Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Decline in property prices seems to have halted in Spain.

Quarter 3 house price data.

Whilst the data out from the INE in Spain today shows that there was a small decline in house prices over quarter 3 to quarter 2 the decline is minimal and relates specifically to resales rather than new builds.

The quarter broadly sat flat with the previous quarter and after two quarters of small but significant increases the trend seems to be one of general stabilization.

Unlike the TINSA house price index which has a base year of 2002 and has run for longer the NIE takes its base from 2007 and gauges not valuations but actual sale price from Land Registry.

The two reports have their own merits and measure slightly different things over different periods of time but both are now reporting at the very least a slowing in the drop of property prices and in many areas small increases.

Good time to buy in Spain

Owning a property in Spain, apart from the costs of purchase which remain high in Spain due to property transfer tax and legal costs, now looks to provide good value for money. After 7 years or so of declining prices at a time when other countries have continued to rise the price of real esate per meter square is now very attractive.

House prices and level of sales seem to have reached the bottom and should slowly but surely start to increase. Buyers from both the home market who now see prices much more in line with salaries and buyers from the international market whose confidence in Spain is growing should all help form part of an overall economic recovery.

Improving access to Spanish loans and better job prospects for unemployed Spanish are positives. factors likley to keep unsustainable increases at bay include oversupply of property and general Eurozone concerns.

Read the full article:- are property price declines finally stabilizing in Spain


Thursday, 13 November 2014

Residential House price news for Spain

October House Price Index

TINSA published on the 11th of this month their regular monthly house price index in Spain.

In general whilst prices continue to show an annual decline over 2013 the rate of the decline is slowing considerably and the annual decline in October stayed static at Septembers level of minus 4.2%.

Average house prices for the month.

Capitals and major Cities performed best within the month with a decline rate of only 2.2% against tha average yearly decline of 4.2%. Coastal areas performed slighlty below average and the Islands including the Balearics for the second month running showed a much higher decline than average at minus 5%.

Given the Islands have held up during the crisis at much better levels than mainland Spain there is perhaps some adjustment to come as the rest of Spain starts to recover.

Historically where are prices in Spain now.

Currently house prices in Spain are back in line with 2003 levels and down some 41.4% on average from the 2007 highs. 2003 pricing seems although it might be the natural level at which Spain stabilizes before prices start to rise again.

Much will depend not so much on the non resident buyers who buy in Spain but the confidence of the Spanish population to move back to a more active home ownership. Improvements in the economy all be it slow are becoming evident and access to lending is beginning to ease.

Read the full article :- Property price news for buyers in Spain

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Good news on the conveyance of homes in Spain was issued today.

The key highlights 

In September there is a significant percentage increase in the number of house sales registered at Land Registry between the month of August to September. With an increase of 14.9% 2014 is the first year in over 5 years that sales in September have exceeded those sold in the month of August. 

Actual sales of homes also saw an increase of 13.7% when compared to the same month in the previuos year. Whilst overall transfers of property in Spain was down on the same month of last year when the figures for dwellings are considered the news is all positive.uring the

Why are total property transfers down

Property transfer data as issued by the INE covers all areas including swaps, Inheritance, Commercial and others catagory into which the transfer of property to a Bank after the repossession process has been finalised. The area of others has decreased which is in fact good news suggesting less homes are in a default situation.

Used housing versus new builds

During the boom years new build house sales either outstripped resales or the balance between the two each month was very similar. In the current environment it would appear buyers are favouring resales where they often see better value for money when considering size of property versus price being asked. 66.9% of all sales in September were resales and 33.1% new builds which is good news for individual sellers.

The Regions

Madrid had one of its best months for many months on sales of dwellings, with a high percentage increases both month on month and when considering sales from the same month of the previous year. Andalucia remained the Region with highest number of sales but lost ground against other regions. Only two regions including Cataluna showed a decrease.

Read the full article:- News for the sale of homes in Spain

Friday, 17 October 2014

TINSA publishes Septembers house price index in Spain

Spains major property valuation company report a further a decline in house prices.

Despite a general feeling that activity in buying in Spain has increased this year, TINSA one of Spains largest valuation companies has reported a further decline in prices during September.

