17 May, 2014 @ 17:30
1 min read

Surge in companies buying property in Spain

THE number of homes bought by companies has rocketed since the onset of the financial crisis.

Firms were responsible for 22% of all home purchases in 2013, an increase of 429% from 2007.

In contrast, purchases made by individuals fell from 95% of all transactions in 2007, to 78% of transactions in 2013.

According to the data released by the Association of Registrars, the regions with the highest number of company-purchased properties are the Canary Islands, La Rioja and Catalunya.

The regions with the highest numbers of purchases made by individuals are Extremadura, Cantabria and the Basque Country.


Tom Powell

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  1. Why just berate Spain all the time Fred you tonto! You’re like an unhelpful scar.

    As house prices are so cheap now, estate agents are actually having a mini boom talking to a couple recently. Surely this will help to stabilise house prices in Spain. Doubt they’re still ‘crashing’.

    Why wouldn’t people, looking to move away from the uk, buy cheap houses in Spain lately? Just think, they could live here like others at the moment in the middle of 7 months of glorious weather and fiestas.

    It’s what keeps people happy. ¡Viva España!

  2. Derek, prices haven’t stabilised at all, they’ve just “bottomed out”. Some say they have to fall even further. Moving away from the UK (or anywhere) is not some automatic panacea for a better life. Also, the weather is not the most important thing when trying to achieve a happier life, by a long shot. The weather can be attrocious in Spain during the winter months.

  3. Fred,

    “The weather can be atrocious in Spain during the winter months”.

    Bloody hell, and they are talking about stopping heating allowance for expats. I ask you, must forward your message back to the U.K.

  4. Derek,

    All good news coming from Spain regarding the surge in property purchases. It will also help those that have been stuck with unsalable properties so that they can return to the U.K, that’s if they afford to purchase there. Mind you mobile homes are quite cheap.

  5. “So glad I still have properties in the London area, even millionaires are finding it hard to purchase”

    Money is no use to you now Caccia. There’s not enough time to spend and enjoy it. I didn’t make that mistake lol.

  6. Derek,

    Can’t understand the people knocking Spain, perhaps they don’t follow the news or read the papers regarding all the bad things that are happening back in the U.K. List to many to mention here.

    The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. Flood of sudden billionaires listed.

    It’s a pity that Dr. Blah, Blah’s article didn’t also mention about the 300 odd people wishing to return to the U.K what they will be up against.

  7. This article mentions lot’s of percentages except the most important of all – actual numbers of companies or individuals buying. Also it does’nt mention who these ‘individuals’ are – foreign, Spanish, Martian?

    As it happens both Cantabria (the secret Spain) and Pay Vasco in different ways are among the best places in Spain to live as long as you don’t mind the rain. Much of Cantabria is protected from the inland continental climate by mountains and has a very mild climate, I’ll bet it’s Spanish buying there.

    And of course both regions have beaches that are so much better than anything on the Med coast. If your into surfing or wind surfing your made.

  8. @Fred,

    You still don’t get it. I don’t need the money from the sale of properties, I have sufficient funds, as a pensioner, to continue the quality of life living here in Spain. Done me travelling and done most things people would love to do.

    It’s unfortunate that a certain person is yet to achieve their dream and are still working. At least the kids will have a few bob to spend, that’s what it’s all about.

  9. Until Spain sorts their image and property laws out the boom will not start again. At the moment you have many who will take a punt on a knock down price but if you want people buying in numbers and several properties at once then there has to be a good financial reason. All I can see is things are being made more difficult, illegal properties that have been purchased using solicitors there, new laws to rent a property, then the market is awash with over supply for rentals and for sale. Caccia as you have said in the past, good for some to retire to with a large pension but, that is it. Numbers of UK people living there are going down greatly so they are the facts. First it was changing rooms, paint your room purple, then place in the sun, is it all falling off a bit? If the prices are any cheaper they will be giving them away so I don’t doubt some are being sold.You can buy properties cheaper than it cost to build them in Spain at the moment.

