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08 Mar 2009 00:00 by bobaol Star rating. 2260 posts Send private message

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Article from todays paper:

A year ago, the British mania for buying holiday homes off plan was in full swing in ............  Then, sharp suited salesmen from hovered at ........... airport wating for the next "viewing trip" to arrive.  All the usual outfits from the Spanish Costas were there, Mecsea, JP Lynch etc, descended on the area.  Most are now long gone.  The "undiscovered" area, miraculously revealed to the world when Ryanair began regular flights has turned to dust, as much thanks to local skullduggery and incompetence as the world economic crisis.  Left behind are an increasingly disgruntled group of British and Irish buyers who bitterly regret their purchases in developments that are either long delayed, did not have proper planning consent or have been finished to such a bad standard that their owners say they are unsaleable..  Their laments litter forums on websites such as ............... com and

Ask the locals about the Ango-Irish mania for thie area and they shake their heads knowingly.  The arrival of a well-monied, naive, monoglot holiday homebuyers, eager to snap up an off-plan bargain for the price of a garage back home was bound to result in disappointment.  Now, the largest scheme in the area, with 600 units which was improbably to have a golf course on its perched hillsides, have been blocked for environmental reasons., while another scheme, where 90 would-be buyers have paid €4.5 million in deposits and which was scheduled to open in May, has yet to start any work at all.

Last month, 120 apartments and villas, valued at €30 million, at the .................... resorts were sequested by police, having been illegally built.  At another resort, the workmanship is so bad buyers want to pull out and completion deadlines of August and December last year have been broken.  The developers won't even speak about the project nor confirm that it will be finished in April, as promised.

A local lawyer made a modest living dealing iwth simple purchases of existing property but then became involved in the bulk of conveyancing from the new properties.  Over the past 2 years, he has organised 1,800 property purchases, making him the busiest legal practice in .............. processing €30 to €50 million of clients money.  Unfortunately the area is now a complete disaster and there are problems with every single development.  They are either late, no started or the developer has gone bust.

Last week, reps from the law firm were in Dublin, Belfast and Manchester reassuring most buyers that their property would be finished.  But he could offer little comfort to his 45 clients who bought at ................ The builder owns the land and he had valid permission to build there, so we though it would be alright, but nothing has happened.  Costa estate agent ......Medsea, can offer little comfort.  Medsea has pulled out of the property boom where local agents typically charge 20 to 30 percent commissions on every sale and there is now mutual recrimination and demands fro lost fees.  One estate agency owes €800,000 on sales but the company disputes this as they say the estate agency is not a properly regulated estate agency.

A retired teacher from Scotland paid €185,000 for a two bedroom villa in July 2007.  Only when he attempted to get permission for a swimming pool did he discover that the 15 metre piece of land in front of his house was not actually his.  He bought on a complex of 20 villas where 12 are owned by British and Irish buyers.  The foreign owned villas are built to a lower standard than for the nationals and the site on which a communal pool was to be built is now occupied by a villa belonging to the developer's daughter.  My villa is unsaleable, says the ex teacher, I have been a fool and wasted my money.

In July 2007, an Irish buyer bought a two bedroom apartment at the comlex where 70 buyers paid the lawyer €2,000 each.  Water pours into the building because it does not have a proper roof and three quarters of the 100 apartments have not been plastered and there is no sign of the communal pool.  Some buyers are so furious they say they won't complete.  We have just had excuses for the delays such as drought in the summer and floods in the winter but you still can't get into the building without breaking your leg and it supposed to be finished in April.

So, a tale of woe as experienced by many buyers in Spain?  Nope, this is in Calabia in southern Italy.  So it's not just us, then.



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