TINSA has been monitoring average house prices since 2001 and gauge their index against 2001 prices.

Report Highlights

Highlights of the report include a stalling of increases in the Balearics who had been showing some small growth in recent months and a much lower than average drop in Towns near to major Cities.

All other areas show a continuing decrease all be it at a much slower pace than seen in previous years.

The average drop in prices sonce the height of the market now sits at minus 41.7% with the coastal areas being hardest hit and down a massive 47.3%.

Average prices according to TINSA now reflect prices in Spain from June 2003.

Current trends

Unlike the INE who take their infromation from Land Registry TINSA report against their own valuations undertaken within the month and the information and amount of properties is a relativley small sample.

Because the sample is small it could be argued it is not relevant but over the years it can show robust trends and reflects the veiw of the INE when looking at August data that prices have not as yet bottomed out.

Good news for potential buyers in Spain but not such good news for those selling in Spain.

Read the full article: House price index in Spain


Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Spanish property purchases show a decline in August

Buyers in Spain decrease in August.

After the buoyant month of July it has come as a bit of a suprise that the transfer of properties in Spain declined in August.

Many parties involved in house transactions like Spanish Lawyers, Developers and Mortgage brokers had reported they expected the upturn in house sales to continue.

So is August a blip 

It is normal for the level of sales between the months of July to August to reduce,this is part of the normal market conditions. What is not the normal trend is that the decline should be so high and what is a suprise is that the figures are down on August 2013 as well as month on month.

Whether this decline will continue is diffcult to say but it is true that the number of offers on properties and general level of numbers of purchasers looking to buy in Spain remains reportedly good. The lead time from offer to completion has extended, this can due to a number of factors including more diligent legal checks being undertaken and the securing of a Spanish Mortgage. Given the data is extracted from Land Registry which is right at the back end of the buying process it could be the figures just reflect other issues rather than lack of sales.

New builds versus resales

What is undeniable is that of the 1.1% decline in sales of dwellings against last years figures the sale of second hand property is not the problem. Resales were actually up 15.2% but new builds decreased by 22.1% which is really bad news for Development companies and Spanish Banks both of which hold high levels of new property stock.

Total sales

In August 47,193 properties transferred title. Of this 23,525 were actual sales the rest being made up of swaps, donations, inheritance and others. In others sits the transfer of property under repossession, in August 12,947 dwellings moved on this basis.

Read the full article: Conveyance of Spanish Houses in August


Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Are house prices in Spain really rising

The INE in Spain reported for the second quarter a small but positive increase in the overall price of property in Spain.

Since the year of 2008 this was the first quarter of any price increase after property prices crashed by over 40%.

Increases in Spanish house prices in quarter 2

The national statistical office in Spain takes it infromation from actual sales of Spanish homes completed and across all sales that have taken place. Given this is the case one would expect the data to be closest to reality in comparision with other instituations that provide similar data.

The key issue with the data is that information on what is happening in the market has only be kept since 2007. This means that whilst the specific data for that quarter is robust there is insufficient years to predict trends and analyse whether the quarter in question is a one off or the start of a true recovery.

A blip or a sustained trend

Other providers of data like TINSA  report on a more regular live time basis and over a longer period of time. TINSA however take their data from their own valuations undertaken in the month and use a relativley small sample.

TINSA like the INE are predicting at least some sort of stabilisation and whilst they are still showing year on year decreases on price per meter square the rate of decline has slowed significantly.

The month of August however was reported by TINSA as showing another month of declines when looking at each region.

Should buyers panic buy

Legal advisers are reporting an increasing number of sales falling through for their buyers due to a higher offer from someone else and generally higher levels of buying activity from overseas buyers. This is mainly the case in the areas relating to the main Cities the traditional tourist areas as non resident buyers who believe the bottom of the market has been reached look to secure their holiday home at value levels not seen since 2003.

As in any market as volatile as the current Spanish one and with a lack of long term robust data it must be remembered that a few incidences of gazumping and higher front end activity does not mean people should panic buy. The Spanish legal process should be followed diligently at all times no matter how many other parties are interested.

Read the full article: House prices in Spain have they stabilized

Monday, 29 September 2014

The importance of getting the best legal advice when buying in Spain

With an increase in the levels of people buying in Spain again it is important buyers ensure the legal services they contract are of a high quality.

