Certainly, 2019 and 2020 will be interesting years, particularly as the effects of Brexit can be experienced not only in the UK but all over Europe.
UK and EU economies, along with many major economies worldwide, are at the edge of recession.
Even China has seen a severe downtown area, so we can see a global slowdown that is bound to spin over all nations, Spain included.
Considering that the second home market tends to be the most hit if there is a downturn, as individuals focus on their first home and company, the market here may be more volatile over the next two years.
However, the fundamental reasons for purchasing in Spain should not be forgotten: As the sun has started to shine again and the temperatures have increased, this place becomes one of the best locations in the world to live or take a vacation.
ANALYSIS OF PRICES AND VALUATIONS RANGE
As always, there is a substantial range of prices around Spain.
The highest valuation–€ 11,343 per m2 for an apartment in Marbella–was closely followed by a property in Cancelada, near Estepona at € 10,900 per m2.
Strangely, the lowest valuation was also in Estepona–€ 545 per m2–nicely illustrating that average rates per sq m don’t relate to individual properties.
Analysis of asking prices, buying price and valuations since the start of our records in 2014 show a decrease in the differences, as follows:
• The% difference between Asking Prices and actual Buying Prices–
• 3rd Quarter 2014-15.80%
• 4th Quarter 2014-11.41%
• 1st Quarter 2015-18.64%
• 2nd Quarter 2015-10.73%
• 3rd Quarter 2015–8.72%
• 4th Quarter 2015–9.38%
• 1st Quarter 2016–11.68%
• 2nd Quarter 2016–5.69%
• 3rd Quarter 2016–11.97%
• 4th Quarter 2016–13.48%
• 1st Quarter 2017–6.94%
• 2nd Quarter 2017–6.76%
• 3rd Quarter 2017–12.01%
• 4th Quarter 2017–9.56%
• 1st Quarter 2018–7.05%
• 2nd Quarter 2018–9.79%
• 3rd Quarter 2018–5.37%
• 4th Quarter 2018–7.38%
There has been a slight rise from the last quarter. But with these averages, as the general range of up to, say, 10 percent discount is to be expected for negotiation, there should be few surprises.
BREAKDOWN BY REGION
FOR Sotogrande 2019 There is an growing amount of resale vendors. Many are senior and maybe they have agreed to sell even if the industry is not the most buoyant because it is required by their conditions.
There are signs of the return of Spanish customers, but mainly at the market’s reduced end.
There is some new construction, but when added to the existing resale properties, the demand will have to rise in order to occupy them all. A bubble must have a slight risk.
There are few buyers or vendors from Gibraltar waiting to see how Brexit is going to turn out. A latest sale of an apartment saw a 7.4% fall in demand and real selling price, which is now normal.
Casares and Manilva
The area’s infrastructure is constantly improving and the hospital’s growth in Estepona is another boost.
People see Sabinillas / Manilva as Estepona 10-12 years ago and think it’s going to keep growing.
With fresh innovations and particularly older shell developments being finished, Sabinillas has significantly enhanced over the past three years. All the new prices are well above the current resale market, however, and it will be interesting to see what will happen in 2020, when most are expected to be completed.
The market for resale is powerful and growing. To live and work in the region, more are purchasing or renting, perhaps from Gibraltar, but also from home.
Belgian, northern and german buyers. There is a strong interest in French, but mostly in renting.
As for the Brits, both sellers and buyers are hesitant, waiting for Brexit and exchange rates to see what happens.
There is plenty of activity, but the last quarter saw a 20 percent decrease in inquiries from Swedish customers looking at statistics for a number of offices along the shoreline.
Maybe this is linked to the kroner’s decrease in value that has fallen more than sterling.
Another reason might be last year’s excellent summer weather in Northern Europe, which caused a lot of delay in thinking about a sunny home. Maybe they think it’s going to be a continuous shift because of global warming.
Because of Brexit, the sterling changes have seen some Brits selling and taking a gamble on that specific result.
New building is of excellent concern, with Nordic buyers looking to rent out winter homes over the summer. To assist them cover expenses, this lease is essential, rather than as a return on investment.
Optimistic for the future in general.
Marbella and Benahavis
Both have had a nice year in the higher-value properties and there is little indication of that halt. Local and foreign developers have a strong demand.
There is little additional hesitation by the Belgian and Scandinavian buyers but the Brits are undoubtedly playing the Brexit waiting game.
