BRITONS are taking increasing advantage of a strong pound and rock-bottom property prices to buy second homes in Spain.
The trend for so-called ‘schadenfreude shopping’, where buyers cash in on other’s misfortune, is being fuelled by property discounts of up to 70%.
The pound is now 25% more valuable against the euro than three years ago, when exchange rates were almost on parity.
This, added to the fact there are around a million unsold homes in Spain to ensure supply far outweighs demand, make it an ideal time to buy in Spain.
“Spain is the main bargain area in Europe, the Costa del Sol in particular,” said Charles Weston Baker, head of Savills International.
“Greece and Italy offer some good opportunities, but not nearly as many properties are available because resorts were not as overbuilt so extensively.
“Spain has seen dramatic price falls, not least because banks need to shift distressed stock.
“Consequently, they are offering high loan-to-value mortgages on properties that are discounted by some 70% compared to their 2008 peak.”
He added: “This represents a great opportunity for buyers, who can borrow up to 90% of the purchase price and achieve very substantial returns.”