Past issues when buying in Spain

Many of the past issues in Spain were caused by lax legal advice provided by Lawyers who served two masters the client and the agent who introduced the client.

Unclear property laws and an avoidance by officials to pull developers into line also had an impact leaving many properties in Spain sitting in no mans land neither fully legal or fully illegal.

Improvements in the buying process

Much has been done in the past few years to improve the process of buying in Spain and to ensure property laws are adhered to but issues can and still do exist meaning all buyers in Spain should ensure the quality of the legal services they contract is both independent and dilligent.

In the past Lawyers in Spain have been prone to deciding on behalf of the client without referal to the client that whilst a risk applies to the property the risk is so small as not to mention. This practice of it is Spain it does not matter, or it will never happen so why mention it, lost many people their life savings and extreme cases their home.

The process of checking infractions is now much clearer and it is possible for a lawyer to be succinct as to what issues apply and what level of risk this holds. What is now required is legal providers who outline the risks in a clear and concise manner and help their clients decide what level of risk they are willing to take against the desire to own the property and the price they are getting it at.

Have the lessons been learned

It is unfortunate that some of the lessons of the past do not seem to have been taken on board, IMS mortgage advisers in Spain are reporting that as activity levels increase they are seeing more and more incidences of property related issues not being relayed to clients and the client only becoming aware at formal valuation of the property by the Bank.

Spanish Lawyers need to take heed the upturn in buying activity can soon be wiped out if potential buyers deem Spain to be unsafe place to buy and up their game on provision of legal services.

Read the full article: Legal services when buying in Spain

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Spanish property sales for May

Today saw the publication of the monthly transfer of property rights in Spain.

Increases in the sales of used homes.

Whilst not all good news the figures showed a marked improvement in the sale of resale residential homes with an increase in people buying in Spain. The sale of used homes is now showing a small yearly accumulated increase of 0.7% and is the only area to do so.

New Builds

Sales of new builds continued to decline in numbers for the total year against 2013 but held steady in numbers against last month.

Other transfers

All other areas of transfers which include donations, inheritance, swaps and repossessions alongh wioth commercial property showed a decline in the month and continue to show a decline for the year. Given last year these areas were increasing due to a high level of transfer of properties to the Banks a decrease is not necessarily a bad thing.

Regional differences

The Islands including both the Baleraics and the Canaries led the way in increased sales during May. Two other regions Andalucia and Murcia also showed good growth in the Month supporting the veiw from those like Lawyers working in the sector that foreign purchases are picking up.

Read the full article: News for Spanish property sales in May

Friday, 4 July 2014

Taxation for Spanish Buyers

Last week Spain announced a number of new tax measures to be implemented over the next few months.

Residential Tourism

The new bill does not go far enough according to a number of experts and legal advisers for buyers in Spain, particularily around the areas classed as residential tourism.

A panel of appointed advisers had put together a number of new measures for the goevrnment to consider which along with tax breaks for investors moving into Spain inlcuded a relaxation of the tax rules applying to income from rental.

Due to the fact that for foreign buyers other countries have much more favourable tax sytems in place and the fact Spain has a high taxation level in comparision to their own country of residency it was deemed important by the legal advisers that Spain focussed on how to attract investors and put Spain back on the tourist map.

In  the new bill nearly all the recommendations have been ignored and Spanish property taxes on income generated for foreign buyers outside the EU will remain high and in many cases unfair.

What next for non resident buyers in Spain

Foreign buyers outside the EU will remain open to the possibilty that the Spanish tax office will assume a rental income whether generated or not and ability to offset costs of a spanish mortgage or other running costs will remain impossible to do.

The experts who put together the propositions for the changes will continue to fight for the points made and it can but be hoped common sense will prevail. What seems to have been missed this time round is the level of indirect taxes an outside investor invloved in residential tourism generates.

Read the full article: tax situation for non resident buyers in Spain


Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Reservation fees for property purchases in Spain

Often a big question for a buyer in Spain is should I pass over a reservation fee.

The reservation fee is the sum of money requested by estate agents and vendors in Spain to secure the property and remove it from active marketing until contracts are exchanged.

