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Brits’ interest in Spanish property hots up

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British buyers are 'rekindling their love affair' with Spanish property as mortgage enquiries for the country have picked up, overtaking France for the first time in a year.

According to overseas mortgage specialists, Conti, Spain accounted for 44% of all enquiries compared to 37% for France.

The report said buyers are being attracted to Spanish properties by the cheap and easy access from the UK, good rental opportunities and the warm climate.

Swiss bank UBS predicted that Spanish properties have another 8% to go before bottoming out.

According to data from the General Council of Notaries, the number of foreign and non-resident buyers of Spanish property increased by 28.4% last year compared with 2011, with Brits making up the biggest buying group.

Clare Nessling, director at Conti, said: “There’s no denying that the country’s financial and economic woes have left a huge glut of new and repossessed properties sitting empty and struggling to sell, but some bargain basement prices are turning heads, particularly those of the British, and there may never be a better time to buy a Spanish home.

“Mortgage availability, unsurprisingly, isn’t as good as it was a few years ago, but there are still lots of opportunities, especially if you have a healthy deposit to put down. It’s generally possible to borrow up to around 65-70% of the value of the property, and rates currently start from just 3.2%.”

Conti said that efforts being made by regional estate agents and tourism boards to improve Spain’s tarnished image are leading to high hopes that increased foreign investment will eventually help to revive the country’s property market.

The market is expected to be bolstered when a new law granting automatic residency to non-EU nationals buying property worth at least €500,000 is passed.



Five top tips for buying in Spain

Obtain an Approval in Principle 
This will confirm that you can obtain the necessary funds before signing any dotted line and prove to sellers that you’re a serious buyer.

Consider exchange rate fluctuations
It’s generally recommended that an overseas mortgage and the income used to service the mortgage repayments are in the same currency, thus avoiding exchange rate issues.

New build properties
If buying from a developer, check their track record and how long they’ve been trading. Obtain references from previous buyers and check comparable properties in the area and any re-sales offered on the same development.

Factor in additional costs
Bear in mind that bills don’t end at the asking price. Lawyer’s fees, local and national taxes, insurance, and so on, can often add at least a further 10 per cent to the cost of your acquisition.

Seek professional advice
Take independent advice from an English-speaking lawyer who is not connected to your seller, estate agent or property developer.





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