FOREIGN investors are claiming a staggering €35 million for property investments in Spain that never got built.
This is the current total being claimed in hundreds of court cases around the country.
So-called ‘ghost developments’ saw thousands sink their savings into off-plan property on the Costa del Sol.
But after Spain’s real estate bubble burst following the financial crash of 2008, many of these schemes were either left unfinished or never started.
Now, after a ruling by the Spanish Supreme Court last year, some 60,000 foreign investors, a large proportion Irish and British, are able to claim money back from the banks, rather than property developers.
The landmark decision has boosted the hopes of the thousands who plunged money into developments that were never built.
Irish legal claims firm Reclaim in Spain is representing 700 victims of the so-called off plan property fraud.
The firm, which already claims to have won back its clients over €22m so far, is expecting a big year for payouts.
Its owners Ollie and John Reel, based in Armagh, were also victims of the off plan schemes, to the tune of almost €500,000.
They have so far managed to claw back €70,000 invested in Estepona Beach and Country Club. And they continue to battle for the rest.
“It was a fantastic feeling to get that back and it has been great to help others like us,” said Ollie Reed.
“The Spanish banks are reeling as they know that they will have to pay out millions more, but they continue to contest the cases as they don’t want to be seen to be giving in,” he added.
The pair were among 395 unlucky investors to sink money into off-plan developments at the Estepona Beach and Country Club.
They have clients as far and wide as Norway, Sweden, Germany, and Dubai.