14 Nov, 2009 @ 09:00
1 min read

Four houses and a hotel!

IT has been an eventful week for estate agent Zoe Males.

Contrary to claims that the property market in Spain is dead, the boss of Olvera Properties has sold a record four homes in just five days.

And to cap it all, she has become a partner in the purchase of a hotel, which finally went through this weekend.

The Hotel Palacete de Manara became famous when entrepreneur Chris Risbey, 38, had the idea to acquire a ten-year lease on the stunning building with the help of private investors.

After the Olive Press highlighted his scheme a month ago, the story made the UK press, helping him raise an extra 10,000 euros and enough to secure the lease on the medieval palace, in Montejaque, near Ronda.

This weekend, Risbey, with his colleague Sheree Brown, who is working as his assistant, welcomed their first guests, a Dutch couple, who came for a two day stay.

After a tense few days of last minute negotiating, Risbey acquired the hotel – now renamed El Elefante Amarillo (The Yellow Elephant) – with the help of more than 100 investors, each pledging between 100 euros and 10,000 euros.

In total, he has managed to raise 88,000 euros in just two months.

“It’s been a whirlwind,” he told the Olive Press. “When I launched the idea a few months ago I could never have imagined it going so well. We are just 10,000 euros short of our target, but hope to hit that over the next few weeks.

“Either way, we are now in and trading, which is great news.

“This is going to be one of the hippest hotels in Andalucia once we have finished doing it up.

“I am just so grateful to all the investors and to the help from the Olive Press, who really helped to make it happen.”

Estage agent Males meanwhile, who has invested in the hotel project, had an amazing week of property sales through her agency, which has recently opened a new office in Olvera.

“It is the best week I have seen in the last few years,” she revealed. “Four properties sold in a week – all in Olvera – is excellent news.

“I think people are finally realising that buying in Spain might be a good investment after all.

“We hope to see many more over the next few months.”

For more information, visit www.dreamhotelspain.com

Jon Clarke (Publisher & Editor)

Jon Clarke is a Londoner who worked at the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday as an investigative journalist before moving permanently to Spain in 2003 where he helped set up the Olive Press. He is the author of three books; Costa Killer, Dining Secrets of Andalucia and My Search for Madeleine.

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