  10. You said it Caccia, you need sufficient funds to continue your “quality of life”. You don’t get a quality life just by moving to Spain; you need a lot of other things in place beforehand, like finances. If you didn’t have the financial resources perhaps your quality of life would not be achieved in Spain? And I’m doing pretty well on the achievements front Caccia, thank you. Nothing wrong with working, if you enjoy your work. Retirement can be very boring I guess.

  11. @Reap,

    I don’t like repeating myself but the laws have always been there, just misused.

    The law in renting properties was introduced mainly to stop the years of abuse of not declaring rents, especially by the Brits that had second homes and letting collecting undeclared cash back in the U.K You have to declare rents in the U.K also you know.

    You must have seen on the news that Canada with half the population of the U.K builds twice as many houses thus prices for houses are affordable, not so in the U.K.

    There had been overbuilding in Spain due to possible demands for foreign investments but like all countries when a section of the the American stock market almost collapsed it hit not only the states but world markets. Fortunately things are moving forward and the recession is slowly being overcome not only in the U.K but Spain also hence the steady demand of properties in Spain.

  12. @Fred,

    And so can you be boring. Be positive for a change and accept properties in Spain are moving, who knows, even your luck may.

    I wonder if you will mention all the bad things in Spain to possible a purchaser, or will you just take the money and run.

  13. Caccia, no one if forcing you to read my posts or reply to me. If you’re bored, move on. Simple really. I see you also concur with me that there are “a lot of bad things in Spain”. As I’ve said many times, my opinions of Spain are my own; I’m not forcing people to agree with me. Buyer beware and all that. You said that the property market is on the up, so clearly not all purchasers are worried it seems. I’m fine with that; you can’t buy the experience of Spain up-front unfortunately. You have to experience it for yourself.

  14. Fred,

    Actually Fred this was referring to you due to all the negative outlook you give towards Spain:-

    “I wonder if you will mention all the bad things in Spain to possible a purchaser, or will you just take the money and run”.

    But there are things which I find different to which I was accustomed to back in the U.K, bad, not sure, different yes, but over the years have come to accept that it’s the way of life here and to moan gets you nowhere. In-fact I find many things strange when visit the U.K and think “It’s a pity they don’t do that like they do in Spain” Horses for courses as they say.

    People that purchase in Spain had most probably visited many times on holiday and decided that it would be a good place to settle down or retire to. Some either thought of making a few extra pennies by purchasing as a holiday home and renting out which for many years they had done and not declared a single penny. Lets face it Fred, you must know people that have done this, I do, and are moaning about it.

    Basically when one looks at the overhaul picture between Spain and the U.K, U.K has a far greater drag-onion system then Spain.

    But my contention has always been….well I’ve said the phrase too many times, but also the choice is to leave which people have done, but please accept others are quite happy living in Spain regardless of of all the things you may not agree with.

    This thing about the big money rises of property in the U.K has basically the same twist as what happened in Spain when you think of it.

  15. Caccia, you’re making me repeat myself. I have said on numerous occasions that you can have a good life in Spain, but it is not guranteed. Why are you so worried about the opinions of someone who doesn’t always agree with you?

  16. @Fred,
    I think you have changed slightly. A good life is not guaranteed anywhere unless your happy in the environment your living in, but you have always pointed out things you feel are wrong in Spain but never give credit to it’s merits. I only comment and reply on things that I also feel that 99.9% of the comments made by people on these sites are negative. I did suggest to OP that perhaps they should have two columns, one for unhappy in Spain and another for happy in Spain, then the unhappy people can keep on consoling themselves to each other.

    You also do not need to reply to my comments. Never seen you mention that you could have a good life in Spain, only bad, and the bad side, which is constantly mentioned, is illegal properties as though it was the fault of the Junta. The law on this may change the same as laws are constantly changing in other countries.

  17. Caccia, I will stick to my guns and say that to be happy in your environment you need a number of prerequisites in place to give you a quality of life. Btw, when your comments start with “Fred” I take it you are addressing me directly? Don’t address me if you don’t want a reply. Why don’t you go and find a 100% happy forum? Oh wait, it doesn’t exist in real life lol.

