Q. and A. from a client:

Q. Thank you for the survey, we found this an excellent document with very helpful information. You seem to be extremely busy at present – in your view would you say the property market in Costa del Sol has levelled pricewise and the demand has increased for sensibly priced property? Also is there a particular type of property that you find is selling more at the moment?

A. With regard to the market, undoubtedly there has been a considerable increase in demand. It’s probably due to people deciding that the market has bottomed and that they might as well buy now as wait for any further drop. There is a stock market expression of a ‘dead cat bounce’, which refers to any market that has been dropping inevitably sees a slight ‘bounce’ upwards at the end before it levels off. I think we are possibly in that situation now, especially as this is one of the traditional buying seasons in the year; the other being in the autumn after the lull of summer. So, for the right property in the right location, undoubtedly there is increasing competition and therefore the possibility of prices at least stabilising if not increasing as sellers find that they do not have to drop their price in order to achieve a sale. Having said that, the price has to be right in the first place. With regard to the property at Estepona, as you will have seen from our valuation, we feel that the price there is a good one even bearing in mind the works that are likely to be required to bring the property up to best condition. With a property in that location and style, the works should be worthwhile, certainly for enjoyment of the property and possibly for investment. Mentioning investment, you should bear in mind that with the buying and selling costs of property in Spain, to get your money back you really have to be making The market in Spain20% on the sale, which, in my opinion, is highly unlikely with the way the market is just now and in the near future. The removal of speculators from the market has meant that buyers now tend to be occupiers, which has always been the core of the market in any case. Accordingly, buy to enjoy the property with the knowledge that economy/currency collapse aside, the probability is that the value will grow over the years.

Campbell D. Ferguson, FRICS, has been advising buyers on what’s real and what’s not for more than ten years on the Costa del Sol and for 40 years throughout the UK and Europe. The Survey Spain Network, carries out valuations, building and structural surveys anywhere in mainland Spain, the Balearic and Canary Islands, and Gibraltar