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Spain’s boost from record visitors and spending

Spain’s boost from record visitors and spending

Spain’s boost from record visitors and spending : : Spain attracted 82.8 million international visitors in 2018, a new record boosted by 18.5 million British holidaymakers and property owners. It was the sixth successive year for growth, achieved by a fourth quarter spurt in arrivals.

Visitors stayed for around a week on average and spent a record amount of €146 per head per day, according to the report from the National Statistics Institute (INE).

For the sixth year in a row, Spain has set a new record for foreign tourist arrivals. There were 82.8 million international visitors last year, a rise of 1.1% from 2017.  Spain’s boost to the economy amounted to €89.9 billion, representing a 3.3% increase from 2017.

Record number of North American tourists

More Americans than ever before arrived in Spain during 2018 – an increase of 11.8% – despite renewed competition from Greece, Tunisia and Turkey. Tourism from Scandinavia dropped 0.7% to 5.7 million and Germany, second biggest market after Britain, had a drop of 4.1%

However, 2018 was the year that tourist destinations like Barcelona, Ibiza and Mallorca clamped down on unregistered tourist lets, threatening fines for owners and agents. This follows protests from locals faced with increased property prices and hooliganism. Mallorca is seeking to ban 18-30 style holiday groups after confrontations and balcony deaths.

Offers on bank-owned property in Spain

Offers – Spanish banks want the properties off their books and will listen to realistic offers. These are formally submitted to special committees that meet weekly and will generally provide an answer with two weeks. However, as the selected property remains on the market, there is the chance it may sell directly off the website or through a higher submitted offer. Walker Property Spain have a well-honed purchase management service for buyers.

Legal – All bank controlled property is fully legal and as such qualifies for generous mortgages.  However, we advice all buyers to hire their own independent Spanish solicitor to check all paperwork, undertake conveyancing and registration and assist with utility provision etc. We can provide firms who have assisted previous buyers successfully.

Endeudamiento/DTI – This is the debt-to-income ratio, and is the percentage of your net income which your total mortgage and loan payments will represent. For example, if your net income is 3000 Euros per month, you already pay 750 Euros per month for your existing mortgage, and the mortgage applied for will have repayments of 250 Euros per month, your Endeudamiento/DTI will be (250+750)/3000 = 33%.  NB – if you are renting out a property longterm, some banks may also include part of your rental income in this calculation.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row] Check latest mortgage offers

Author : : Elliott Barnett, international property writer | Image: Shopping in Spain remains a top tourist attraction. 

More info Can Spain cope with more tourists? | Palma, Mallorca bans holiday apartments    
  
  

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Spanish wine pours in ahead of Brexit leaving date

Spanish wine pours in ahead of Brexit leaving date : : UK wine imports have slumped since the Brexit vote, but Spanish producers are shipping a whole year’s supply ahead of leaving Day 29 March 2019. They are hoping there will be enough to go round if Brits come off the wagon to celebrate – or drown their sorrows – as the country exits the EU.

This follows advice from the Spanish Wine Federation that has urged growers to send as many bottles as they can to Britain in case there is a no-deal exit. “Organise transportation and make sure bottles are correctly labelled to avoid delays at ports.”

La Rioja is the biggest European wine region in terms of exports to the UK. Santiago Frias, of Rioja Winery, Bodegas Riojanas revealed: “We have already shipped all of our sales for the first half of 2019 with 90% of our customers.”

UK downs most Rioja wine – 4.6m litres a month

In a good month, British drinkers can down 4.6 million litres of Rioja, with top brands like Muga and Imperial as popular as ever. But consumption has been down 16% since the Brexit vote. Spanish growers have also been hit by the decline of Sterling against the Euro. Inigo Torres, manager of Grupo Rioja said: “It could get worse for us if the pound depreciates further and we have to face higher duties.”

In the first nine months of 2018, Rioja wineries sold 32 million litres of vino to UK buyers – one third of the region’s global exports. It is believed a record 21 million litres was shipped in January 2019.

Sales of Spain’s cava, now the most drunk sparkling wine after champagne, have been boosted in the UK by the opening of a Cava Academy in London. Sommeliers from restaurants across the UK were trained and examined in wine theory and tasting.

French champagne consumption is down 10% since Brexit, but Brits still managed to get through 26.7 million bottles. Britain remains the biggest market for champagne houses.

Author: Elliott Barnett, international property writer | Image: Wine from La Rioja, favourite tipple in Britain

Decanter guide to the best Rioja wines | Buy property before Brexit to secure residency

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Brexit “blip” puts Spanish homes dreams on hold

Brexit “blip” puts Spanish homes dreams on hold : : British buyers of Spanish real estate are Brexited Out by the antics of the EU and UK politicians. They appear to be so confused by the blitzkrieg of Brexit news and views they can’t begin to focus on their dream home in sunny Spain

As a result, Brits have missed the start of the 2019 property buying season. For decades they led the way as the Spanish property market returned to business after Christmas and Three Kings public holiday.  

