to Spain." Indeed, he added, so well established was the country that comparable areas in southern Europe such as southern Italy and Sicily were not getting much of a look in.

"There's a very sophisticated developed industry and with all the support services needed by Brits, not only to buy but also to live", he noted. "Spain is by far the most sophisticated overseas property market."

For all these ups and downs, there remains a wealth of reasons for Britons to head to Spain and for investors to add to their portfolios there. In Galicia, Homes Worldwide notes, the seafood is a major attraction.

Sensationalist headlines

In Catalonia, investors can enjoy the best price appreciation, according to overseas mortgage broker Trafalgar Square Overseas, at 14.3 per cent in the past five years, while annual rents are now up to an average of £9,251 a year.

The Spanish property market is perhaps always likely to attract the most - and most sensationalist - headlines because it is such a large market for British investors and emigrees.

In Europe, only France comes close to it. But the ongoing appeal of the country which brought so many over to the Iberian pensinsula in the first place could keep it on top for a long time to come.



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