In the last few years the question as to whether to pass this or not rarely reared its ugly head as buyers were scarce and property plentiful. To this end reservation fees almost became obsolete as part of the buying process in Spain.

Have things changed in Spain in recent weeks

The question of whether to pay a reservation fee and the risks of doing so or not doing so have not changed but in ceratin hotspots like Barcelona, the Balearics and Marbella for the first time in a long time Spanish Lawyers are reporting a number of instances of gazumping. Techinically paying the reservation fee avoids this happening but it should be borne in mind the reservation document is not legally binding in the truest sense of the word.

Most sellers in Spain will, if a reservation fee is passed remove the property from active marketing but the fee by no means prevents them from selling the property to someone else at a higher offer, it is only at Private Purchase Contract this becomes the case.

What steps should I take to minimse the risk of losing my money or the property

Ensure before you pass over and sgin anything you have appounted a Spanish legal representative to work on your behalf. Never pass the monies directly yourself wait until the lawyer working for you requests and advsies you do so.

Make sure your finances are in place and you have undertaken applying for a mortgage before you make an offer on a property so as to ensure you will be in a position to proceed once basic legal checks are undertaken.

There is with reservation fees no right or wrong answer each buyer must decide in their circumstance which risk they are most happy with ultimatley accepting in the worst case scenario, losing the property or losing some of their hard earned cash

Read the full article:Reservation fees and the part they play in buying in Spain

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Sales of residential properties in Spain rise in April

Yesterday the transfer of property rights for April in Spain was published.

What were the key facts for April

Overall property transfers fell in April but this was because of a drop in the transfer of property groups outside of dwellings.

The sale of homes increased by just over 5% and was driven mainly by an increase in the number of sales in Barcelona, Madrid, Balearics and the Canary Islands.

Andalucia region remained the region with the highest number of overall property transfers but showed no growth in April in the sale of residential property. Whilst foreign buyers appear to be more active again this could be caused by a lack of purchase activity with Spanish Nationals in the region.

Are the statistics starting to show an overall improvement for 2014

2014 is showing strong signs of an improving market. Spanish Lawyers are reporting more incidences of sellers in Spain taking increased offers after agreeing a price with another buyer. Generally this happening in the two major Cities and the Balearics where quality homes are more scarce.

Foreign buyers looking to buy in Spain are feeling more confident about the bottom market being reached this year and a general improvement in mortgage facilities is also helping.

Read the full article : The buying of property in Spain increases in April  


Monday, 26 May 2014

IMS Lawyers attend Luxury property show in China

The joint venture of IMS SL and Aguera and Arrebola Lawyers from Marbella visited Beijing in May to promote Spain.

What is happening in Beijing

In all parts of China now regular exhibitions are run promoting countries across the world for investment and Visas to the Chinese.

Spain made changes last year to the Visa requirements  allowing a residency Visa for non EU nationals who buy a property in Spain for in excess of € 500 along with other means of gaining a residency permit.

Whilst many other countries offer and have done for sometime now options to the Chinese few others provide the lifestyle and European access that Spain can offer.

What do IMS do in China

IMS offer the Chinese market a tailormade service based on the individuals specification. The service spans from sourcing a suitable purchase via the Estate Agent, Developer or Bank networks through to all the legal aspects of buying in Spain, living in Spain, visiting Spain and residency permits. 

Both the show and the stand of IMS property and legal Services were well attended with the Chinese wanting information about Spain and the options it can provide.

Lucia Aguera the lawyer in attendance was well recieved by the Embassy staff for Spain who supported the show to promote Spain.   

Read the full article : IMS goes to Beijing

Renting out property in Spain new legislation

A number of regions in Spain have already implemented new laws surrounding renting a property out in Spain for tourist lets and all regions have new legislation under reveiw which should be implemented during 2014.

What is the legislation

To bring private lets for toursit rental into line with the same measures hotels and licensed hostels and camp sites have to abide by Spain has either brought in or in some regions intends to bring in new legislation.

The legislation requires certain health and safety requirements are met and that a certifcate is obtained from the Junta allowing tourist lets to be undertaken.

