Demand for Spanish property facing a number of issues in the coming months

Taylor Scott International News

Demand for property on the Spanish Costas has increased from expats who are benefitting from good mortgage rates and there is a rise in construction activity with a number of new developments being started, according to a new report. It also explains that there are a number of other factors likely to affect the real estate market in the coming months including currency rates, the Spanish election and in Andalucía new rules regarding holiday lets. Expat demand is coming from the UK, Scandinavia, and Germany with other northern Europeans also active in the market, says the report from the Survey Spain network of chartered surveyors covering the first quarter of 2016. However, there is likely to be an increased nervousness in the market as the British referendum approaches on 23 June because of fears that the poll will support the UK leaving the European Union. The threat of a Brexit and currency exchange rates are just a couple of major issues that could affect the Spanish property market. The report says that doubt about the referendum result and it’s after effects are causing UK buyers and sellers to hesitate. In addition, the fall in the value of sterling, from the €1.40’s to €1.20’s in the last three months has made the relative costs of property in Spain much more expensive for UK buyers but of course better for those wanting to move back to the UK. ‘However, the latter will be concerned that there is more reduction in value to come and so may decide to hold onto euro asset until closer to the referendum in the UK on 23 June,’ the report says. It refers to a recent letter received from a client which says they are concerned that if the UK leaves the EU then property prices in Spain may fall considerably. There are also risks associated with a change of Government in Spain. The firm has found that more than one client has stated that they will sell and move if a left wing Government should be elected. ‘Again, the uncertainty could be causing buyers and sellers to pause until there is a result, which could be before the end of May or, with a new election, at whenever a new Government is established after the end of June,’ the report points out. The property market could also be affected by decisions made by Spanish banks who still own a lot of properties due to the economic downturn. The Spanish banks are obliged to update their valuation of assets practice to include regular annual or bi-annual valuations of each individual asset. The report explains that this has seen Sareb, the Spanish bank rescue bank, announce a write down of their portfolio by more than €2 billion in addition to a €968 million write down in the past two years. ‘It may be that many private banks will have to do the same, which may result in them lowering… Taylor Scott International

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