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The Spanish property market is "poised for growth" in 2016, according to industry experts. 

The country has had a positive 2015, with the pound at a seven-year high against the euro, boosting the appeal of already affordable prices for Brits and other nationalities.

Indeed, recent Q3 data from the Spanish property Registrars indicate a rise in sales to foreign buyers by 20 per cent to 12,535.

Latest figures from estate agency Lucas Fox International Properties also highlights a "significant rise" in the number of sales of Spanish homes by British buyers during the last 12 months.

Sales data from the Barcelona-based company - which primarily focuses on high end properties - indicate that the number of transactions by British buyers increased by 26 per cent across all key regions over the last 12 months, with Barcelona, Ibiza and the Costa Brava the areas most in demand.

The growing number of British tourists certainly demonstrates the ongoing love affair between the UK and Spain: visitors dropped by nearly a quarter from 16.3 million in 2007 to 12.4 million in 2010, but have since climbed back up to an expected 15.5m in 2015, with a still higher number expected in 2016.

More crucially, though, national buyers are also returning to the market, buoyed by the slow-but-sure recovery of the economy.

The Spanish economy will grow 3.2 per cent in 2015 and 2.7 per cent in 2016, predicts Spanish bank BBVA.

"The reasons for the moderation are the slowdown in global demand, depletion of some cyclical factors and increased uncertainty, partly linked to Spanish electoral cycle," says the lender.

Regardless, the "tailwinds that support recovery" are expected to prevail, 

Lucas Fox reveals that it has seen domestic property sales rise 50 per cent from November 2014 to November 2015. 

The registrars' data also highlights a 16 per cent rise in national buyers to more than 80 thousand compared to the same period last year.

"The national economy is rebounding and GDP in Spain is currently up 3.4 per cent year-on-year - more than twice the Eurozone average. Spain's eye-watering unemployment level is also finally coming down, along with the cost of living. More jobs and more purchasing power for Spaniards is a healthy platform for growth," comments Spanish property portal Kyero.com.

So where are the hotspots of growth that buyers should be paying attention to?

Lucas Fox's report shows that prices in Spain's three key cities – Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia - are now beginning to increase, albeit slowly.

"In all of these locations the improving market conditions are being driven by increasing levels of confidence amongst national buyers, something that is crucial for the market's long term recovery," explains the agency's founding partner, Alexander Vaughan. "In almost all our markets, this renewed confidence, a strong economy and the Spanish banks' willingness to offer competitive mortgages has brought new investors into the market and we are now seeing international buyers competing against local buyers to secure the best properties in the most desirable locations."

Indeed, overseas buyers account for around 18 per cent of the Spanish property market overall, according to figures from the registrars, although in some areas this rises considerably - in Alicante, for example, half of all buyers are non-Spaniards.

In addition to Alicante, Kyero.com's Richard Speigal highlights the Canary and Balearic Islands as important hotspots.

"The eastern Canaries - Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura and Lanzarote - look particularly strong with a fast improving jobs market, strong growth in lending and very active overseas interest. Twelve months of sunshine is enduringly appealing," he explains. "Meanwhile international investors love the Balearics and have driven strong sales growth in 2015: foreign investment now accounts for more than 40 per cent of the market. The Balearics also benefit from one of the lowest unemployment rates in Spain, making a happy overall picture for property investment there in 2016."

Malaga and Murcia complete Kyero's shortlist of likely 2016 hotspots - Malaga thanks to high international investment and stead growth in sales, and Murcia due to rising sales, increased domestic lending and overseas buyers accounting for a quarter of the market.

"There are some stark variations across Spain's regions and provinces," adds Speigal, "but as a whole the market looks poised for growth in 2016."

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Foreign demand for property in Spain is close to record highs as a percentage of the Spanish housing market, and continues to expand on the back of British demand.

Foreign demand as a percentage of overall Spanish housing market. Last five columns are quarterly. Source: Registradores.

13.52% of all Spanish home sales inscribed in the Property Register in the third quarter involved a foreign buyer (chart above), reveals the latest report from the registrars. That means that more than one in ten properties in Spain today is bought by a foreigner, including both residents and non-residents.

A total of 12,535 home sales involved a foreign buyer in Q3, up 20% on the same period last year, compared to a 16% rise in local demand (80,251).

Year to date (first three quarters), foreign demand was up 13% to 34,758 sales, compared to a 12% increase in the local market, to 235,749 sales. Year to date, foreign demand was 12.85% of the housing market.

After years of declines, local demand has finally started growing, but not as fast as foreign demand, which is once again increasing in market share.

