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Spain Property Investment For Sale

 

"Still a popular holiday destination but not the second home investment it used to be."

 

The land of matadors, flamenco dancing and Gaudi’s modern architectural lines, Spain occupies 85% of the Iberian Peninsula and is Europe’s third largest nation.  The attractions of this varied country are obvious with its 320 days of sunshine a year, delicious food and wine, vast beautiful beaches, vibrant cities, cultural heritage and laid-back lifestyle.  It is for this reason that Spain is one the world’s most popular tourist destinations and until the international credit crisis had a healthy GDP growth and a thriving second home real estate market.

However much has changed and Spain has taken one of the hardest hits since the international economic downturn and the euro-zone crisis. 

With unemployment running at extremely high levels and with a large budget deficit and poor economic growth it could be said that Spain is in crisis.  Spain has also witnessed one of the worst collapses in its domestic construction and real estate sectors. As the economic slump deepens and the stringent austerity measures take hold so the Spanish housing prices continue to slide.  How long this will continue is unknown but at some stage the cycle will turn and then with the prices at rock bottom Spanish property will once again be the investment prize it used to be.
 

Country Guide

Geography

Spain occupies 80% of the Iberian Peninsula, the remaining 20% of which is made up of Portugal. In the north, Spain borders France and Andorra, with the Pyrenees as a natural frontier. Additionally the Balearic Islands, Mallorca, Menorca and Ibiza, in the Mediterranean Sea, Canary Islands in Atlantic Ocean close to the Moroccan coast, and Ceuta and Melilla, located in northern Africa, are all Spanish territory. There are five big mountain ranges crossing the country, and about 50% of the country is located at an elevated plain. Landscapes are extremely varied, some almost desert-like and others green. Coast wise, longer stretches are found in the east along the Mediterranean Sea from the Pyrenees to Gibraltar whilst in the west, the majority of the Iberian Peninsula's western coast is occupied by Portugal along the Atlantic Ocean and Cantabrian Sea.

Government

Spain was previously a dictatorship but transformed from this rigid regime into a democratic Government in 1975. The chief of state is the Spanish Monarch with a President and two vice presidents running the government.

Language

Five different languages are spoken in Spain, Galician–Portuguese, Spanish, Basque, Catalan and Occitan. Spanish is the main language spoken throughout the whole of the country. Galician is the own language of Galicia and is considered part of the same linguistic unity as Portuguese. Basque has an unknown origin and is the pre-Roman language of the country spoken in the North of Spain, in the Basque Country. Aranes is spoken in the Pyrenees and was a very important language during the middle ages because of its literature       

Standard of Living

The standard of living in Spain is high and with the hot weather and picturesque settings, it's not surprising that many Britons, Germans and Dutch choose to retire here. The transport system is adequate with good bus and rail links, there are also many international schools which will appeal to buyers with children. The healthcare is also of an acceptable standard compared to other European countries.

Country Economy

Spain's capitalist mixed economy is the thirteenth largest worldwide and the fifth largest in the European Union, as well as the Eurozone's fourth largest.  However after years of boom on the back of the countries bouyant property market Spain has suffered one of the most catastophic slumps seen within the euro-zone thanks to the international financial crisis.  Spain suffered excessive unemployment levels with the vitual shut down of its construction and property industry which will affect the country for some years to come.

Key Industries

Machinery, motor vehicles, food stuffs, pharmaceuticals, medicines, other consumer goods.

 

 

Hotspots

Barcelona and Seville

Although eternally popular with tourists, Barcelona enjoys minimal yields.

With good flight connections and price cheaper than the national average, Seville is becoming increasingly popular with foreign investors. Recommended property types for longer-term investments are either 1-bed apartments with parking in the city centre or a 'finca' (family home) with a pool outside the city. With a huge student body in need of rental accommodation, demand here should continue to be strong.

Valencia

One region tipped as a particularly good investment destination is the area around Valencia, made strong thanks to a massive programme of State and private investment which has dramatically improved the Infrastructure including a new metro line connecting the port with the airport, and a new Central station to accommodate the High Speed Train (AVE) which travels at speeds of 300km per hour and interconnects all the major cities in Spain. 

Galera

Galera in northern Andalucía would suit people with a smaller budget wanting peace and quiet away from coast. Renovated cave houses are common in this area as are a range of properties in the surrounding areas from farmhouses to village houses  - all in need of restoration but still cheap to attain.

Costa de la Luz, Costa Almeria, Costa Tropical

Whilst the sunny, sandy Spanish Costas are areas that have attracted the vast majority of foreign investment historically, high price and over-development mean they are no longer considered a canny investment hotspot.

Less-developed coasts such as the Costa de la Luz, the Costa Almeria and the Costa Tropical offer lower prices with greater room for development. These areas attract people looking for a more authentic experience of Spain, and a landscape less ravaged by construction. Property prices on the Costa Tropical are cheaper than on the Costa del Sol, and the area is proving popular with foreign buyers.

The Costa de la Luz is Spain's largest coast, and property here still offers good value for money, having escaped the mass tourism that affects other areas of Spain. This area couldn't be more different from the Costa del Sol, though the two are neighbours. Its golden beaches are long, wide, wild, often deserted – and more likely to be backed by sand dunes or pine trees than high-rise apartment blocks. As 30% of the region is a protected area, it has consequently remained quiet and undeveloped.

The Costa Almeria is probably the area that will be expanding most in the near future.Two places worthy of noting are Islantilla near Ayamonte and Chiclana near Cadiz which offer first-time investors good value for money.

Fuerteventura

The closest of the Canary Islands to Africa, Fuerteventura is another area that is worth watching, and is the least developed of the four main islands. Fuerteventura has the warmest year-round temperatures of the islands, with recorded winter highs of around 20C, making it a good bet for year-round holiday rentals and also giving it the potential for a 52-week rental income. 

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