What are the penalties for not adhering to the requirements

Each authority will fine heavily any persons found to be letting out on short term rentals their property in Spain if they have not obtained the license and do not meet the laid down criteria. It is rumored that both the regional authority and the tax authorities may scour websites like owners direct to check for lettings not on the registars.  

How will the new laws affect investments for letting.

Covering currently only the more lucrative toursit lets rather than long term rentals, when buying a property in Spain for lettings it will be crucial to ensure your Lawyer in Spain understands the purpose you are buying for and can ensure the property you are buying will be suitable and the best possible ownership structure put in place for your needs and tax efficency.

When taking legal services for buying in Spain it will be more important than ever to ensure you understand from your legal adviser the tax situation and costs of generating an income from your property. Whilst the new laws are off the back of health and safety measures it does also mean avoiding paying tax on the income as a non resident of Spain will become more diffcult.

Read the full article: Legal implications of buying to rent property in Spain

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Trends on residential property prices per square meter in Spain


TINSA is one of Spains largest valuation companies and each month they publish, based on a small sample, the average price per square meter being paid in Spain for residential property.

Becasue the information dates back many years whilst the ifnromation is not specific it does give those buying in Spain a good idea of the price trends over a long period in time.

What is the current trend for Spanish Property

Since the years of 2007 property prices have fallen each consecutive month and on a year on year basis. This was against significant rises in Real Estate  prices from around the year 2000.

In 2004 prices rose across all of spain by 16% from 2002 and continued to climb until the end of 2007.

Since 2007 prices on property in Spain have fallen by over 35% and as much as 50% in some areas.

Data published for April 2014 seems to indicate the rate at which property prices are falling is slowing considerably.

Is there a difference between areas

Even within Cities and regions average prices can vary considerable based on location and housing supply. The TINSA report does not highlight hotspots this information can opnly be obtained by talking to Agnets, Lawyers in Spain and other parties on the ground in the area of interest.

Read the full article : Real Estate prices in Spain for April 2014

Thursday, 8 May 2014

What should I consider when appointing a Spanish Lawyer

When buying in Spain and requiring legal services there are a number of considerations you should make when apppointing a Lawyer.

What matters should be considered when appointing legal services in Spain.

Very important when apppointing a contracting legal services in Spain is does the lawyer speak your language and can they communicate with you effectivley. Another important point is are the fully independent and not attcahed to any other party in the buying process.

Do I need to appoint a local Lawyer in Spain

There are some arguements for appointing say a Marbella based Lawyer if you are buying in the Costa del Sol or a Barcelona Laywer if you are buying in Cataluna. The key benefit is normally one of cost, as travelling expenses are not incurred. Appointing a local Laywer does not however mean you will recieve the best possible advice and all legal work related to a purchase in Spain can be done perfectly effectivley by a lawyer outside the area.

Cost of legal support when buying or selling in Spain

In general most Lawyers in Spain charge a percentage of purchase price, normally 1%. As many of the checks required apply whether you are buying at the high end of the market or the cheaper end this means for those clients buying cheaply you have to question the levelof diligence that will be undertaken and skill level of the perosn appointed to undertake the checks as use of a qualified lawyer throughout would not be possible within the total fees.

For buyers buying at the high end of the market a percentage of purchase price could mean they are paying far too much for the actual cost of the work required.

Are there alternatives to percentage legal fees

Fixed fee conveyance quoted based on the actual services provided and level of work required is available and may be a better reflection of what should be paid on a more specific bases.

Read the full article: Legal advice when buying in Spain

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Sales and transfers of property Spain February 2014.

House sales February

The monthly data taken from land registries in Spain showed another month of declines in property sales both in terms of a month on month basis and a year on year basis.

The data taken at Land Registry can apply to sales signed at Notary for up to three months before so the information is a little historic in its nature probably more reflecting how many properties sold in the months of November 2103 and December 2013 than actual sales in February.

What type of property is selling in Spain

The data does not breakdown what types of property are selling or at what prices, although it does breakdown the numbers by Region.

To understand in more detail what is happening in the property sales market, information needs to be gained from Estate Agents and Lawyers offering legal services to buyers. Both of these professions report an upturn in activity from foriegn buyers which is most profound at the middle to luxury end of the market.