After crashing in the first years of the crisis, foreign demand has come roaring back, providing the only bit of good news for the Spanish property market as it suffered an extended collapse in local demand.

“The active presence of foreign buyers in the Spanish housing market has provided a big contribution at a times of very low overall demand, and the fact that this demand is consolidating, and even growing, in a period of recovery like the present, offers great encouragement for the future,” explain the registrars.


A 20% increase in foreign demand is impressive, but the big story in the numbers is the increase in British demand.

The British bought 2,895 Spanish homes in Q3, more than double the next biggest group (France, 1,095), and a big increase (+31%) on the previous quarter.

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EXPERTS predicted it would be one of Spain’s speediest post-crisis recoveries and Marbella has not disappointed. 

The jewel in the Costa property market’s crown is seeing the signs of recovery align and investors and construction companies are back in town.

With luxury homes in Marbella and Puerto Banus at around 50% of their original value, it is no surprise the buyers are flooding back.

Sales increased by 30% at the end of 2014 and the latest Eurostat figures show construction is up by an unexpected 16% in the first few months of this year.

In fact, Marbella’s property sales are soaring near pre-crisis levels, up 89% since 2008.

As tourism increases, more people are opting to purchase a holiday pad for regular getaways.

And things are set to get better, particularly with British buyers currently seeing the best exchange rate in a decade, meaning an investment in Spanish property is now great value.

Britons are, once again, the leading purchasers in the Costa del Sol, followed by Scandinavians, Belgians, French, Dutch and Germans.

Leading agent Christopher Clover of Panorama Properties, explains: “It is clear that the market touched bottom in 2011 and has been improving unquestionably yearly since then – last year an impressive 28,31% over 2013 sales volume.

“Those who have been waiting for years for the ‘right moment’ to buy, creating a pent-up demand, have finally realised that the crisis is over and prices are on the move upwards.

This realisation creates a confidence with buyers that we have not seen during the crisis years.”

Fellow agent Ulf Hessedahl, of Andalucia Development, adds: “More houses are being renovated and built and there has definitely been an increase year-on-year on properties sold.

“There is more confidence, more sales are coming through and in some areas prices have even gone up!”



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Posted by on in Spain News

Recovery is undoubtedly underway . . .

Numbers: The long overdue recovery in the Spanish property market is undoubtedly recovering with the news from the General Council of Notaries that sales, overall, are up by 8.6% over the same period in the previous year. The general council stated that the number of homes sold in September alone was up 20% over the previous September. Unsurprisingly, the figures show an uneven performance across the range of property types. In September 2014 the sale of villas increased by 25% over the same period whereas sales of apartments increased by only 19%.

Mortgages: the banks are clearly once again in the mood to lend money for housing. According to the General Council, the number of mortgages approved grew by 16% since last year.

Anecdotal evidence: the traditional marker for the housing industry, mortgage loans for construction, also increased by 26% year on year. Building cranes, another traditional marker are once again in evidence, as anyone who recently visited Marbella will testify.

Overall, although uneven, there seems no doubt that the Spanish property market is recovering and with prices still at a low, now would seems a low risk moment to dive back in and seize control of your pension investments.

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Posted by on in Spain News

The World Marbella - Costa Del Sol, Spain 

Luxury Aparments situated on Marbella´s Golden Mile, close to Puerto Banús - Idyllic Prime Location

Propertiesabroad.com are proud to announce.. The World Marbella, a development as exciting and unique as the people who live there. A true paradise on the Mediterranean shores of Southern Europe, located between the sea and the Sierra Blanca mountain range, Marbella enjoys a climate that is unique with its 320 sunny days a year. Its cosmopolitan flair and welcoming personality provide residents with a great diversity of attractive features: culture, sports, leisure, luxury shopping, health and beauty.

Its 16 golf courses, the famous Puerto Banús marina and excellent communications thanks to the easily reached international airport and the high speed train in Malaga have turned Marbella into one of the top global destinations for luxury residences.

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There has never been a development in Marbella like The World. Five iconic buildings will house 112 unique residences set in beautiful tropical gardens. From its elevated position just off Marbella’s emblematic Golden Mile The World Marbella enjoys breathtaking views from its huge terraces across the Mediterranean towards Gibraltar and Africa.

The World Marbella will redefine modern Marbella living with its ground breaking architecture and interiors that set new standards in state-of-the art luxury. To complete the experience, it offers a full range of lifestyle amenities including 24-hour security and dedicated concierge, as well as luxury spa and peerless gym and fitness facilities.

