Home Blog

Blog

Demand from international buyers will remain fundamental necessity to help the Spanish property market continue its recovery and it remains to be seen if Brexit results in a fall in British interest.

14731238_1127202583982671_2863314377738006443_n

Overall experts point out that 2016 was a positive year for the real estate market with prices having bottomed out the year before and modest price rises seen in some locations.

It is likely that locations with lower prices could become more in demand in 2017 as buyers still want a bargain and there is likely to be some uncertainty around the UK formally beginning the process of leaving the European Union and elections in France and Germany.

According to Lucas Fox International Properties the last 12 months were a turning point for the property market in Spain. Co-founder Alexander Vaughan said that the
recovery continued throughout 2016 and price increases moved beyond the big cities such as Barcelona and Madrid and desirable second home destinations.

‘We believe that a growing economy, low financing costs, good potential for rental returns and capital appreciation will continue to drive sales throughout 2017 and beyond,’ he said.

But his firm has found that Brexit had a noticeable effect on sales to British buyers in the second half of 2016 but he believes that this was mainly due to the depreciation of the pound rather than concerns about the country’s future in Europe.

‘Across Spain as a whole Brits still dominate foreign sales with nearly a fifth of the market share, more than double that of French buyers, he pointed out, adding that diminishing demand for high end homes in London following Brexit could also see non-EU citizens look to Madrid or Barcelona in the forthcoming months.

‘We also expect that demand for Spanish property from other foreign buyers, including from the United States and the Middle East, will continue its upward trend throughout 2017. We’ll see new low cost flights from British Airways and Norwegian Airlines from the US to Barcelona during 2017, a reflection of the growing attraction of cities like Barcelona for Americans, as both a tourist and second home destination,’ he concluded.

New homes are expected to be built in Valencia in 2017, signalling that developers think the demand will be there, according to Juan Luis Herrero, a partner with Lucas Fox in the region.
‘Regarding re-sale properties, we forecast a continued upward swing, especially now that the uncertain political situation which prevailed during 2016 has come to an end. The return of mortgage credit and low interest rates will continue to fuel this trend,’ he said.

Demand is also expected to rise on the Costa Brava, especially in traditionally sought after coastal villages such as Llafranc, Calella de Palafrugell and Begur. ‘These are the areas where we are likely to see the first increases when prices begin to rise,’ said Tom Maidment, a partner with Lucas Fox Costa Brava.

He also expects to see an increase in buyers from the United States but thinks second home buyers from the UK will hold off until there are firm indications of what deals will be done once the UK begins the formal process of leaving the EU which should start with the triggering of Article 50 before the end of March 2017 and the impact this might have on Sterling.

Prices could fall further in Marbella as developers reach out to foreign buyers, according to Stephen Lahiri of Lucas Fox’s office in the region. ‘The increase of new projects is leading to increased competition and developers are increasingly focusing on prices and payment terms and value for money,’ he explained.

Richard Speigal, head of research at Spanish property portal Kyero, pointed out that house sales in Spain have recorded a 15% rise on the previous year and seen 10 consecutive quarters of growth, which means that the Spanish property market crash has officially ended.

‘Spain’s market has two unusual advantages. Firstly, it had nowhere to go but up. The 2008 crisis completely shredded the housing market. Secondly, Spain has incredible international appeal and with one in five property sales going to foreigners, it can endure weak local demand,’ he said.

‘British, French, German, Dutch, Belgian, Italian and Swedish buyers are picking up the slack, which has been good news for the wider market and for those involved in selling property in Spain,’ he explained.

He believes that there is still pent up demand from potential British buyers, citing figures that show that overseas searches for Spanish property via Kyero reached all-time highs after the referendum vote in June, up over 50% on 2015. The portal’s largest agents also reported seeing record attendance at UK investor shows.

He predicts that older British home owners with no mortgages on their properties and looking for a holiday home will be tempted to buy in Spain in 2017 and beyond. ‘In short, British buyers age 50 plus who love Spain are sitting on huge equity piles and Brexit didn’t diminish their wealth and as a group, British buyers are getting richer,’ said Speigal.

But he warned that they will haggle over prices and will want to get value for their money. ‘The hunt for value will translate to a key trend in the Spanish property market in 2017 with buyers seeking good value properties that offset the drop in Sterling’s value. Evidence is already emerging of the benefits of this on lower priced destinations, which look set to boom in 2017,’ he added.

Hi top tips for 2017 include Almeria where traditional charm attracts overseas buyers. In the third quarter of 2016 sales were up year on year by 93% and with an average price of €129,000 properties are seen as good value, almost half the cost of the national average on the portal.