A genuine belief Spanish luxury property now provde good value for money and improved currency exchange against the Euro is all helping in attracting new buyers.

What regions are performing best

By far the Region of Spain outperforming the rest of the market is the Canary Islands. Whilst all other regions showed a decrease in sales for February the Canaries actually showed a month on montyh and year on year increase.

Other well known tourist and holiday home areas apart from Andalucia also performed above the average.

Read the full article : Transfer of property rights in Spain for February 2014

Monday, 24 March 2014

Investing in Spain is now the right time

Recent activity and articles written by publications who analyze economic situations suggest that those in the know are looking seriously at Spain’s property market again.

Whilst as pointed out in the This Week article the pundits do differ in their advice some seasoned and well known names involved in the riskier end of investments have started to put money into property backed funds and trusts in Spain.

The most well known of these include George Soros and John Paulson both of whom have been known on more than one occasion to back situations when the rest of the World is racing off in the other direction. This included the George Soros punt against the pound back in 1992 and the John Paulson bet against the sub prime market in the USA.  

What has changed in Spain.

Economically there are signs that Spain is recovering from its double dip recession. Whilst the national market remains subdued due to high unemployment, exports are up and productivity is high.

Spanish property prices have fallen on average by over 30% since their peak and in some areas this is as high as 70%. Even the most cautious of the pundits see prices stabilizing by end of 2015.

Is the upturn across all of Spain.

The highest levels of activity for buyers in Spain seems to be coming from the quality end and is focused on areas like Mallorca and better parts of Costa del Sol. Other areas which will not attract the wealthier buyers like Murcia whilst still struggling on over supply have starting prices in the region of € 40k for small apartments.

Legal issues surrounding buyer protection well reported from the past have been ratified and buying in Spain is now safe and secure as long as the right advice is taken. 

Spanish Mortgages

Credit in 2014 is more accessible than in previous years as Banks have cleaned up their balance sheets and are looking after years of net outflows to rebuild their mortgage books.

New Spanish mortgage product has been launched, focused on the higher net wealth clients and Northern Europeans particularly Scandinavians and Swiss.

UK applicants with the right profile will also find gaining a loan in Spain more readily available than in 2013. 

Read the full article: Investing In Spanish property

Friday, 7 March 2014

2013 another year of price decreases in Spain

INE Indice de Precios de Vivienda 


Issues today for the 7th year was the house price index showing what has happened to house sale prices both regionally and nationally in Spain.

For those considering when buying in Spain is the right time the data does show some slowdown in the level of decrease being experienced at least in some pockets of Spain.

Post the property boom due to a large oversupply of housing stock, economic difficulties within Spain and Europe and well reported lack of legal protection due to rogue local authorities prices in Spain have been falling.

How far have prices fallen since the boom years.

2007 was the last year of growth showing an increase of 9.8%. Sonce then house prices have fallen by 41.9% as a national average. Areas like to Balearics, Canaries and other tourist destination have held up slightly better. The Murcia region home of UK advertised Polaris World has seen some of the highest falls in Spain.

In 2013 house prices dropped by 10.6% in comparision to the 13.7% fall in 2012. The third quarter of 2014 showed some small growth but this fell back again in the fourth quarter.

Split of property type

Over the last couple of years new build prices have held up better than resales but this trend now appears to have halted with the average drop across both types of purchase being in line with each other. This may be a reflection of Banks being willing to sell developments they have taken over at more realistic prices and developers themselves being more pragmatic in order to encourage sales.

What can we expect for 2014

With Spain recovering slowly, higher levels of legal protection, and strong currency exchange rates for countries outside the Euro International Buyers are starting to look more seriuosly at Spain as a good place to buy. These factors along with a recovering national market may mean we see prices stabilising  and possibly showing small levels of growth toward the back end of 2014.

Read full article : buying in Spain yearly house price index for 2013

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Why do I need a Spanish Lawyer when buying in Spain

The importance of legal advice in Spain

Most of the horror stories reported in the press could of been avoided with expert and sound legal advice from a Spanish Lawyer.

Spain has well defined regulations applicable to all property in Spain both at a national and a local level. As long as the correct process is followed and detailed checks undertaken you should not experience any future issues.