Located in five stunning buildings designed by leading international architect Teodorro Cabrilla, the Residences make up the ground floor to fifth floor levels of The World Marbella. All Residences comprise of three or four bedrooms, with the ground floor Residences being duplexes with direct access to the tropical gardens and pools. All of the Residences have large terraces that have been specifically designed to be an extension of the interior living space.

The project’s unique signature curved design allows the terraces, which are covered, to enjoy stunning views of the mountains and the coast. The interiors of the Residences feature high ceilings as well as making the very best use of the natural Mediterranean light. With a contemporary yet classic design, the interiors will be finished to the very highest standard and offer an outstanding specification.

The Penthouses in The World Marbella offer the ultimate in contemporary living. All 16 are duplexes and boast huge curved terraces offering unparalleled views. Each individual Penthouse features a private sky terrace that offers you the scope to design your own bespoke space, tailored exactly to your needs.

All have a huge range of impressive features, including massive master bedrooms with en suite bathrooms, underfloor heating throughout and the very latest in state-of-the-art technology. A statement of 21st Century living , the Penthouses offer a top of The World experience.

The two splendid infinity pools together with the children’s pool that reproduces the world map, the common area of various uses like spa, gym, social hall, sports area, etc. turn the whole project into a landscaped extension of leisure and wellness immersed in light and freshness with a reminiscence of the most outstanding international spots.

Residents of The World Marbella will have access to a full range of lifestyle amenities: • 24hr Security & Dedicated Concierge Service • Luxury Spa for the Exclusive Use of Residents • Next Generation Fitness Centre • 3 Swimming Pools including a Beach Type Pool with Salt Water and an Indoor Pool • 1 Tennis Court and 2 Padel Courts • Golf Putting Green • 500m Running, Walking and Cycling Track • Children’s Playground • Residents Club House with Events and Reception Room • Private storage units in the basement. • Fully secure and covered parking garage.

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The popular Spanish newspaper El Mundo has reported that there are large numbers of buyers biding their time to re-enter the Spanish property market. The positive data released over the past few months has already been affecting the market and pushing individuals and investment firms to make their move.

Spain's largest estate agencies now have 300,000 active potential buyers in their databases according to El Mundo. Many of them are studying the market closely, there is still a downward price trend although this is now weakening and it appears that prices are stabilizing and will rise in the medium term.

The attitude of the public towards property is also now changing with confidence and optimism returning after years of negativity. An interview by Spain's Consumer Confidence Index showed that 3.6% of people were aiming to buy within the next 12 months and 26.6% believe that prices will rise again.

Source: Fuster & Associates Newsletter nº 142 - 29 of October of 2014.

Posted by on in Spain News

The latest figures from the National Institute of Statistics in Spain show that mortgage finance is reactivating after the past years in which cash buyers have dominated the Spanish property market. The figures for August show a 23.8% year on year increase in the number of mortgages conceded during the month.

This marks the third consecutive month during which the figures have shown impressive increases and points to an important change for the real estate sector in Spain which has been negatively affected by the banks' reluctance to lend. The increases offer yet more credence to the hypothesis of a general recovery in Spain's property sector.

The total number of mortgages granted on properties in August was 15,040 and the average amount of credit conceded was ?102,430, up 5.8% on August 2013. The total amount of mortgage finance granted by lenders during the month reached ?1.54 billion and has increased 31% year on year.

Source: Fuster & Associates Newsletter nº 142 - 29 of October of 2014.

Foreign demand for second homes on the Costa del Sol has been strong this year, finds a new report on coastal property markets by Aguirre Newman, a real estate consultancy.

Foreign investors see Costa del Sol property as a bargain after seven years of price falls, and 90% of them can afford to buy without financing.

Local demand, in contrast, is hamstrung by a continued lack of mortgage financing in Spain, and discouraged by the ongoing economic crisis with high unemployment and economic uncertainty. 75 per cent of Spanish buyers need a mortgage to buy a detached home, and whilst 85% of Spaniards buying flats need financing, say Aguirre Newman.

On the supply side, Aguirre Newman conducted a study of 266 new developments on the Coast, 207 of which were actively being sold, 26 were stopped, and 33 were sold out during 2013. They found that 41 per cent of new developments for sale were controlled by banks or the Sareb (Spain’s so-called ‘bad bank’), rising to 54% if the developments where work has been halted were included.

There was a slight increase in the number of new developments being started on the Costa del Sol, reveals the study by Aguirre Newman, with four new developments being started in 2013. Not a single new development was started in the preceding three years.

