Cheap prices put Spanish property back on the map
The Spanish market, for years the horror show of Europe, is just beginning to show signs of bouncing back, tempting buyers with low prices and attractive mortgages, but if you’re thinking of buying a villa in the sun, there are still significant dangers.
Spanish banks have been trying to offload their glut of repossessed homes on the cheap and average prices crumbled by 12.8 per cent in the first three months of this year compared to the same period in 2012, according to Eurostat figures. Some of these bargains are finally turning heads and interest in Spanish property is enjoying a revival, taking over the top spot from the USA last month and accounting for almost one-in-three enquiries on the property portal TheMoveChannel.com.
“It is a good time to buy property in prime locations at the right price. In the best areas of Barcelona city and Marbella it is possible to buy properties at a 50 per cent discount from 2007 prices,” says Alexander Vaughan of Spanish estate agent Lucas Fox.
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 still have another 8 per cent to go before bottoming out, so there may be better deals later down the line.
However, when it comes to properties in ever-popular, reputable areas, some buyers are grabbing the best deals while they can.