PART 2 – AGENTS’ AND PROFESSIONALS’ OPINIONS
We’ve selected a spread of professionals for opinion, and not solely Estate Agents.
Earlier in the month, ‘round the table’ opinions were taken at an informal meeting of 18 people, representing a diverse range of business. The prevailing feeling was that there is more trouble than promise ahead, and all were nervous at how the economies of the World, and in particular Spain, were going to cope with it. However, most felt that their business was ready as they had experienced what had happened before.
Many agreed that Costa del Sol and the other expatriate resident areas of Spain are fortunate in having their own micro-economy, not dependent upon one main one, but benefitting from the substantial number of nationalities who see business and property in the south of Spain as rewarding, and that living and working here has a much better work/life balance than was possible in many other countries.
Current Opinions answering direct enquiry
Registered Valuer – General Western Costa del Sol
New properties are selling and they’re getting their prices. We’ve had clients who have instructed us to carry out work but have then come back to say that they have been outbid. We are finding that subsequent phases of property in a development are offering smaller sized units at a lesser specification but the same price, reflecting the developers need to cope with the increased building costs. Agents are selling the properties they have available and are having difficulty replacing them.
There is still a lot happening with developers with funding still looking for sites and other opportunities of all sizes. The costs of construction continue to escalate and some builders, having signed fixed price contracts, are finding they have to complete them at a loss if they are to maintain their reputation as a reliable contractor.
There appear to be plenty of buyers, lots of Scandinavians, Irish and many Americans. One is known to have agreed a turnkey project, as that is what he was familiar with in USA, at a price of 11.5 million €, when the end product will probably only have a market value of 6 million. Sometimes prudence doesn’t always follow across the Atlantic.
Very busy, with more enquiries already this year than for the whole of 2021. Clients are finding that there is a lack of stock and many are buying off-plan as a result. Strong interest from Irish, Dutch and Swedish clients. Having an Estonian assistant has led to a considerable number of Baltic state clients. There is a reduction in the number of British clients, as they are finding that they don’t have the resources to buy in this heated market. Many are considering downsizing from a large house in the UK to a smaller property here, with visa arrangements permitting them to stay longer than the 90-day restriction.
Selling clients are not being unrealistic in their prices, unlike what was seen in the booms before. However, tasadores valuations are all over the place with some being under and some being over the selling price.
With off-plan villa purchases, they have found that the developers are tending to ‘shave off’ everything they can, again reflecting the difficulties caused by the increase in building costs. (Survey Spain – Clients must be very careful and have a Building Survey/Home Inspection/Snagging before they go to the notary to pay the final amount, to make certain that they get the specification they agreed to pay for.)
Estate Agent – Sotogrande
The market has been good. Owners are spending more time here, with their children now going to the good schools in the area. The Ukraine war has been positive, in that there are many more buyers from Eastern Europe, some coming to live permanently and others buying ‘just in case’. There are considerable inflation fears and the on-off-on Wealth Tax hasn’t helped. The double taxation treaty with Gibraltar has made life easier, although the 90-day rule is a considerable inconvenience.
Valuer – Almeria
Based in Mojacar, press reports have indicated prices increasing by 20% in the last year and, though not certain about the percentage, there certainly has been a considerable rise. There has been strong demand and there is no sign of it slowing. Buyers are coming from many locations. Notable are Madrid owners who have now decided to live and work from their home in the area for much more time during the year. Properties with gardens are popular because of the desire for open space in case of being shutdown once again. As to the future, demand is more likely to calm down rather than increase.
Project Manager/Valuer – Balearics
The market is nervous, scenting an economic crisis in the air. There’s plenty of work on luxury properties, especially in Ibiza and Formentera, but the market has certainly cooled down a bit probably due to seasonal influences. Outside of the urban areas, many deals keep falling through because of defective paperwork. Prices are not going down and a number of builders I’ve been getting into trouble because of rising costs and fixed price contracts. First time buyers are struggling to get finance, especially for country properties.
Thank you to the 18 business leaders, including those involved as lawyers, accountants, estate agents, health carers, technology business solutions, global trading software, foreign exchange, golf marketing, printing and packaging, physiotherapist, specialist event chef, management consultant, etc.
And the others, for giving your time and thoughts – in alphabetical order –