It's no secret that the euro has been a little downtrodden by sterling since the beginning of the year. With the additional impact of 200,000 more British investors eyeing up the market since changes to regulations came into force in April, Spain is very much an investors market!
The latest Spanish Property Market Confidence Index (SPMCI) from Spain's major property portal Kyero reveals that around 71% of agents in the country have more confidence in the property market in Q1 2015 compared to a year earlier.
Covering 160 English-speaking and 216 Spanish-speaking agents across the country, the survey indicates a much more bullish attitude towards the market among the English-speakers, almost certainly due purely to sterling strength.
Martin Dell, director of Kyero said: " The strength of sterling has played a key role in the confidence divide that we are seeing currently between English-speaking and Spanish-speaking real estate agents in Spain. Some 30% of English-speaking respondents have highlighted stronger sterling as the most significant change over the past we months. For Spanish-speaking agents, increased marketing tops the table of significant changes with 26% of respondents flagging this up as the biggest change ".
It is very evident that marketing to English property investors has stepped up a notch in 2015, with agents vying for pole position with tempting offers of turnkey investment opportunities in coastal resort areas.
Properties removed from the market months ago have been re-introduced at huge discounts, some with tempting mortgage offers of up to 110% loan to value in attempts to attract British buyers into Spain.
Professional resort management companies are releasing old stock on to the market at heavily discounted prices, showing an eagerness not to miss out on British investor activity. In a bid to maximise profits, resort companies are appointing agents on a time-sensitive, volume sale basis, churning out whole developments that have become tired and worthless to them.
Although it is undeniably a great time for sterling investors to buy in Spain's property market, analysts believe they will have to wait to see any marked capital appreciation. Many parts of Spain's ever-popular southern coastline have become synonymous with swathes of empty, half-finished developments, many owned by banks.
As these are completed and released on the market with accompanying offers of low cost mortgages, property price increases in Spain will be stunted as a result.
However, for a straightforward investment that isn't an issue. Spain is enjoying record-breaking tourist numbers meaning that good rental incomes are more or less guaranteed in the resort areas. British buyers who buy well and in the right locations can't really fail to enjoy favourable returns at the current time.
A word of advice from the author: Many agents are piling pressure on British buyers to act swiftly, while they are in such an advantageous position. All property investments should be calculated and considered decisions and there's absolutely no hurry to jump on the bandwagon in Spain. With the amount of poorly performing property assets remaining on the books of Spain's banks, we have not seen the last of the bargains in its property market by any stretch of the imagination. It is also highly unlikely that price movement will be significant in the next two years because of oversupply and so there's plenty of time to make a cracking investment purchase in Spain.
Article by Roxanne James