The urban planning situation in Marbella is improving, with the town hall making speedier decisions, which will assist development.
Mijas, Fuengirola and Benalmádena
Many Scandinavians buying for second homes and many Brits selling up.
There is little Spanish activity.
Costa del Sol East and‘ Inland Spain’.
The market has been better than last year with strong demand for new build.
Values are increasing as the market grows.
The British are hesitant, both regarding purchase and sale.
Strong buying from Nordic countries and Belgium.
As Spanish banks are beginning to lend more–though demanding a large% as deposit–there is an increase in interest from Spanish buyers.
Almería, Murcia and Alicante South
The yearly statistics of a Spanish‘ tasador’ show that the number of sales in the area have increased significantly, as have their valuations.
The first new development in Mojácar (Almería) for many years, has been started. The prices are high but in line with predictions for the completion date if values continue to rise.
Costa Blanca North
Agents report that after the encouraging market at the beginning of the year, 2018 did not see the improvement expected. Whilst the number of enquiries and viewings remain high, purchasers are not following through with offers.
Anecdotally, purchasers of all nationalities are concerned about the economic outlook (both as a result of Brexit and internationally) and are delaying making large financial commitments.
Conversely, the possibility of a no deal Brexit has‘ panicked’ some UK buyers into making fast purchases, in case the buying process becomes more complicated and the exchange rate falls significantly.
In these cases, desirable properties in good locations at the right price are receiving offers close to the asking price.
Agents are not expecting the market to improve in the first quarter of 2019, with continuing uncertainty over Brexit and international economists pessimistic over the prospects for the future.
Pre-Christmas business was good, but not spectacular. It’s seasonally quiet at the moment, but with more professional work than usual.
Brits are holding firm for now but Italians bought more property than Brits in 2018, with a lot of focus on Formentera and Ibiza. The Swedish seem to have fallen back too. Germans remain the principal purchasers.
All indices show that the national and regional market prices continue to rise. However, these grouped statistics are made up of many different individual purchases and estimates, portfolios, new property and resale, and so are of little assistance in gauging the current market value of a particular property. Our research for individual valuations still shows that some property values are reducing, whilst others are increasing significantly.
Off-plan values are still consistently above equivalent resale values. This will give purchasers cause for concern if resale market values have not caught up by the time they take possession of their new build. Indeed, with so much demand being taken up by new build, resales may be coming down in price to attract buyers.
Despite all this activity, and the concerns we have, based on reports of potential over development in many popular coastal areas, the Bank of Spain is stating that there are no signs of overvaluation creating a new property bubble in Spain.
Statistics are often stated as being lower than those of the peak before the bubble burst in 2007/8, but it should be remembered that those values were shown to be unrealistic.
The country should be using lower values as the measure of a stable, sustainable market.
BRITISH BUYERS AND BREXIT
British buyers continue to purchase more homes in Spain than any other foreign buyers. According to data from the Association of Registrars, 15% of properties bought by foreigners were purchased by Brits between the last quarter of 2017 and the first three quarters of 2018. But this is almost 6% below 2015 figures when Brits accounted for 21.34% of home purchases by non-Spaniards –perhaps an indication of the slide after the Brexit vote in 2016.
A number of markets are seeing increasing hesitation from British potential buyers related to Brexit–should they buy ahead of Brexit, wait to see what the terms are or even if it happens at all?
The reducing value of the pound to the euro is also making purchases more expensive. But it does encourage potential sellers to drop their prices as they will get the same in sterling as expected previously.
If, as expected, sterling drops further, it would be better for owners intending to buy in the UK to wait until that happens, thus having more sterling from their sale.
Residents staying and living off UK income have seen their buying power reduced by at least 25% over the last couple of years.
In addition, the potential for higher taxes as non-EU citizens, and movement restrictions, are persuading some UK residents who have not integrated to consider selling up and going‘ home’.
On non-economic matters, geologists have reported an interesting effect in some areas of the costas. Where there has been substantial new building of apartments, the weight of those combined with the extraction of water from the aquifers below has led to the steady lowering of the land. This has affected services and infrastructure, with pipes breaking and cracks opening for what was previously thought to be no apparent reason. When that is combined with the rising sea levels due to climate change, it means that beach-front properties need to be looked at more carefully for how they will change in the next 30, 20 or even 10 years.