By David Rick
Most of us are interested in the Spanish property market and everyone has seen the headlines… but what is really happening on the ground?
Well, for the first time in years, we can be optimistic – things are definitely improving but, while this is encouraging, it is not yet time to pop the champagne corks.
So far this year (January to June), my agency Torcal Estates has seen a 100 per cent increase in offers being made compared with the same period in 2009.
Buyers are coming from the UK and across Europe and continue to find Spain an ideal place to retire or to holiday.
Yes, there are still concerns about the market – over prices, the situation of legality and what is happening with the euro – but generally confidence is coming back.
Over the last three years prices have dropped steadily – in some cases there has been a slow, continual drop and in others prices dropped almost overnight. Overall, since the beginning of 2008 they have dropped, on average, by 35 per cent in central Andalucia.
This figure is based on the average price per square meter built (and therefore must only be used as a guide). But it is much more accurate than going on the asking prices which are given by various websites, such as Kyero.
It is based on actual offers being made and also demonstrates that the average offer is broadly ten per cent below asking price although this has increased to 15 per cent in 2010.
The average rate per square meter for 2010 is currently standing at €1,228 per square meter. And while this is by no means a way of valuing properties, it does give people a guide as to what is selling and at roughly what price.
This may be shocking to some, but the facts are plain – people are starting to buy, but they are buying the best value properties.
The difficulty with Spain is that the amount of statistical evidence is extremely limited and often very out of date.
If you look at websites to see what’s available you are looking at asking prices and these, in themselves, can be widely inaccurate.
Many agents keep old properties on their websites even when they are sold! And too many websites have prices that are way too high from sellers in no rush to sell.
What is evident is that prices still need to drop if your property is not generating interest. If you are getting viewings then the price is reasonable and given current levels of activity, all you need to do is wait for the right buyer! Good luck!