Would-be British buyers would browse their favourite Spanish property websites, phone friends and family living on a favourite Costa to check for nearby bargains and make a benchmark shortlist of any villas or apartment that matched their requirements. A quick search for cut-price flights and fly to buy planning begins in earnest…

But, not this year. So far.

They appear to be taking a “rain check”. It looks like they need a short recovery period while Brexit legalities are sorted out and life can return to something like normal again.

They will have noted the new bi-lateral agreement between the UK and Spain safeguarding each countries ex-pats. Free healthcare is unlikely to be on offer if there is a no-deal brexit. And that, at last, the UK government has provided detailed information for Brits currently living in Spain and for the 1,000s more planning to relocate there – or buy a holiday home.

The British Embassy in Madrid has stepped up its information for buyers of Spanish homes and, following a Q&A with ex pats and potential buyers, will post Brexit updates on its website’s excellent property advice section.

There is new information that will be most useful to buy to let investors, most of whom find themselves taxed out of the stalled British property market. They are also facing tougher UK mortgage conditions. Many BTL investors are prepared to invest the proceeds from UK forced disposals into Spanish property. But not before the Brexit cannon smoke has dispersed and they have a clear vision of the new potential.

Living the Dream spurs property investment

Demand for Spain’s property bargains has risen quarter on quarter. In the Brexit Years, Scandinavian and Benelux buyers have been at the front of the queue for the best deals – mainly in Costa Blanca and Costa del Sol.

For British buyers, Brexit may yet prove to be just another obstacle on their journey towards Living the Dream in Europe’s favourite holiday destination. In recent years 1 in 4 property purchases in Spain were made by Brit buyers. This was despite crooked town mayors, dodgy builders, greedy bankers, dishonest developers, sales scams and metres of official red tape,

This market share is likely to continue after Brexit. Spain’s unique blend of culture, climate, natural beauty, cuisine, superior transport, beaches and Brit-friendly attitude will remain unrivalled for foreign property buyers. The Brexit blip is unlikely to stop Brits investing their favourite vacation destination.

Out of the EU, maybe. Out of Spain…Vive la vida loca.

Author: Elliott Barnett, international property writer | Image: Brexit: Which way is out of the EU? 

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Spanish bank bargains, but make sure they are legal

Spanish bank bargains, but make sure they are legal

Spanish bank bargains, but make sure they are legal : : Repossession property bargains have helped to restore the Spanish real estate market to almost its peak level of 2007 with very few legal problems for purchasers. That was mainly because the vendor banks had massive legal departments to ensure the properties on offer were fully legal or were made so.

The lawyers checked all the paperwork and despatched valuers to make sure the villas and apartments matched the relevant documents. The resultant valuations averaged 44% below the peak years of 2007-2008. Great discounts, so it wasn’t surprising buyers were tempted and that their Spanish solicitors found few legalities over which they could hassle down the price. Led by property hotspot Marbella, town hall planners compiled lists of legally built properties and made them available to buyers’ legal representatives. By default, the remainder should be double checked or avoided.

Specialist international brokers, Walker Property Spain declared all their property offerings to be “fully legal” and that “No client has ever lost a deposit or been financially disadvantaged”. Advice to “use a Spanish solicitor” from the start of the buying process came with well honed purchase management services to smooth out any wrinkles with the banks.

Know the history of Spanish bank bargains

Even with the huge discounts on offer, purchase of a repossessed property remains a serious consideration. Buyers should remain vigilant on planning consents, construction standards and permissions. Headlines a few years ago highlighted demolition orders on illegally built villas and owners trying to stave off the bulldozers.

Knowing the history of the property, its current legal state and any proposed nearby further development is vital work for every buyer’s Spanish solicitor.

Columbus finca deeds made legal

Madrid lawyer, Javier de Juan, was retained by the UK purchaser of the Mallorca Estate of the Christopher Columbus family. The property dated back to Roman times and beyond. The first name on the deeds to Son Colom da Sa Cove is Jaime Colom, uncle of Cristobal Colom – Spanish for Christopher Colombus.

It took three months to bring the ancient deeds up to date. They included cave dweller residences, a Roman silver mine, medieval alterations and additions, many boundary changes. Lawyers worked closely with the Mallorca property registry to produce the most accurate and up to date deeds in the history of Son Colom da Sa Cove.

Legal – All bank controlled property is fully legal and as such qualifies for generous mortgages as shown here. However, we advice all buyers to hire their own independent Spanish solicitor to check all paperwork, undertake conveyancing and registration and assist with utility provision etc. We can provide firms who have assisted previous buyers successfully.

Endeudamiento/DTI – This is the debt-to-income ratio, and is the percentage of your net income which your total mortgage and loan payments will represent. For example, if your net income is 3000 Euros per month, you already pay 750 Euros per month for your existing mortgage, and the mortgage applied for will have repayments of 250 Euros per month, your Endeudamiento/DTI will be (250+750)/3000 = 33%.  NB – if you are already renting out a property longterm, some banks may also include part of your rental income in this calculation

Author: Elliott Barnett, international property writer | Image:: Bank-owned bargains at Valle Romana, Costa del Sol with sea and golf views