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I am positive about the property Spanish market. I believe it's still a good one for investors and people who want to have a place in Spain. The good point of the current crisis is that prices still have a way to drop. Probably we will see better opportunities for everybody.

Foreign buyers keep buying homes in Spain as regulations change in 2013
16 January 2013


Foreign buyers are increasingly more attracted to houses on the market in Spain because of the possibility of having a second home in a warmer area that will only cost more or less half or even a third of the original asking prices that were seen in 2008. Spanish Property investment also suppose to be a reason for those who believe that buying when prices are at the bottom is always an opportunity for the future.
 
The Public Works Ministry stated that 8,803 houses were purchased by foreigners in the third quarter, a jump of 18 percent from a year ago. This is consistent with the growth in this area in the last five quarters.
 
In the first and second quarters of 2012 we saw an increase of 16.2 and 15.3 percent consecutively. This is great for the market because of the vast quantity of homes sitting around unsold since the crash in 2008, and the government is taking advantage of the situation by promoting sales and tax improvements to non-residents and foreign buyers.
 
 
Resident cards for foreign buyers seem to be working
To target the Chinese and Russian markets, mainly, the government is considering giving residence cards on a temporary basis to non-residents that buy homes worth more than 160,000 euros. Read the full article about homes for sale in Spain for foreign buyers



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Should I Pay a Finder's Fee to Source a Spanish Property?
16 January 2013

Should I pay a Finder's Fee (FF) to source a Spanish property investment? Well, that is a good question now, given that the Spanish property market is supposed to be a buyer's market instead of a seller's market, as it is now in London, for example.
 
To find the right property is a very hard job that requires skills, contacts and lots of time. Any professional agent and/or property finder should get pay for that. If anyone is telling you "it is for free" he is taking a referral commission and hiding it to you... specially in Spain.
 
I am going to try to explain in the best way possible why I believe a FF should be utilized as a clever option in the current market situation studying case by case. Not always is going to work better than the classic agents’ commission but in this post there are some thoughts. Probably the "margin for negotiation" is the key.
 
 
1) You might ask yourself: Why pay a FF to source a property in a distressed market with thousands of affordable and even cheap options? Well, the answer is that a proper sourcing option will save you all the time it takes to go through those hundreds of options and will prevent you from getting a sub-prime option in terms of location, quality and exit strategy. To pay a FF to a property source who receives dozens and dozens of properties in his inbox every week is a time and money saving option.
 
2) A FF will provide a service that works in your own interest rather than in the seller's or agent interest or in a commission-type way.
 
3) The FF will save you not just the time but the phone bills from dozens of phone calls trying to get your messages across to a Spaniard in case you want to do it by yourself.
 
4) BETTER MARGIN FOR NEGOTIATION. When paying a FF to get properties directly from sellers, this option will give you larger room for price negotiating. It is a proven fact that distressed sellers with a good property are not always ready to give away a percentage to an agent for commission but are happy to negotiate the price with a motivated buyer. This is why, in the current market, a Property Finder Fee agreement becomes a double win for the buyer-investor who will get the property for a much lower price.
 
 
In other words, a Finder's Fee will narrow the search of a property customized to your needs, will save you time and money, and will potentially give you a better buying price.
 
In any case, the buyer endS up paying either the agent’s commission or the FF, the most important is to find case by case what will work better for you.
 
 
Other articles of interest:
Investors are chasing the property market in Spain
Why Spain still the best country to invest?
Will prices rise again? Current values
 



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Five simple reasons why Spanish banks are a hated institution in Spain
16 January 2013

Banks have a unique status in our society.  Powerful, and able to drive the economy, they seem heartless and ready to put profit above any moral or human principle. Why not just say this when it seems to be a generally held view?
 
They were vital in the good times when people needed money to fund projects – to buy a house, for example – but in recent years, with the economic crisis hitting really hard, their true natures have been revealed and their behaviour has led people to accuse them of preying on the weak and vulnerable.
 
 
These are a few thoughts on why banks can be considered one of the most hated institutions in Spain at the beginning of 2013.
 
 
1) Thousands of Spaniards have been badly affected by Spanish Banks Swaps contracts which were sold as insurance against interest rate fluctuation.  These people have had to pay thousands of Euros each in the last 4-5 years.
 

