April 2016 Archive

Friday 22nd April 2016

Prices of properties are going up in Spain

Prices of properties are going up in Spain with sales also increasing, thanks to interest at home and overseas.

The price of homes increased by 0.6% in February, year on year, with average values at €1,233 per square metre, according to government statistics. Family homes enjoyed the greatest growth at 3.8%, year on year, with the average price standing at €1,007 per square metres, second-hand apartments are up 0.6% to €1,350 per square metres and new apartments rose by 0.3% to €1,619m2. Sales are soaring with 22.9% more properties changing hands compared to last year.


Interestingly much of the growth is coming from Spanish buyers which are up by 86%, year on year, although international buyers are dominating high-end sales. Sale prices can still be much lower than the asking price, although that gap is narrowing, figures show.

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Thursday 14th April 2016

Eastern Algarve to be lifted by €200 million makeover

Eastern Algarve to be lifted by €200 million makeover


New hotels and a state-of-the-art sports complex are set to transform the eastern Algarve, attracting thousands more visitors and athletes.

In all €200 million is being injected into the Vila Real de Santo Antonio and Monte Gordo resorts to create destinations for discerning tourists and business people.

As part of the works, the historic Hotel Guadiana in Vila Real, designed by architect Ernesto Korrodi in 1918, is being turned into a 31-room boutique hotel while three buildings in the historic centre of town are also being developed into bijou charming hotels.

The aim is to preserve the town's heritage while promoting itself as a place to enjoy high-quality tourism and culture.

Another proposal will boost the region as a training ground for European sports people.

In September work is expected to start on a four-star hotel for the Vila Real sports complex with the €5 million investment providing accommodation for the 5,000 -plus athletes who undergo winter training there. Portugal’s climate is another attraction for sports people from northern European countries who fly in to train during the colder months.

The neighbouring resort of Monte Gordo will also see improvements with new hotels and a complete overhaul of its beach promenade.

Plans are in the pipeline for a five-star beach hotel on the west side of town and another hotel on the east. 

Leisure facilities are also being improved along the promenade which is to be overhauled to provide green spaces, shops and restaurants to act as a magnet for visitors and locals.

These works are due to be completed in May 2017, which will boost the eastern Algarve as a luxury destination.

As well as boosting tourism, the development is also likely to have a positive knock-on effect in property prices as more people are attracted to the region.

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Saturday 9th April 2016

Overseas buyers fuelling rise in Spanish property enquiries

Overseas buyers fuelling rise in Spanish property enquiries

The property market is enjoying a strong start to 2016 with 25% more enquiries from overseas buyers than this time last year reports Nigel Salmon from Girasol Homes.

International buyers made more than 100,000 enquiries in the first three months of the year, according to figures by Spanish property portal Kyero.

Demand has been strong in the Canary Islands while the Alicante region continues to be crowned the favourite spot for property buyers, generating more than 33,000 enquiries!

All the coastal regions of mainland Spain have reported increased interest with sales enquiries up 50.7% in Tenerife, 49.3% in Lanzarote, 38.1% in Tarragona, 35.8% in Mallorca and 34.6% in Alicante.

Most overseas interest is from British investors by far, with more than 62,000 property queries from January to March - a 30% rise on the same time last year.

More Germans, Dutch, Italians and Swedish are also looking to invest in Spain while interest from France has fallen by about 9%.

It seems the upcoming EU referendum has failed to dampen British interest in Spain, despite some uncertainty of what will happen to expats or second home owners if a Brexit is on the cards.

Property sales also rose last year with government figures for 2015 revealing more than 400,000 house sales for the year, up 10% of the previous year.

Again, international buyers played a significant part in the surge by generating more than 71,000 sales.

Spain is also showing other signs of economic recovery with a slight increase in domestic mortgage approvals and a drop in unemployment sparking a steady return in demand from Spanish buyers too.
It's looking good to invest into Spain.

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Thursday 7th April 2016

Overseas interest soaring in Portugal

Overseas interest soaring in Portugal
Girasol Homes Portugal

Portugal's Golden Visa Scheme has boosted investment in the country by €1.6 billion in the past four years. Figures from the Portuguese authorities reveal that 2,997 Golden Visa residency permits have been granted, bringing €1.821 billion in investment including €1.645 billion in real estate.
The scheme was set up to encourage foreigners to invest in Portugal in return for a visa. 

Property in Portugal is also undervalued, according to research by the Organisation for Economic Development.

Although it is still possible to buy property in hot spots including the Algarve for much less than during the boom, prices are rising.

The increase in foreign investment coupled with the rise in demand for holiday rentals has led to even more confidence in the Portugal property market. One report predicts prices could rise by 3% this year, so now is a good time to buy.

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Thursday 7th April 2016

Buying a place in the sun remains an attractive investment

Buying a place in the sun remains an attractive investment as stamp duty rises in the United Kingdom

Investing in a property abroad has always been a dream for many people.
Whether they are looking for a second home in the sun or a buy-to-let investment, favourite destinations such as Spain, and Portugal have long been a hot prospect.

Now buying abroad is becoming even more attractive.

From April 1, second homes or buy-to-lets in the UK will be subject to a 3% increase in stamp duty which will add thousands of pounds to the cost of the property. The chancellor decided to penalise second-home owners and landlords in a bid to ease the housing crisis and encourage more first-time buyers to get a foot on the property ladder.

Taxes on buying a property abroad will not change, however. Property hotspots in Portugal and Spain also tend to be much more affordable than in the UK too. Indeed, homes in some of these areas are considered to be under-valued so it is possible to invest in great locations at attractive prices.

Organisation for Economic Development research shows the cheapest property is in southern and eastern Europe, including Portugal, Spain and Italy.

These are among the most undervalued housing markets globally. The OECD analysis compares local prices with typical wages and then sets this against the long-term averages.

Taking 100 as the average reading, a score of 110 means local property is 10% over-valued against the long-term average. The table shows the United Kingdom’s property is 7% over-valued, which is partly due to the housing shortage.

Spain is undervalued by 26% and Portugal by 5% so these are attractive areas to look at investments. 

Spain enjoyed a property boom until about 10 years ago when the bubble burst. This led to a glut of properties on the market with prices dropping considerably.
In some parts of the Costa Blanca in Spain and the Algarve in Portugal prices were 50% below what they could sell for at the height of the boom.

Even now, prices are only rising slowly and only went up an average of 1.2% last year so Spain continues to have many properties on the market for less than they fetched 10 or 15 years ago.


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