Tuesday, 12 August 2008

The rain in Spain - Spanish housing market worse than the UK

You think the property market here is bad, take a look at Spain. The Motley Fool runs an article that states house prices in Spain have crashed 35% over the past 12 months, ‘… four times faster than in the UK, and haven't stopped plunging yet. This spells disaster for an economy where investment in housing is worth 10% of GDP and employs 13% of people in the private sector…’.

I suspect the same is happening in Bulgaria and probably other popular UK second home/investment locations. Indeed, I know a man who purchased a number of properties in Bulgaria during what appeared to be a crazed building site bonanza. He remarked at the time that ‘it was just like Spain many years ago’ and his eyes had those pound note signs. Well it maybe like Spain sooner than he thinks.

Anyway, bargains to be had and I share the motley fool comments that whilst not for me, there may be some bargains, but remember their tips:

* Don't buy off-plan. As things stand, your home could never be finished, but your deposit might be.

* Buy in the centre. By choosing an established location, you're slightly less likely to fall foul of planning disputes (although no guarantees...).

* Seek out an independent lawyer, one who will check your property is legal, and won't be torn down next month. I would add to this that property contracts abroad (especially Bulgaria) are not worth the paper they are written on. In other words approach on the basis that you probably won’t have any legal recourse should it all go wrong so be very sure!

• Wait. This market has much further to fall, which means time is on your side. Then wait some more.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I don't think this is actually true as there are still bargains to be found in Spain whereas people don't know where they are with the English house prices!!
Lucy xx