Buying a Berth For Your Boat in Spain

Published on 5/21/2007 in Spanish Lifestyle

What you need to know if you are considering purchasing a berth in Spain

We all know how difficult it is to find a permanent berth in the Mediterranean, but the process is further complicated by the way they are advertised. Just like property transactions in Spain, brokers often share and advertise their listings with each other. The benefit to the seller is that their berth is seen by a much wider audience - But this can prove detrimental to buyers and sellers alike.

By contacting several brokers, it can appear to the seller that there is more than one person after their berth - And if it is listed with several agents, can lead buyers to the false impression that there are more berths available than there really are.

So, shopping around to find a similar berth at a lower price is rather pointless. It just wastes the buyers, sellers and broker’s time. It is much better to let one broker do the leg work with their wide range of local contacts.

It’s the supply and demand which affects the ultimate price of a berth, and should it appear that there are several people wanting to purchase a particular berth, even though it may be only one person in reality, can lead to sellers believing that the demand for their berth is greater than it really is. The effect of this is that you may find yourself paying more for your berth than is necessary, or the seller becoming disappointed by not achieving the sale.

Only recently, a report commissioned by the Spanish Government concluded that in 2005 a total of 2,276 yachts were seeking berths in Andalucia alone, and by the year 2022 that figure will leap to over 5,000 yachts in just this one area.
The report concluded:  "The demand from the nautical sector of the tourism market on the Costa Del Sol alone is reaching unprecedented figures, which can only be remedied by a dramatic upgrading of facilities. And goes on to suggest that:  “the Costa's ports would need to increase by 300 per cent the number of available mooring spaces just to satisfy the current requirements.”
Apart from a small number of marinas, those berths that do come onto the market are often snapped up quickly. Prices continue to rise and for those wishing to rent a berth the chances of finding one is difficult, especially so if you are trying to locate one from your home country. If you want to rent a berth, the best way to do so is to rent one from the marina of choice, as is in most marinas, one is not allowed to rent a berth from a private owner.

If you are thinking of buying a berth, a further 7% of the purchase price should also be allowed for the tax that is applied to these transactions, and you will also need the services of a lawyer.
It is also a legal requirement that anyone wanting to buy a berth in Spain, will need an NIE number issued by the Spanish Authorities (This a Foreign Identification Number/ numero de identificacion de extranjero ) and is a necessity in all fiscal or legal matters in Spain, even if just buying a car.
The number is personal to you and is not transferable and neither does it expire. Whilst an inconvenience, this can be arranged by the solicitor acting for you on the purchase of your berth.
Despite all of this, buying a berth in Spain, or anywhere else in the Mediterranean makes sense. Not only should it increase in value over the term of the lease, but it also provides security of tenure, which is not always the case with a rented berth.

Written by: John Brewster

About the author:Genus Marine & Leisure

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