After four years of legal battles the organization No-Clip has successfully coordinated legal action on behalf of these consumers which has resulted in the courts handing down hundreds of judgements against the Banks. In hundreds of cases the Banks have lost and had to return the money.
 
 
2) Many thousands of Spaniards have been affected by “Preferente” contracts. These were sold as deposit or saving accounts but in reality they were agreements to invest in complex financial products in such a way that the clients’ money was locked away for decades. These products were only ever appropriate for financial institutions and should never been sold to ordinary members of the public. There are already associations supporting clients affected by "preferentes".
 
Many people have effectively lost their life savings due to preferentes because they will not be able to recover their savings in this life … and neither will their children or grandchildren.
 
 
3) Who else hates Banks in Spain?  According to the many estate agents with whom we work in Spain they are being badly hurt by the major role of the Banks in the property market.  Not only do the banks hold huge property portfolios, they also prevent estate agents who sell repossessed properties from getting a proper commission.  Unless they are selling large quantities of repossessed properties, the profit for the hard work is short.  Only two weeks ago a senior executive from the property arm of a "Spanish bank admitted that the banks disliked others making a profit from properties repossessed by the banks".
 
 
4) Cruel evictions: another reason to hate Banks. The attitude of the banks during the present crisis has led to more than 100,000 Spanish families losing their homes in recent years without having had the chance to renegotiate the terms of the loans and thus make them affordable.
 
 
The recent suicide of a woman in Barakaldo (Vizcaya) who was evicted from her home in November 2012 brought the bank’s uncaring attitude into sharp focus, and the popular backlash against the banks has led them to revise their policies and place on hold their evictions. They are now more willing to discuss a renegotiation of the mortgages with their customers. Yesterday we got a phone call from an expat in Marbella whose house has been repossessed out of the blue, and despite him paying €3,500 in October to stop the process. The guy said.
 
 
5) Banks have been lent so far €60 billion by the Spanish Government – money which has come from Spanish tax-payers.  In addition the European Bank will give €39 billion for the Spanish banks’ bailout from EU taxpayers.  So we pay the bank directly as a client and also pay them a significant sum from our taxes. At the same time, Spanish Banks are strangling people: swaps, preferentes, evictions, refusal of credit, higher rates of interest, and so on.
 
Yesterday also, my brother was charged by his Bank a 30% higher commission for account maintenance compared to 2011.
 
Who else hate Banks in Spain? A friend of mine… who told me about Spanish Banks: they would sell their own mums for a profit.



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New free guide: 25 Tips When Buying a Property Bargain in Spain
18 July 2012

 

 

Hello. The Spanish Brick has just launched a new guide called 25 Tips When Buying a Property Bargain in Spain.

This is a download from my website to new visitors who get registered. But I thought that since eyeonspain.es let me publish articles and set links to my site, it could be a compliment to give its loyal base of users the guide without having the hazard of registering in thespanishbrick.com

It has taken lots of time an effort to put all this together but I think this is an honest editorial product.

This guide takes a look at what constitutes a Spanish property bargain: we try to define what is a bargain and give a compendium of 25 ideas to think about when searching for a Spanish property in Spain. This is the download for the Spanish property bargains guide

WHY THIS GUIDE? We have created the guide because we thought that our The Spanish Brick's audience would need a set of tips and basic data about the current market, in order to get as close as possible to a property bargain in Spain if willing to buy.

The unfortunate situation of the economic crisis and property market collapse is: financial pressure on Spain, oversupply of properties and high price competition from sellers and Banks in order to attract final buyers.

The guide has 5 parts:

1)   An introduction to the current state of the property market and property stock.

2)   A definition of what constitutes a property bargain in the current Spanish climate and things that a bargain hunter needs to keep in mind before starting to make a purchase.

3)   25 Essential Tips For Finding Your Spanish Property Bargain: from the searching to the buying process.

4)   An interesting chapter about how the exchange rate affects buyers. This has been written by my friend Nigel Hodges, one of the best currency brokers in the UK.

5)  A total costs breakdown when buying a property in Spain: "What Are The Total Costs When Purchasing A House In Spain?".