Prices are also lower on average in Alicante where international buyers have more property than any other province in Spain. While this could make it susceptible to shocks, Speigal says it’s strengths are hard to beat including fabulous beaches, steady sales growth and prices up to 15% below average.

Tenerife is also on the spotlight as far as overseas buyers are concerned with Italian buyers overtaking British buyers for the first time as the main group of international buyers. Prices are already increasing, up 5% to an average of €249,000 in 2016 and low cost flights from around Europe make it popular with those looking for a holiday home that they can also let out.

logo

Flying BA could be cheaper than you think this summer, with low-cost flights available to a range of destinations.

malaga-british-airways-flights-746833

The airline has released its ticket prices for 2017, with flights to the popular tourist spot of Malaga in the Spanish Costa del Sol region being sold for as little as £38 one way (£76 return).

Those flying out in January, February or March can take advantage of this low rate, while holidaymakers planning to travel between April and October can pay as little as £42 one way (£84 return).

Prices are based on a seven-night return journey with economy flights, flying from a London airport.

It’s easy to find the cheapest flights available on British Airways’ website, which has a Low Price Finder tool to compare costs to different destinations.

There are also flights to Alicante in Spain’s Costa Blanca for as little as £39 one way (£78 return).

Last year was record-breaking for tourism in Malaga , with more than 14 million passengers passing through Malaga airport.

Tourism brought in €11.5 billion to the Costa del Sol in 2015, and the region hosted a record number of visitors – 10.6 million in one year.

This was up 4.3 per cent from 2014.

Owning a second home overseas provides the chance to experience a country in a way that just holidaying there rarely does. With your own home you can live, cook, eat, drink and be merry in just the same way as the locals do – something which is impossible from even the largest of hotel rooms.

In Spain, owning a property to spend the Christmas holidays in means feasting in true Spanish style. Marc Pritchard, Sales and Marketing Director for leading Spanish homebuilder Taylor Wimpey España, explains,

“In the UK, Christmas is a much more commercial holiday than it is in Spain. The UK’s emphasis on gift buying is much greater – here it is more about investing time in making intricate meals and spending precious moments with family. It’s a very different kind of holiday season and one that feels really special to experience: it’s less about money and more about family time.”

In the most recent ING International Survey for Christmas 2016, respondents were asked if Christmas is too focused on spending money. And across Europe 70% answered yes, with a substantial 83% agreeing in Spain, higher than any other country featured in the report. The figures also revealed that 42% of people in Europe agree with the statement “I feel forced to spend money at Christmas”, again with the largest share in Spain at 57%.

Spending Christmas with family and loved ones is an important tradition in Spain and with such a strong emphasis on food and drink to accompany these gatherings, many of those with a second home there delight in experimenting with local dishes in the kitchen over the holiday season.

The feasting begins in earnest on Christmas Eve night – La Noche Buena – when families gather together to dine at length over the course of the evening, often spending hours at the table and finishing past midnight.

Shellfish, Iberian ham, garlicky mushrooms, grilled shrimp, garlic soup, clams with salsa verde, roast lamb, roast suckling pig, lobster stew… the list of delicious delights is long and complex. Nor do the Spanish neglect the sweeter side of the culinary spectrum when it comes to Christmas dishes.

Mantecados, mainly produced in the quaint little town of Estepa in the region of Andalusia, are a baked mixture of toasted wheat flour, sugar, pork lard, cinnamon and roasted almonds. There are different varieties depending on the extra ingredients that may be added, for example cocoa, lemon peel or sesame seeds.

For those looking to experience the true taste of Spain this Christmas, Taylor Wimpey España is offering a range of homes for sale 150 km to the Mantecados heartland in Andalusia. Set in beautiful surroundings declared a natural biosphere reserve by UNESCO, the new phase of La Floresta Sur is situated only a short drive away from Elviria and its beach, close to Marbella and Malaga.

Designed in a typical Mediterranean style, from just €190,000 +VAT, the 2 and 3 bed apartments and penthouses include an Italian-designed integrated kitchen with Silestone worktops, perfect for creating a spectacular Spanish feast, thermal and acoustic insulation and air-conditioning. Benefitting from stunning views towards the oak and pine forest as well as towards the sea, the resort boasts communal swimming pools, landscaped gardens and external private parking.

With large terraces on which to enjoy the beautiful sea views, La Floresta Sur is a ten minute drive from two of the best known golf courses on the Costa del Sol, La Cala Golf Resort and Santa Maria Golf, and has direct access to El Soto Golf Club. It is also just a few minutes from the exclusive Nikki Beach Club.