However, the number of new homes for sale fell by 18% in 2014, from 18485 to 16,508 homes, and 30 per cent of new homes on the coast remain unsold.

The average new flat for sale on the Costa del Sol has 2 bedrooms and 127 m2, and costs €196,956, whilst the average single-family homes has three bedrooms and 279 m2, and costs €393,520. That means prices have fallen 5.7 and 9.7 per cent respectively in a year.

Looking forward, Aguirre Newman forecast that holiday-home prices in the best areas close to services and amenities will stabilise in 2014, but continue to fall this year and next in less attractive locations, thanks to the excess inventory and weak demand from local buyers.

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According to the Spanish Real Estate Situation report published by independent property value experts, Euroval, only 30% of the homes currently purchased in Spain are made with a mortgage, and 70% are financed without a mortgage or paid in cash, which is quite a contrast with the data which recorded that 65% of the home purchases carried out in 2007 were made with mortgages.

The report also notes that the average minimum and maximum prices for housing stood at 746 euros and 2,989 euros per square metre, respectively, at the end of 2013. It highlights the notable reduction in the minimum price and the stability of the existing difference between the minimum and maximum prices – with the average minimum falling from 895 euros per square metre to 746 euros, and the average maximum of 3,462 euros dropping to 2,989 euros – between the first half of 2010 and the second half of 2013.

With regard to the sale of homes, Euroval stressed that in the second half of 2013 sales were 21% higher than in the previous quarter, rising from 136,000 to 164,000 transactions, but lower than a year earlier, when they amounted to 210,000.

In the second half of last year, of the total of 163,700 transactions, the majority of the home purchases were for private housing, 155,000, and of these, 127,000 of the transactions were for second hand housing, currently the most active property market. According to Euroval this implies that new property development is at a standstill and that this situation will continue until the price of second hand housing starts to rise, while new build housing runs out in specific geographical areas.

The highest number of transactions were carried out in Andalusia, which represents 19.4% of the total, followed by Valencia, with 15.4%, while similar percentages were recorded in Catalonia and Madrid. These four regions accounted for 64% of all the housing transactions in Spain.

Currently, the company is only carrying out 30% of the volume of valuations that were made in 2006, at the peak of the boom, when almost 1,400,000 valuations were completed. In 2006, licences for the construction of 865,000 new family dwellings were issued, while in 2013 these amounted to only 34,000, and in the first half of 2014 a total of 8,826 building permits were granted, which is 13.4% less than in the same period last year.

By province, the largest number of new build homes were registered in Madrid, Barcelona, Alicante, Murcia, Coruña, Vizcaya, Sevilla, the Balearic Islands, Málaga and Navarra.

Fresh evidence that the Spanish property market is pulling out of its seven year downward spiral as the latest monthly home sales figures published by the General Council of Notaries show home sales rose by an annualised 11 per cent in April, whilst house prices rose just under 1 per cent.

Specifically, there were 30,048 home sales in April of this year, up 11.1 per cent compared to the same time last year. That is the fourth month in a row that Spanish home sales have increased, according to the figures provided by the notaries.

“The rebound in homes sales in recent months can be explained, in part, by a return to normality after the ending of mortgage tax relief at the end of 2012, but it might also reflect a stabilisation in monthly sales,” explains the lastest report from the notaries.

The biggest increases came from resales, up 10.9 per cent, and single-family homes, up 26 per cent. Sales of new apartments, on the other hand, fell by 8.4 per cent, in a sign of things to come as the pipeline of new flats that people actually want to buy runs dry.

Spanish house prices were also in positive territory for the second consecutive month, after years of decline before that. The average cost of housing sold in April was 1,216 €/m2, an increase of 0.7 per cent compared to the same time last year. Flat prices rose 2.1 per cent to 1,327 €/m2, breaking down into resale flats up 3.7 per cent to 1,315 €/m2, and new flats up 5.2 per ent to 1,404 €/m2.

Peak-to-present, Spanish house prices have fallen 35.5 per cent, according to the notaries’ index.

Residential mortgage lending was also up compared to last year, by a feisty 24.8 per cent to 11.085 new loans, though the average loan value fell by 4.4 per cent to €107,486. 37 per cent of homes buyers in April used a mortgage with an average LTV of 74.6 per cent, so cash buyers are still the majority. Overall mortgage lending, however, was down by 12.1 per cent to 22,912 new loans.

In conclusion, the notaries say “this April one could observe another recovery of home sales and prices in annualised terms, which might anticipate a change in the trend for the sector.”

Article Source: Spanish Property Insight

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