spanish tourism

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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Thursday 25th June 2015

Greece in financial crisis so how did the other PIGS survive?

The Greek tragedy continues to be played out daily with the country staring financial ruin in the face. The country has needed yet another bailout from Europe and must make drastic economic reforms or face dire consequences.

Although it is still in a very precarious situation, Greece seems to be hanging on with a lot of guidance from the EU.

Three years ago, Portugal, Ireland, Greece and Spain, known as the PIGS, were all in financial strife. All, except Greece, complied with austerity measures and pulled through.

Portugal and Ireland are showing signs of recovery with Ireland turning its economy around with great success. Ireland exited its bailout measures in 2013 and is now enjoying rapid economic growth. Portugal's economy is also starting to grow again and it is repaying its bailout.

The situation in Spain is also improving but with voters protesting against the austerity measures by turning their backs on the ruling PP Party in May’s local elections and a general election coming up later this year, the question has been, can Spain pull its financial situation around?

It has been a long, hard struggle for Spain with many businesses collapsing, the property bubble being burst and millions of people losing their jobs. Many even lost their homes.

Things are getting much better in Spain

Now there are many green shoots of recovery to hint at positive signs that things are improving in Spain. Tourism figures are up for a start. In the first two months of the year, Spain broke two tourism records. The country had 6.5 million international tourists in January and February, who spent more than €6.6 billion.

Everything points to this trend continuing with the strong pound attracting British holidaymakers while French and German tourists find their euro goes a lot further in Spain than back at home.

Tourism brings thousands of seasonal jobs in the hotels, restaurants and leisure industry. Very welcome news indeed. 

However for young people, job prospects in Spain are not looking so bright. Nearly half of all young adults in Spain do not have work. Many have moved abroad to work with Germany and Britain being favourite places to go, especially for qualified people. The property market has recovered however in many cases.

Weak euro boosts property market

The weak euro has helped exports and significantly the property market. Spain’s property market is picking up, thanks to low prices as well as the strong sterling. Many property seekers are from overseas with northern Europeans, especially the British, looking for homes in the popular coastal resorts of the Costa Blanca, Murcia and Costa del Sol.

An article in Bloomberg says Britons are the biggest investors as they feel Spain is a good place to put their money because they are getting poor rates from UK savings accounts and property prices are so high back home. This aligned to the Pension drawdown opportunity points to the stronger Property Market.

The article says that interest in some coastal resorts, like Marbella, is such that new homes are being built. Realistically the Costa Blanca is the area where most new builders are building their developments and where the majority of sales are happening.

Investment in Spanish property soared to €17.8 billion in 2014 compared to €4.9 billion in 2013, according to data from the Research Institute of Applied Economics (IRWA).

Nigel Salmon of Girasol Homes has also noticed a marked increase in interest from property buyers. "We are getting many more enquiries than this time last year and arranging many more viewings. As well as interest in the second-hand market, more new construction enquiries, interestingly we have a lot of buyers looking to buy plots so they can design and build their own home,” he said. There are a number of bespoke showhomes in the area which clients can now view, its is a very exciting property

That optimism of a recovery is being echoed in other sectors too.

"Spain has returned to about 95% of where it was in 2008,” says Professor Javier Diaz-Giménez of the IESE business school in Madrid. "That means 2008 is still a benchmark people look back at with nostalgia. At current growth rates, the economy will get back to where it was in 2008 at the end of next year. It’s a very late recovery.”

So, hopefully, it seems as though recovery is just around the corner.

If you are thinking of investing in the Spanish Property Market you need to talk to Girasol Homes Spain as soon as possible.

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Friday 6th February 2015

Recent Market Data February 2015

As you probably know the Euro has been weakened significantly recently which provides an excellent opportunity for foreign buyers to save thousands on a European property purchase. In the last year the British Pound has seen a 10% increase in strength against the Euro – British buyers are now in a favourable situation where they see a seven-year high in exchange rates coupled with the lowest house prices in Spain in ten years. (Figures 1 & 2)

Figure 1 – Property price (€/m²) Source: Ministry of Housing Spain


Figure 2 - EUR/GBP 7 year profile. Source:

This correlates nicely with economic confidence also at a seven-year high, particularly in areas such as retail, consumer confidence and industry. Some good comparisons on last year to note would be:

·14.2% more mortgages approved in November 2014 compared to the same period the year before

·5.1% more new build permit applications submitted in 2014 than 2013

·2013 saw a record breaking number of tourists come to Spain and 2014 also broke records with a 6.5% increase on the previous year. These 65 million tourists spent approximately 63.1 billion €.

