SPAIN has become a magnet for global bargain hunters, as experts predict the real estate market is about to rocket.
Prices are down as much as 50% from their peak, and investors from all over the world are flocking to Spain to take advantage of the opportunity.
Investments from big-name international companies are driving the market, with Goldman Sachs and Blackstone buying apartments in Madrid, and Paulson & Company and George Soros investing in a Spanish real estate investment vehicle.
Fernando Acuna, of start-up real estate advisory firm Aura, said: “It’s crazy the number of investments coming in. I think 2014 is the year we will see a lot of transactions.”
Just over €5 billion worth of real estate transactions took place last year, according to the consulting firm CBRE Spain – more than double the amount of 2012.
At the onset of the crisis, it was predicted it would take Spain 10 years to recover.
But just five years on, many are starting to voice concerns that the competition to invest in some assets is driving prices higher.
“People are starting to overpay on certain assets,” said an investment banker who wished to remain anonymous. “There’s lots of pressure from investment committees in London to do deals.”
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