The key issue when undertaking conveyance on a purchase in Spain is that the relevant information and checks that need to take place cannot be done with one authority or office.

What types of issues should be looked out for


Over builds or extensions to the property that do not have the correct permissions are one of the major types of infractions that affect property in Spain. Due to past lax implementation of regulations or an ignoring of the legal process a number of properties in Spain have historic issues relating to the number of meters seen and that registered at land registry.

Only square meters registered at land registry and registered as living accommodation can be deemed to be completely legal.

Catastral values and purchase taxes

It should always be checked that the price you are paying for the property is not below the Catastral value and if it is that advice taken as to what possible tax implications this may have. Paying below the Catastral value may incur future purchase taxes as the tax authorities work off minimum catastral values.

Embargos and Liens

Outstanding embargos and debts can remain with the property in Spain and be inherited by you unless the debts are cleared and registered as cleared before completion. It is important a full check with all utility companies, local authorities, communities and tax offices are undertaken during the legal searches.

Spanish mortgages are cleared on day of completion and a representative of the Bank must attend completion to remove the loan.

First occupation licences

All property built in the last few years must hold an occupation licence. A few properties will not have the certificate because outstanding fines must be paid before the certificate is issued, but the property itself does fall into current planning regulations. At all times if an occupation licence is not available caution should be taken.

10 year building warranties

All properties 10 years old or less should hold a 10 year building warranty which protects you against build issues during the first 10 years.

Read the full article : Spanish Lawyers and their function in the buying process

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

January house values in Spain

TINSA one of Spain’s largest Valuation companies report on the evolution of house prices in Spain on the second Tuesday of each Month.

January 2013 house price data

Whilst the data is taken from a small pool of valued properties within the month the TINSA report is a good general indication of what is happening to prices of residential properties across Spain.
January showed another month of declines per meter squared across all regions but the decline has slowed significantly from where we were a year ago.

Which regions of Spain showed the smallest sale price declines

Coastal areas and the Islands of the Balearics and the Canaries held up better than the Metropolitan and City areas.

In support of this information on prices, in the region of Malaga house sales were made up of 35% of foreign buyers in comparison to 17% when looking at a national figure.

There is both tangible and anecdotal evidence that those buying in Spain from the international markets is increasing and that this is having a positive effect on both number of sales made and the sale price which can be achieved.

Can we expect an upturn in prices 

Whilst asking prices are not being met, for those selling in Spain willing to accept realistic offers property is starting to move again.

Prices per square meter are now below levels of 2004 and knocking on the door of 2003 and 2002 prices.

We may see small but steady growth in prices toward the back end of 2014 and a stabilization of prices in the first 6 months.

Read the full article : Spanish house price index


Thursday, 13 February 2014

Sales of property in Spain for December 2013

The monthly data from the National Statistic office was released yesterday for the transfer of property rights in Spain.

Data showed a small decline in sales from December 2012 to December 2013
This decrease was not unexpected and was in fact much smaller than was anticipated. 

The decline was due in a large part to the abnormally high amount of completions in December 2012 in comparison to the rest of 2012 as buyers brought forward buying in Spain to beat the ending of tax incentives which were removed in January 2013.

Were there positives to be taken from the Data

Yes. Firstly the overall transfer of property rights fell by only 0.50% in the month whilst residential sales were down 3.6%. This means the sale of commercial property held up quite well in the month indicating the underlying economy may be recovering.

The second and possibly most valid point was that for the first time in 5 years the variation between sales in November to December, whilst traditionally always lower at absolute levels, showed a positive trend meaning the overall decline in sales stabilized in the month.

What challenges remain

Whilst there has been much more positive news in the last few weeks with, small increases in sale prices being announced, Spanish mortgages more readily available again and generally higher levels of activity and a mood of optimism creeping in, it will be a long haul back to normal market conditions.

The challenges that remain in place are the level of bank repossessions, which was the only area of increases in 2013, the overall economic recovery and the continuing uncertainty many feel when looking at Spanish property as an investment due to past perceived issues on legal protection when buying in Spain.

It would appear however that we may now be at, or very near to the bottom of the cycle and that 2014 will see slow but sustained growth in the sale of Spanish properties.