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Thursday 4th December 2014

Underground homes featured in the Telegraph

The Telegraph recently featured underground homes in its property section including cave houses found on our website from rural Granada. You can read the full article here.


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Monday 20th January 2014

British head to Alicante and Murcia

British flocking to Alicante and Murcia

Alicante-Elche airport recorded the largest rise in passenger numbers during 2013 of any of Spain’s A list airports – up 8.8% on 2012

For the year ending December 2013 the airport registered figures of 9,638,860 just short of the record set in 2011 of 9.9m

The increase in numbers has largely been attributed to a 20% increase in international flights while domestic flight numbers dropped by 10%

Low cost airlines Ryanair and Easyjet accounted for 41% of all flights while British travellers made up 45% of passengers

In Valencia the airport at Manises recorded 4,599,990 passengers in 2013. This was 3.2% down on 2012 but numbers for November and December were both up on the previous year.

It was a similar story in Murcia and San Javier where overall passenger numbers fell by 3.5 % - however the figure for December was up an extraordinary 31.5% on the previous year,  this followed an equally impressive 14.3 % rise in November.  Over  28,000 of the people arriving in Murcia in December were British.

This is an edited article from a report in the Costa News – Jan 17th 2014

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Wednesday 4th September 2013

Perfect Time to Buy as Spanish Property Prices Continue to Fall

Drop in prices means now’s the best time to buy a property in Spain

 Property Prices continue to fall in Spain

Prices of property for sale in Spain fell by 12.8% in the first three months of 2013 compared to the same period in 2012.

This was the largest drop in all Eurozone countries where house prices dropped by 2.2% and the European Union which saw an average decrease of 1.4%, according to a statement by Eurostat.

The property crash means buyers can snap up property in Spain at bargain prices.

Nigel Salmon, managing director of Girasol Homes, commented:

"For those involved in property for sale in Spain we know that things have changed and many of the clients who were just looking two or three years ago have started buying in significant numbers.”


Property prices in Spain also fell 5.1% in the first quarter compared to the previous three months. The average decrease in the Eurozone was 1% and 0.6% in the whole of the EU.

Nigel Salmon added:

"This may be true for Spain as a whole but I know from experience in the Spanish property market, prices have settled down and firmed up in the past six months in the most popular areas such as Alicante, Murcia, Costa Blanca South and Mijas.”

Sales have shown significant demand for modern-style properties in Spain with enquiries being particularly high in areas such as the Alicante and Murcia regions for well designed Houses, Apartments and Villas.

With Spain recording the largest decline in property prices in the EU, there has never been a better time to buy a property for sale in Spain. Buyers are being tempted by the low prices and the Spanish property market is enjoying a revival. People who are a few years away from retirement are showing particular interest in buying a property in Spain. They are looking for a second home to move into when they retire as well as buying one or two-bed apartments to let out to provide an additional income.

Spanish Property for Sale

Girasol Homes has experts to help you to find your dream home in Spain. They can assist with all transactions and negotiations to ensure that you find the right property for sale in Spain in the right location and at the right price. 

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Wednesday 17th July 2013

UK still rules the waves in Spanish property sales

Sunny Spain is still a property hot spot for UK homebuyers. 

The United Kingdom is way out in front of a league table of property sales in Spain. Recently-released figures show 11,316 Spanish homes were bought by UK residents in 2012. France comes second with 6,778 sales while Russia is a close third by buying 6,555 properties.

Spain is also proving popular with Norwegian buyers with 4,390 sales. The sunny weather and the strong Norwegian krone against the euro are two major attractions for buying property in Spain. Their Swedish neighbours are also keen to invest in Spain and bought 3,236 homes to put them in fifth place.

As well as European residents, Spain is also proving popular in South and Central American countries with 846 homes sold to Argentineans. China is another surprising contender with 3,873 houses bought by Chinese residents.

Although the UK leads the way in sales, they are much further down the league when it comes to how much they pay for their villa or apartment. The average price of Spanish real estate sold to UK residents is €164,654. 

Only 903 sales were made to Danish people but they are buying more expensive homes with an average price of €210,377, which puts them at the top of the league. Fellow Scandinavians in Norway are also prepared to invest more in their Spanish houses with their average price being €200,678. 

Third in the league for the highest average price is the Netherlands at €199,095.

At the other end of the scale, there are people are looking for more modest properties with an average price of less than half those at the top of the league. The biggest bargain hunters come from Morocco where the average price spent on a Spanish property is €86,711. Romanians are also on the look-out for cheap homes and pay an average price of €100,214 with Colombians coming in next with an average price of €108,202.

