BETTER weather and the arrival of spring traditionally sees the start of the key time of the year for Spanish property sales.

That in turn, according to some analysts, might see house prices start to rise on the coast after the year-long depression caused by the pandemic.

At the moment though, it is the perfect time to buy in popular tourist areas, coupled with a nine-month high in the Pound-Euro exchange rate for UK buyers.

Mikel Echavarren from consultancy firm, Colliers, said:” The most notable changes we have seen in Spain are price falls of 10% and higher in areas like Alicante, Malaga, and Palma de Mallorca.”

Any recovery though could depend on how quickly COVID-19 vaccines are put into potential buyers arms in Spain and in countries like the UK, a traditional source for holiday home purchasers.

That will allow property viewings to resume as travel restrictions are eased, though some real estate agencies have used video viewings with some success.

Echavrraen has little doubt that foreign purchasers will fire up the Spanish property market. “Areas like the Costa del Sol and Costa Blanca are enclaves for European retirees and those destinations don’t really have any competition in other countries,” he observed.

“I believe that the first sign of recovery in the Spanish real estate sector will be second homes located on the coast”.

There are notes of caution over a quick return to the pre-pandemic situation from other experts.

Barcelona University analyst, Gonzalo Bernardos, said: “The coastal home buying season starts at Easter and ends in late September in most locations for domestic customers.”

“2021 is already a lost season, even if 60% of the Spanish population has been vaccinated by June because potential buyers will lack enough confidence to spend money this year”.

The managing director of valuation company Gesvalt, Sandra Daza, added:”How quickly international demand for properties recovers will determine how much prices will go up this year.”

There is also a difference between ‘new build’ prices, which are maintaining their old levels, and resale properties, where there are more bargains to be had in tourist areas.

The consensus from the experts is that now is a good time to buy before the post-pandemic era kicks-in next year with prices returning to pre-2020 levels.

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