  18. I try and stick to the facts most of the time and the facts are people are leaving Spain, numbers are going down, oversupply of property has occurred, not a supply to meet demands and keep prices up, the solicitors are more bent than bananas, dodgy estate agents, dodgy Town Halls and Mayors abusing their powers, politicians with their heads buried in the sand not addressing the real problems and modernisation, I could go on. Buy a property for a lifestyle choice or retire to yes, but the big money is where people invest, look at the UK, Coronation Street houses in London go for £1 million. If you have any common sense you would not invest in Spain and sadly investing is also not really being made in business other than the odd snippet here and there. Shame there are so many inept and corrupt people in power there.

  19. There is no perfect place. One can find faults in every country, but the main point is contentment in the one chosen.

    Reap, you say:- “I try and stick to the facts most of the time and the facts are people are leaving Spain, numbers are going down”, Did you mean up, and why do you think they are leaving, surely not the pensioners that are financially secure. Please state the other reasons. Could it be no work,
    can’t fiddle the tax with the new laws introduced, declaration of assets, (need to also in the U.K) as they would definitely be caught, or could it be that the U.K government are catching up with the benefit cheats.

    You state :- “dodgy estate agents, dodgy Town Halls and Mayors abusing their powers, politicians with their heads buried in the sand not addressing the real problems and modernisation”, So it’s not really the Junta that are trying to rectify and address the wrong doings. Funny enough on sky news this morning they were discussing these problems regarding estate agents and government not building enough, head burying as you say in the U.K and were doing exactly the same as those in Spain, and lets face it in Spain lots were British estate agents.

    You say:- “Buy a property for a lifestyle choice or retire to yes, but the big money is where people invest, look at the UK, Coronation Street houses in London go for £1 million”. Reap, That’s if your selling but can the average Brit purchase these places, and for £1 million look at the fantastic deals if it’s for a “lifestyle choice or retire”, in-fact one could purchase two or three lovely villas with pools etc instead of a two up, two down with a toilet outside.

  20. I only respond to comments being made and point out a different point of view to ponder on. If one is happy wherever they live and which ever country, all well and good.

  21. Caccia, I think we agree that moving to Spain doesn’t automatically make a person contented and happy. Those things come later, over time, and depend on many factors e.g. health, finances, friends and family, employment, bingo etc.

  22. @Fred,

    You hit the nail on the head, except for, “Those things come later, over time”, what amount of time do you think one needs. I have been here 20 years and some people I know have been here up to 35 years. Where had you been during those years.

    As for bingo, never play it, don’t even do the pools here but do have a little splutter now and then when in Las Vegas.

  23. Caccia, what amount of time depends on the person in question. I mean, it’s taken you 20 years to reach boredom. Are you saying you achieve contentment and happiness as soon as you touch down at Malaga airport? lol.

  24. Reap,

    You state :- “dodgy estate agents, dodgy Town Halls and Mayors abusing their powers, politicians with their heads buried in the sand not addressing the real problems and modernisation”.

    This goes on in any country where money is concerned. Just been published, one in five Dutch politicians caught fiddling. Electric company’s in Dutch land raised cost by 83%, they are all at it. Can you imagine the cost of just heating in a cold climate country. Although the cost of energy has increased in Spain we are fortunate to be living in a warm climate country.

    U.K, well the list is endless, don’t believe what the politicians are saying about the recession is over, yes for the rich, but ask those that are on low wages, the unemployed, those that are living on hand-outs and benefits and those that are on zero hour contracts.

  25. Caccia, The reason why the percentage has gone up from Companies is individuals are not buying many and of course properties are selling for peanuts over there.

