Spanish property agency sales soar 50 per cent

Spanish property sales have soared by 50 per cent, according to Lucas Fox.

The estate agent’s latest report echoes recent data from TheMoveChannel.com, which shows that international demand for Spanish real estate continues to climb. In the first three quarters of 2017, the number of Lucas Fox sales increased by just over 50 per cent across all its regions, most notably in Madrid (70 per cent) and Barcelona city (38 per cent) as well as in Valencia and Sitges, which saw sales grow by more than 100 per cent in the first nine months of this year compared to the same period in 2016.

65 per cent of Lucas Fox buyers were foreign with British and French buyers accounting for 18 per cent of sales. Sales to US and Canadian investors have continued an upward trend, and now represent 8 per cent of all Lucas Fox sales. 31 per cent of Lucas Fox buyers purchased a secondary residence, 30% bought as an investment and those seeking a primary residence accounted for 26 per cent of sales in Q1-Q3 2017. Recent figures from the Association of Spanish Registrars show that foreign demand for Spanish property rose by 11.6 per cent in Q3 2017 and currently represent 12.9 per cent of the Spanish housing market.

Lucas Fox has also released its figures for October 2017, which suggest that the knock-on effect of the Catalan referendum has so far not had a major impact on the property market in the region. Lucas Fox Barcelona registered an increase in sales of 27 per cent in October 2017 compared to the same month last year. Levels of interest in other major cities such as Madrid and Valencia also increased significantly in October, with enquiries up by 13 per cent and 15 per cent respectively.

“Our third quarter results make for extremely encouraging reading,” comments Lucas Fox co-founder Alexander Vaughan. “In central Madrid and Barcelona city the property market is buoyant and we believe there will be further growth in pricing and the number of transactions the coming years. In Catalonia, following the events of 1st October we saw a temporary dip in the level of enquiries from national and international buyers but these have already recovered to 2016 levels. Some investment buyers in Barcelona city are choosing to put their purchase on hold until after the elections on 21st December but we are continuing to close high end deals with national and international clients. To date there has been no impact on closing prices. We believe that the most likely outcome will be a renegotiation of the conditions of Catalonia’s financial autonomy and that the market in Barcelona city property market will soon recover to pre referendum levels. In the sought-after coastal areas of Catalonia such as Maresme, Sitges and the Costa Brava we are having an exceptional last quarter, significantly up on the same period in 2016.””

 

Spanish property enjoys best January in four years

27th March 2017

Spanish property has enjoyed its best January in four years, with sales jumping 19 per cent.

Spain’s real estate market has been steadily recovering for some time, with prices now beginning to rise in popular tourist areas and major cities. A major driver in that recovery has been both Spain’s improving economy and strong demand from international buyers. While the UK’s imminent departure from the European Union has led to fears of British interest diminishing, though, the latest data from the Land Registry paints a positive picture for Spain in 2017.

Transactions registered in January rose 19 per cent year-on-year, according to the National Institute of Statistics (INE). A total of 34,544 sales were logged, the biggest number recorded since January 2013. The biggest surge in sales was recorded in the Balearics and Cantabria, where transactions both rose 40 per cent. This was followed by Barcelona, where sales soared 36 per cent, and Madrid, where they jumped 22 per cent.

Lucas Fox also saw sales surge 69 per cent in Barcelona, and is feeling similarly confident about the coming year. Indeed, the agency recorded a 31 per cent increase in sales overall in 2016, its biggest annual climb since it was founded in 2005.

Lucas Fox confirms that international interest remains high in Spanish property, with foreign buyers making up 65 per cent of all of its transactions.

“We’re seeing growing national and international demand for homes in leading cities and desirable second-home destinations showing that Spain’s economic recovery is on course despite last year’s political paralysis,” explains Lucas Fox co-founder Alexander Vaughan. “With interest rates set to remain low, many are turning their backs on investing in traditional savings accounts, and choosing bricks and mortar instead, especially as banks are keen to lend.”

Despite the Brexit vote, the British continue to made up the biggest proportion of foreign buyers (11 per cent but down from last year’s 18 per cent), followed by buyers from the Middle East (8 per cent compared to 5 per cent in 2015), Scandinavia (7 per cent compared to 4 per cent in 2015), France (6 per cent compared to 9 per cent in 2015) and the US (5 per cent compared to 4.5 per cent in 2015). Asian and South American buyers are also on the up.

Enquiries from the UK for homes in all desirable second-home destinations have decreased following the Brexit vote, most notably on the Costa del Sol, says Lucas Fox. However, the diversified nature of international demand is helping to make up for the slight dip. Indeed, according to Land Registry, sales rose 17 per cent in British favourite Alicate and by 20 per cent in Malaga, which suggests that international buyers from a range of countries are still showing an appetite for holiday homes.

“Since the referendum, UK buyers have dropped off due to the weakening of the Pound,” comments Lucas Fox Marbella Partner Stephen Lahiri, although he notes that there is “still movement at the lower end of the market”.

“We’re optimistic that the Spanish Property market will continue to improve through 2017 and for the coming years,” adds Lucas Fox co-founder Alexander Vaughan. “Prices and transaction numbers are rising steadily in the major cities but in other areas it’s a very different story, with many property owners in secondary locations still having to drop their asking price to secure a sale.”

Lower asking prices, though, are likely to be welcomed by British buyers, who have shown a resilient desire to lower their budget and still bag a Spanish home with their weaker pound. While no fundamental changes to property rights, obtaining mortgage credit or even inheritance tax are expected to happen as a result of Brexit, buyers are naturally cautious due to uncertainty. At the start of a new year, however, the imminent triggering of Article 50, seems to have shaken them out of any temporary slumber.

Interest in Spanish property surged to a three-year high at the start of 2017, revealed TheMoveChannel.com’s Q1 2017 Hotspots Index. The report saw Malaga become the most sought-after location on the site – the first time Spain has ever ranked in the number one spot. In second place was Almeria, with 3.56 per cent of searches.

Spanish portal Kyero.com confirms that Almeria has become a Brexit-beating hotspot for British buyers.

“While traditional more established (and expensive) Spanish locations are beginning to feel the Brexit blues, buyers aren’t abandoning the country entirely. Instead, they’re looking for less developed areas, which is giving smaller towns an opportunity to shine,” comments Richard Speigal, Head of Research at the portal.

Sales in the area have risen 93 per cent in the post-Brexit period, according to Speigal, with Albox, in particular, proving popular. Most searches for property in the area on Kyero focused on homes priced at under €50,000 or between €50,000 and €100,000.

On TheMoveChannel.com, meanwhile, Benidorm was the fifth most searched-for location in Q1 2017, which indicates Brits are still banking on familiar hotspots. Whether it’s high-end buyers investing in Barcelona, though, or bargain hunters in Almeria, Spain’s international appeal remains evident: in February 2017, enquiries for Spanish property on TheMoveChannel.com more than doubled month-on-month, with the country becoming the number one destination for the first time in seven months. In total, Spain accounted for more than one in seven enquiries, the country’s highest share of activity since 2013 – and its best February in four years to boot.

Comments

comments