Southern Spain’s Costa del Sol is now home to a collection of spectacular gardens that allow residents to partake in a botanical journey through five different continents’ vegetation.

botanics-birdseye-view-gardens-1400x600

The stunning 4.5 acre grounds include pine trees and cork oaks representing Europe to more exotic varieties of flora such as the ginkgo tree and the Himalayan cedar to represent Asia. This outstanding assortment of species are exactly what any keen gardener would have on their Christmas wish list.
Leading Spanish homebuilder Taylor Wimpey España carefully designed the gardens, located adjacent next to their brand new site, Botanic, by starting with the European area. The intention was then to integrate it with the adjoining Mediterranean landscape using pine trees, cork oaks and gall oaks, in addition to the typical Mediterranean bushes and other species found locally.

A wide range of botanical species can be found in the other ‘four continents’. In the African area, species such as the date palm or the drago palm represent the north and the coral tree represents the south. The space dedicated to Asia seeks the notoriety of arboreal specimens with spectacular flowering, like the Judas tree and the purple orchid together with more exotic offerings, such as the ginkgo tree or the Himalayan cedar.

To represent the Australasia, species known to all amateur gardeners such as the cultivar, mimosas and the lilawarra flame tree can be found. The American continent presents a truly diverse habitat, with a variety of cacti and succulent plants to the jacaranda and silk floss trees that are known for their spectacular blooming.

unnamed

Excited to unveil the gorgeous gardens, Marc Pritchard, Sales and Marketing Director of Taylor Wimpey España, explains,

“It has taken careful and extensive planning to create the perfect collection of gardens representing five diverse continents of the world. We are excited to reveal the beauty of the world’s gardens which we are helping to sustain at our brand new Botanic site. The site is purposely located to take advantage of such spectacular vistas; it is a luxurious yet eco-friendly holiday home with panoramic views of the gardens and the courses at Los Arqueros Golf.

“The development boasts minimal energy consumption (holding a ‘B’ energy certificate) with the use of solar panels, high quality thermal insulation, sound-proofing and the gorgeous botanical journey is a stunning and unusual asset that is certain to attract second home owners looking for something special.”

unnamed-1

With prices from just €350,000 +VAT, this new build residential complex is found in one of the most exclusive areas of Benahavis – La Reserva de Alcuzcuz, situated between the courses at Los Arqueros Golf, La Quinta and Zagaleta. An extremely well connected location, the amenities on offer in Benahavis, Marbella, Puerto Banús or the new San Pedro Boulevard are all within close proximity.

unnamed-2

Phase one of the development comprises 42 bright and spacious 3 bedroom homes with large terraces, all of which are southwest facing. The 4 storey buildings are crowned by spacious penthouses of modern design with spectacular solariums from which you can enjoy the views from dawn to dusk.

Spain’s gastronomic wealth comes to its pinnacle at Christmas time. It is a time for parties and celebrations, and also for big meals with, of course, typical Christmas sweets. These are exquisite, traditional recipes, many of which have centuries of history – something not to be missed at this time of year. Discover a world of unique, smooth flavours, a real treat for the taste buds.

dulces-navidad-t6300369-jpg_531471418

Spanish cuisine is rich in flavours and smells and is very deep-rooted in the country’s culture. At Christmas, culinary delicacies, and especially desserts, become par for the course, covering tables all over Spain with colour and sweet tastes. Discover these authentic, traditional desserts – sweet treasures made with almonds, honey, sugar, chocolate and fruit, among other things, with world-renowned quality.

There are a huge number to try. There are many different Christmas sweets available all over Spain. The star at Christmas time, however, is surely turrón . This is a sweet of Moorish origins that can be found in most homes over the festive season. Try it and you will be captivated by its flavour. There are many different types of turrón. Not to be missed are the Jijona variety, with a soft texture and the Alicante variety, which is hard. Their exquisite taste will captivate you for ever.

Another of our country’s most traditional desserts is marzipan , made of almonds and sugar. You will usually find it in “shapes” or as the basic ingredient for a host of different sweets. Each region has its own typical recipe and the sweetest delights appear in every corner of Spain. There is no excuse for not dipping into this world of sweet sensations. These are a few of the most typical: polvorones from Andalusia and Toledo, neulas from Alicante, mantecadas and pestiños from Andalusia and Extremadura, guirlache from Aragón, casadielles from Asturias, Basque cake , intxaursalsa, goxua and panellets from Catalonia and paparajotes from Murcia. Not forgetting of course, the traditional Christmas ring, a cake eaten on 6 January, the popular feast of the Three Wise Men. This is the most exciting day of Christmas for the youngest members of the family.

Make the most of the Christmas break to come to Spain and enjoy one of its most deep-rooted celebrations. You will, of course, be able to sample some of the country’s most authentic and highly valued desserts. They are sugared delights with a thousand and one flavours that sweeten mealtimes all over Spain at this time of year. Fall into temptation and try some of these extraordinary sweets. There is no time like the present.