Many investors are buying real estate at much lower prices than a few years ago, even in the popular areas around Alicante, Murcia, Malaga and the Balearic Islands. Spain enjoyed a property boom until about 2008 when sales fell and prices dropped. Prices have fallen by about one-third since 2007 in some regions, according to a Wall Street Journal report. There are also many repossessed apartments, villas and chalets for sale through the banks at knockdown prices.

Nigel Salmon, managing director of Girasol Homes, said: 

"There are some surprising figures in the table showing who is buying in Spain. It is interesting to see investment coming from the strong Scandinavian countries as well as further afield, like China.

"We are also very pleased to see that the UK is still No 1 when it comes to buying property in Spain and that their love affair with the home of flamenco, fiestas and fine cuisine continues.”

Property for sale in Spain

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Saturday 11th February 2012

Girasol Homes are working with the Habitat for Humanity charity in 2012

Girasol Homes partners with Habitat for Humanity to help fund new homes across the globe

Habitat for Humanity

This year will see the overseas property finders, Girasol Homes team up with global housing charity, Habitat for Humanity, to provide funding for the building of new homes for impoverished communities across the globe.

Every time Girasol sells a property from any of their European and American markets, the company will donate part of its revenue generated to Habitat for Humanity, which will use the money to fund the building of a new home in Britain or beyond. Clients will be kept informed as to the progress of the projects which involve housing, training and other valuable schemes.
Girasol has been keen to partner with a charity for the start of the 2012 New Year, and with their overseas property roots and the owner’s childhood in third world countries they believe they are best-partnered with Habitat for Humanity, to deliver an innovative and constant funding scheme that works in tandem with the company’s successes.

Nigel Salmon, Managing Director of Girasol Homes, said, “Habitat for Humanity is a great charity for a company like Girasol Homes to partner with. My company understands property and we think that Girasol and our funding structure will work well with a charity that works to deliver projects with the aim to eliminate poverty housing and homelessness across the globe.”
He added, “Providing funding for new property allows Girasol and most importantly our clients to have a part in providing a permanent benefit to a less-fortunate community that will hopefully last for generations. I believe that Habitat for Humanity’s cause is noble and one that my company and I are proud to support.”

Founded by American self-made millionaire, Millard Fuller, Habitat for Humanity, has helped over 2.5 million people around the world to escape poverty housing and homelessness through a self-help model that sees locals empowered to solve their own housing issues.

With the growth and success of Girasol Homes it is hoped that the partnership with Habitat for Humanity will really help the charity tackle major homeless and housing problems across the globe in the near future.


For further information please contact Nigel Salmon on 01974 299055 or email


Notes to Editors:

Girasol Homes and its sister brand Property Investor Supermarket is a full service property finding and broking agency offering properties for sale and rent in Spain, properties for sale and rent in Portugal; properties for sale in Turkey; properties for sale in Egypt, Italy, Caribbean, United States and investment properties in the UK and other European countries.

Now firmly established (we opened in 2006) we have built up an impressive array of benefits to the customers we service and our clients get access to the best properties dealt with by the right professionals in a huge area of operation. Girasol also looks after many estate agents, financial advisers and property professionals as a specialist property broker to their clients and staff.

At Girasol Homes our aim is straightforward:
“To offer the best quality properties, a professional approach, and an exceptional level of service”

Habitat for Humanity is an international charity that aims to break the cycle of poverty by eliminating poverty housing and homelessness. We believe that everyone, regardless of background, gender or belief, has a right to a safe, decent place to live. We champion that right and also take practical action, working with communities around the world to empower them to design and manage appropriate housing projects in their neighbourhood. Since 1976 we have helped over 2.5 million people.

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Wednesday 29th June 2011

Air Traffic Rises across Spain in May 2011

From Moodies Report

SPAIN. Aeropuertos Españoles y Navegación Aérea (AENA), the country’s airport and air traffic control authority, posted a +6.4% year-on-year increase in passenger traffic in May to 17,883,637.

Madrid-Barajas Airport experienced a -1.7% decline to 4,213,488 but Barcelona El Prat Airport posted a +22.3% surge to 3,072,750.

All top ten airports, other than Madrid, posted year-on-year growth. Pallama de Mallorca was up +6.8%, Malaga +9.8% and Alicante +7.3%. Tenerife Sur was the fastest riser, up +22.1%.

For the first five months, passenger numbers across the AENA network rose by +8.5% to 75,001, 913.

Madrid-Barajas Airport experienced a +1.3% gain to 19,516,202, while Barcelona El Prat Airport posted a +20.0% increase to 12,639,500

All top ten airports posted year-on-year growth for the period.

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