    Your other questions – you know the answers so not sure why you are asking but as your posts are not quite as bad as they used to be and you have not used that yaya phrase here we go: I agree, unemployment will be a reason why many are leaving but it will also be because they are not attracting new blood as people are put off now. If I were a Spanish parent with half a brain and a few Euros I would be putting my kids through English lessons, maybe German, encouraging them to mix with English / German kids, then off to Uni to learn something meaningful and then off to a Country that paid good money. Not much of a future in Spain from what I can see for young people with circa 26% or 27% of the population without work.
    ’Dodgy estate agents, isn’t it the same in the UK as we do not build enough houses’ – The two are not connected and difficult for me to see where you are trying to get me to go, but there is a shortage of houses especially as everyone wants to come here, we are trying to hold them off. The UK is in demand and if the EU want to keep their well paid jobs going they have to look at the bigger picture, see the MEP results soon.
    Rabbit hutch v Spain Villa with pool, yes I agree, a Villa with a pool is nice, I have one with much land but you cannot live off the land with any great quality of life unless it is a large farm of course, Spain is only good to retire to in my view and from my experience.
    One last point, about being happy, when I was younger in my 20’s and living in Central London I knew many wealthy people, one owned a 70 bedroom hotel overlooking Hyde Park, one spent time between Miami and London having sold a business for many millions, Count blah blah (he was insecure and too loud), they were all suspicious of each other and their massive diamond rings and diamond splattered watches, Rolls Royce etc did not bring them happiness, I don’t think I could say one of them was happy. Some people could be anywhere and with everything and they would not be happy. People like Derek, and this is not an insult, but they are happy with a few rays of sun and a walk along the beach, wonderful if your brain works that way.

  26. @Reap,

    But that has been my contention from my very first post of last year, and perhaps you had missed it, but I shall repeat it once more so just in case so that you understand where I am coming from.
    “A pensioner that is financially secure can find a better quality of life in Spain than in the U.K, that’s why they come here to live”. Those pensioner that do return are not because they are unhappy living in Spain but for other reasons. I personally don’t know of any pensioner that wishers to return to the U.K, perhaps you do, I don’t know, but many have passed away here with family or friends coming here for the funeral.

    Since then there has been nothing but consistent comments of abuse as though I don’t know what I’m talking about and given an array of examples of all the bad things in Spain.

    We know Spain is not perfect, no country is but the pensioners that I know either own villa’s, own or rent a flat and are quite happy in Spain which certain people cannot seem to accept.

    I quite agree with what you have said:- your quote.

    “If I were a Spanish parent with half a brain and a few Euros I would be putting my kids through English lessons, maybe German, encouraging them to mix with English / German kids, then off to Uni to learn something meaningful and then off to a Country that paid good money. Not much of a future in Spain from what I can see for young people with circa 26% or 27% of the population without work”.

    But that does not concern pensioners, they have been through sending kids to Uni and so forth and finally had come here to retire and it has been most unfortunate for those had purchased illegal properties, but, and I repeat, but there are many thousands that have purchased LEGAL villa’s and flats also.

    I have even been asked in one comment if I work for the Junta merely because I have said the Junta were just carrying out the law regarding places that had been illegally built. That gives you just one example of how people react to the law being carried out. Laws change in every country and the U.K is no exception.

    As previously stated I have lived here for 20 happy years and have no intention of moving back to the U.K. Never been stopped by the police, except for the casual check on vehicles, never had any problems with services or medical care, and always used an interpreter if needed.

    Can’t add more to what I have said but I bet ya there will be follow up’s in condemning in what I have said, wait and see.

  27. @Reap,
    You said:-quote.

    “I agree, unemployment will be a reason why many are leaving but it will also be because they are not attracting new blood as people are put off now”.

    “People are put off now”. Do you think it could also be that for years people where getting away with not declaring income from letting and the law is now making it difficult to carry out this practice. Even so, if one owns a place purely for personal use in the U.K certain charges are being made.
    In the U.K if you also own a second holiday home for personal use you need to pay the full council rates if it contains furniture plus the qrt service charges if not in use. The difference in Spain is you pay a percentage of the possible letting. (due to previous abuse of letting) This is also to cover the usage of services provided by the councils which previously were not charged. The law in the U.K has also introduced a charge for second homes not in use even without furniture.

    One can go on and on regarding the differences between countries but if one is living in a certain country then one abide’s by it’s laws, and if one is not happy with these laws then one leaves and live by the laws of that chosen country. But people that keep picking on Spain because they are not happy with the laws is wrong. Simple really.

    I know people cannot move due to owning illegal properties, but that is not the point I am making. There are approximately the same amount of people living in Spain as the U.K and the amount of illegal properties are but a very very small percentage, the rest all legal.