We hope you enjoy. Tthanks Justin for providing your nice site... and happy summer to all the people at the other end

Cheers,
Daniel

 



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House prices fall by 30% since the pick in 2007
29 June 2012

 

 
We are currently witnessing the sharpest fall in Spanish house prices on record. According to the property prices index of leading Spanish company TINSA, house prices fell by 11.1% in 2012 May compared with 2011 May 2011, one point less than their April fall of 12.5%.
 
Now that the data for May is in, it’s clear that the fall in house prices since their 2007 high has increased by four tenths, to stand at 30.2%.
About what is going on in the first quarter, according to the National Institute of Statistics, average property prices in the first quarter of 2012 has fallen by 12.6% compared with the same period in 2011.
 
Large cities and provincial capitals had resisted the house price crash until now. But in May the trend caught up with them and their house prices fell by 13.3%. Worst affected are coastal areas (-14.1%)
 
Broken down by area, the cumulative cuts to house prices are most severe on the Mediterranean coast, where 37.9% has been wiped off house prices, and in the capitals and major cities, which have seen a 32.9% drop. The average fall coincides with the fall in metropolitan areas, at 31.2%; what the appraiser referred to as ‘other municipalities,’ saw a 25.9% reduction, and the Balearic and Canary Islands lost a combined 24.1%.
 
Visit The Spanish Brick for tips and more information about property prices in Spain


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On the Hunt for a New Flat in Madrid
23 June 2012

 There is a micro-market in the capital that we can call a “hotspot” for apartments for sale in Madrid without any doubt: new homes and new housing developments in the center of Madrid. They are very rare, and it is hoped that the lack of available new homes in central Madrid can be satisfied (in part) by second-hand refurbished homes.

 
The new home in central Madrid is a scarce commodity. The developments of homes from scratch can be counted on one hand, and, although the total offer increases if one adds in refurbished buildings, even so, all of this situates around 450 homes. Read the whole article about new apartments in Madrid


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Tips when buying a “bargain” directly from a particular seller
15 May 2012

 The price of homes in Spain has lowered around 30% (average) since the housing bubble burst.  They will continue to lower in 2012 and it would be a good idea to follow certain guidelines to get the best possible price if you are a serious buyer.

 
These are some pieces of advice that will be useful in buying a “bargain” directly from a particular seller. We recommend an agent but you can certainly find YOUR BARGAIN directly from a seller in this “climate”. In any case, always get legal advice and do not go alone in this venture.
 
 

Arm yourself with patience.  Say goodbye to being in a hurry

 

Paying the property in cash

 

Be alert with opportunities to buy a flat

 

Revisions to price lowering

Read the full article Buying a property bargain in Spain

 

 

 

 



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Some Q&A about Spanish Property today
01 May 2012

 Is it the right time to buy?

Nobody can say 100% whether now is the right time to buy, speculating that property prices in Spain have reached the lowest possible level. Many experts have failed to predict this accurately since 2009-10. The fact is, prices have been dropping since 2007 and the average drop on the Spanish coasts is about 34% whereas in the cities, it is around 30%. In addition, there is a margin of negotiation for buyers to secure a lower price than the asking price. We would definitely say that this is the right time to search for properties in Spain since there are already excellent bargains to be found there. It is certainly a right time to buy, if you are serious about buying now.

 

Has the market touched rock-bottom?

Again, that is difficult to be 100% sure about, but we believe that with the general financial pressures of the Spanish economy, and the financial reforms that were adopted in early 2012, it is very likely that during 2012, the housing market will reach its lowest, in price terms. It is also unlikely that the property industry will recover in 2013, because the economy will take considerable time to re-stabilize. In other words, prices shall probably stay low for a protracted period.

 

What sort of market are buyers facing at the moment, if they want to buy?

For sure, it is a buyer’s market. 10-12 years ago it was very difficult to bargain on price, since the market trend, was ever-increasing price rises – ‘if you do not buy now, in 3-6 months, the price will be 5%-8% higher, or even 10% more expensive…’. That was the belief, and so any asking price was accepted. But currently, the situation is the opposite: now it’s a buyer’s market rather than a seller’s. Presently, the large supply of properties in the market, is causing prices to decrease: large supply + low demand = lower prices. In addition, the financial problems that Banks and Savings Banks are facing, due to their large property stock, is forcing them to release more and more assets into the market at lower prices. This also increases pressure on private sellers who are now competing on price with the discounted Bank stock.

