The Christmas and New Year period is traditionally a quiet time for estate agents with enquiries picking up in mid January and clients starting to arrange viewing trips in February to coincide with school half terms.
Nothing however could have prepared us this year for the huge increase in demand for long term rental properties. The phone has not quite rung off the hook, but it has not been far off the case recently.
Over one particularly busy weekend I had clients flying in from Canada, New Zealand, Madrid and London all to look at long term rentals. Luckily I managed to accommodate all of them with a great selection of properties in the Hondon Valley and La Romana area.
One was so impressed he has signed a rent to buy contract as he has found his dream home perched on the side of the valley overlooking the surrounding Sierra Crevillente mountains and national park. He was so happy to have found his perfect home and the owners who initially had just decided to rent until the market improved were over the moon to have found a buyer for their beautiful home.
This past Friday I photographed a villa for long term rental at 9am, I had it online on our website www.hondonvalleyhomes.com by 10am and the phone started ringing fifteen minutes later. One client jumped in their car in Southern Portugal and drove the 7.5 hours to Hondon and took the villa on a long term rental on the spot. Fortunately there is a lovely converted old finca near my office which has a restaurant, bar and hotel so the clients could rest after their exhausting and exciting day.
Peoples reasons for wanting to make the move to the Hondon Valley and surrounding areas, whether it be a short hop from the coast to avoid the hustle and bustle, or a move from the madness that is central Madrid are wide and varied.
I have had young clients from the UK who have sold up or taken redundancy money and full of ideas, hopes and aspirations have made the move. They all know how difficult it will be, but they work on the idea that if they can succeed now when times are very difficult then when the good times eventually return they will be in prime position to benefit.
I have recently had a retired rock star from the sixties who now works for the university in Madrid come to the area to retire from the teaching profession and set up an internet based learning business. I have had a retired airline pilot who mistakenly typed Hondon into Google rather than London and found my website. He was intrigued enough to fly in from Canada to explore and now lives in the area.
Then of course there are the Belgium's, Dutch, Danes and Scandinavians who are fleeing the cold temperatures of northern Europe for the balmy climes of the Costa Blanca South. There is even the odd Brit still making the move, but they only account for about 20% of my enquiries nowadays. One common theme though is they all want to try before they buy
So the market is not as stagnant as some would have you believe. There is a little glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel.
My advice for those looking to rent long term or those looking to rent out their properties long term are to use the services of a reputable agent. Insist on a legally binding, watertight, lawyer written rental contract as this is there to protect both parties and most important of all enjoy yourself whilst you are here. It is only when you leave that you realize what you are missing.