  28. Two lawyers are battling a case in court but the case of the winning lawyer wins. It doesn’t mean that the losing lawyer is bad.

    The same scenario could be directed to accusations regarding bad lawyers in Spain. Permission to build by the councils had been granted but the Junta finally say’s it’s illegal.

    Doesn’t mean the lawyer acting for the purchaser is bad.

  29. Caccia, I have read your comments where you have said Spain is good for retirees with funds, and I agree, I said that in my statement above. Spain should be much more though. Pensioners return to the UK for many reasons and they will include spouse passing away, home help in UK via children or authorities, maybe a nursing home. I am not retired yet but many do return and many living in Spain have a place back in the UK waiting to come back to when and if they are ready. What was the number reported here recently, 90k people have come back, that could be a normal figure but without replacements arriving it could continue to drop.
    Lawyers – I am no lawyer but if I had a place built in Spain I would ask my lawyer to check with the Junta to ask if they can rubber stamp the local Council approval, then you should have everything you need. Now if I would want that done are the lawyers doing this already and if not why not as the local Council is not the end of the approval line in my eyes. The lawyers in Spain are defrauding the Country of tax as well. They take cash payments and hand them over to the local estate agent when completing property deals, €20k euros or more is normal, power of attorney etc. This tax fraud should send many of the solicitors to prison and if the lawyers are openly bent in a Country then you don’t have much of a chance.
    Lastly, I am off to see Thriller in London on Sunday, taking my Mum as well as I take her up there to see a show once or twice a year, do people miss those things. I keep fish, three fish shops within 15 to 20 minutes drive of my house, never seen a decent tropical / marine fish shop in Spain, I know a local Spanish person told me the Spanish don’t really keep fish, my post used to go missing in Spain, technology is a long way behind, my place in the Country has no TV to speak of and I believe if I want TV now I have to buy a 2m dish at just under €900, I cannot get broadband there, my South American wife prefers UK to Spain, so if I will ever end up there permanently I don’t know. I have a nice detached property in Spain, but I have one in the UK as well and as I don’t sunbathe the climate does not even have a lot of pulling power for me. 50/50 for me but I have quite a few years before I make that decision or maybe I will spend a few months a year there.

  30. @Reap,

    I have covered all the points you have made in previous comments and with you mentioning the Lawyer section is what I have advocated all along and surely that would be one of the first things a purchaser would demand. But as I said the lawyers had been relying on the Councils regarding building permission and taking their decision as complying with the law.

    People returning to the U.K has also been mentioned by me in my comment to you.

    There are systems here that allow you to receive T.V broadcast without a 2 mt dish via internet coupled to T.V and feel sure someone over here can explain how.

    Reap, I also never sunbathe but it’s the combination of a warm climate and good weather that I appreciate.
    My sister and her husband had a butcher shop business and every year on the last Sunday in August they would throw a garden party. Invariably even then the weather was unpredictable and recall one of those Sunday mornings the clouds opened and it pissed down all day. The difference here is that one can say “next month we are having a party” and can more less expect good sunny weather and if by chance it does rain it would be a short burst. (talking about the 7 Spanish summer months etc)

    Pet shops do exist in Spain with plenty of tanks and various fish and items for sale. Perhaps that Spanish guy was pulling your leg by saying that they do not keep fish and perhaps he meant they just eat them. (Spain is a big eating fish nation)

    One of my sons lives in the states and is married to a Mexican with two grown up twin girls who would also not like to live in the U.K or anywhere else other than the states side, in-fact I think he will eventually retire to Mexico as he has property there, so I fully understand how your wife may feel about Spain.

    I’m sure which ever decision you make in your future years will be the right choice for you, the same as certain people have chosen to live in Spain, not all of course.

  31. I agree, I had a BBQ in UK last Sunday, I could only notify everyone on Friday as that is about as much as you can forecast the weather here and even then they can get that wrong. Maybe I will go to Spain one day and leave the Wife in the UK!

  32. How could Reap get internet T.V. when he’s told you he can’t get broadband where his place is? Do you actually read what people say before you come out with another “little splutter”?

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