 

In this scenario of oversupply, do I still need an Estate Agent?

Your Estate Agent is your ally. We encourage you to contact an agent to get advice, provide buying options and arrange viewings, to make your life easier and save you time and money during the buying process. In this distressed market, there are many professional agents, however, it is very important to choose the right one for you.

 

Should I be sceptical about agents and developers?

Have you watched “Cowboy Developers” on Channel 4, in the UK? If so, you know that everywhere there can be sharks. Bad press in the UK tarnished the Spanish market during the boom of the 2000s. Now, the Spanish market is becoming more transparent. Professionals are driving the market and substandard agents and developers had to close or run away when the bubble burst. Always obtain good references!



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The Inheritance of Houses is Rocketing and Sales are Sinking: Why?
01 May 2012

 The properties for sale in Spain that end up successfully in a property purchase are falling, but donations and inheritances are at their peak.  Opposite the year-to-year fall of 29.1% sales that was registered in the two first months of the year, inheritances and donations of homes have increased by 8.7%.

 
 
From January 2012 to February 2012, sales have plummeted to 63,832 units, compared with 89,981 during the same period in 2011.
 
On the contrary, the 27,362 homes transferred in the form of inheritances and donations in the two first months of 2012 suppose superior growth to the 2,000 units in the last year and they mark a maximum since the start of the series in 2007.
 
 

Transfers of Homes represent 21.3%

The total transfers of homes through inheritance and donation has not stopped increasing and they have already entailed 21.3% of the total transfers in the two first months of 2012.
 
This implies that in relation to 2007, when the series started, inheritances and donations of homes have practically doubled their weight in the whole of home transfers.
 
 

The main reasons

It’s difficult to attribute this boom of inheritances and donations of homes to one factor, although one can point out various motives. Read the main reasons for property in spain inheritance rocketing
 



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Should I buy or rent a flat in Spain? Guidelines
13 April 2012

 pain is a great place to live and be visited. The alluring country attracts millions of holiday-makers and new residents from overseas, every year. Whoever decides to make the move to Spain, either permanently or for long periods, has to consider whether to buy or rent a property there.

 
Ideally, you can buy and keep your property for yourself, but for many holiday makers and expats wanting to live permanently in Spain, it can seem difficult to afford. That is what Spaniards try also now,  vender piso a extranjeros (in Spanish), which mean to try to sell apartments to expats. But expats should take into consideration extra expeses.
 
 

Spanish bargain hunters

Low prices appear very attractive in Spain, especially on the coast, and sub-prime properties, as investments in the cities. However, it is not all about the buying price, but also depends on whether you can get a mortgage, and what kind, and there are additional costs in the buying process (which usually comes to 10% in Spain).
 
There are also insurance costs and yearly expenses that include “service charges” and Council Tax (“I.B.I.”). For most of us, to buy in Spain is a question of affordability, and having the right strategy, in order to make it affordable.
 
 

Property prices keep dropping

Generally, the prices in both markets (rental and selling) are incompatible: if one of them goes up, the other falls. But at the moment, selling prices are dropping and rental prices also seem to be going down as well. This means, whether you are buying or renting, now is a good time to do move to Spain, if you are serious about Spain.
 
Whether to buy or to rent in Spain depends on your goals. I am sure that renting a place now will be cheaper, easier and less risky than buying. Also, if you are planning to live abroad and Spain seems to be your favourite place, I would advise, as somebody said recently in an online discussion, to travel around Spain and discover the country in depth. Do not be an impulsive buyer in the first warm place that you arrive.
 
Buying a property has advantages and it is true that it is becoming cheaper than ever – and it will probably be even cheaper in 2012. Also, currently, some Banks are offering good discounts and paying some expenses (such as legal fees) on behalf of buyers. On top of that, now there is a reduction of V.A.T. reduction to 4%, an offer which will apply until 31stDecember 2011. Nevertheless, there are other administrative overheads involved in buying in Spain, which are still too expensive.
 
 

Do not be an emotional buyer !!!

Read the full article on Buying or renting a property in Spain



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