Invest in both Property & Lifestyle
Investing in bricks and mortar has historically always shown great long term capital growth and with the latest reports predicting continued price increases of around 6 % in the Costa del Sol this year, now seems the perfect time to purchase rather than rent. Many Costa del Sol home owners are also selling to upgrade and move up the property ladder, while prices are still low.
So why is the Costa del Sol still Europe’s favourite destination? Firstly, as the name would suggest, Costa del Sol (Sun Coast) has around 320 days of sunshine a year and an average temperature of 20°C. Having one of the best microclimates on the planet means beautiful long summer evenings outside, lazy days on the sandy beaches and some of the best golf courses in the world. The Costa del Sol also offers an incredible lifestyle with beautiful Marinas, chic designer shops, traditional Spanish Tapa’s bars serving fine Spanish wines and glamorous seafront restaurants with their Michelin star Chefs. According to Eurostat, living well in Spain is still very affordable, with food and drink prices well below the E.U. average.
The result is that Spain has a quality of life that’s hard to beat, the climate, the good food and outdoor lifestyle mean that Spaniards have the longest life expectancy in Europe and are second worldwide, just behind the Japanese. Also many friends and clients of ours that suffered in the UK with old sports injuries or arthritis, feel rejuvenated in the warmth of the Costa Del Sol, and live very active lives while in Spain.
For over 25 years I have been advising buyers and investors on which property best suit their requirements ie, which property will be the best for rental or long term capital growth, both very different acquisitions. I have based my whole career and future around property, which I genuinely feel is still the safest and most lucrative form of investment available. History shows that with long term property investment, prices always go up, even with all the fluctuations in-between. 2018 would seem the perfect time to take the plunge, as you can still buy at low prices in a rising market, with prices still around 30% less than original values leaving plenty of scope for capital growth.
Successful property investment is simply a matter of slowly buying up good properties at favourable prices and renting them out, eventually building a strong portfolio. You can then either keep them as a form of pension or sell them off for large gains in the future when the market value doubles or quadruples, as historically it usually does. Just like the game of Monopoly, you can’t go out buying up everything and leaving yourself short of cash when you hit the occasional speed bump. You have to keep reserves so you are never forced to sell at the wrong time, you want to buy now while prices are low and sell later when the market is strong again.
Our buyers are coming from all over Europe. Demand from French and Italian buyers has increased, due to them moving money out of their countries to avoid increased property/wealth taxes and re investing in the Spanish property market. As always, we continue to market and sell to the ever prevalent Scandinavian market, but it’s the British buyers looking to grab a bargain in the strengthening Spanish Property Market which are still firmly at the top of the purchasing table.
We are also selling to non European Investors that wish to obtain a Golden Visa (residency visa), with most enquires from China and the Middle East. Spain began offering residency visas to non E.U. nationals at the end of 2013 to encourage investment in Spain. There were several routes an investor could take, but the least expensive was to spend a minimum of € 500,000 on purchasing Spanish property, it could be on single property or a number of smaller apartments as long as the total invested was over €500k. However, surprisingly the initial take-up was slow, so in summer 2015, the Spanish government announced that the visa would now additionally cover common law partners, children and even parents of the visa holder. This gives them the right to seek employment and access to the health and education systems. Unlike some countries schemes, there is no requirement to spend a minimum number of days in Spain each year and renewals can be done from outside Spain. This suits clients that are not intending to take up permanent residency in the short term, but are purchasing a “buy to Let” investment, retirement property or possibly a safe haven for the future.
If you're thinking about selling, now could be a good time with all the renewed interest in the Costa del Sol. After 25 years helping people buy and sell, I can confidently say that after choosing the right agent, the next most important decision is choosing the correct initial marketing price. This is because the first 3 months of marketing usually offer the best selling opportunity, due to sales staff being excited about calling their clients and the surge of marketing that follows a new listing. If priced competitively, it should sell reasonably quickly. Any normal person left to value their own assets, are naturally going to want as high a price as possible.
Many weak or inexperienced agents will take on properties at any price set by the vendor, for fear that the vendor may be disappointed with the truth and call another agent. This is not actually helping the seller at all and nearly always leads to no sale. An experienced and professional agent will share his knowledge and give honest advice, even if it's not what the vendor wants to hear. We discuss what price similar properties have sold for in the area and show comparable properties currently on the market, so the vendors can themselves understand the true value and agree the correct marketing price.
I have a professional team around me, but like giving a “personal touch” and actually encourage clients to utilise my 25 years of real estate / investment and extensive knowledge of the Costa del Sol. Whether buying or selling, I’m always happy to discuss the best areas /property with our purchasers.
By Peter Bowerman
Peter is one of the most published Costa del Sol property experts in both the UK & Spanish press, having spent most of his working life as a professional real estate agent and valuer. He is also the Managing Director of the successful “Overseas Dreams” Master Real Estate Agency with registered offices in both Marbella and La Cala de Mijas.
For more information on buying or selling your property on the Costa del Sol, contact Peter or any of his team on Tel: (0034) 951 551 444 or email: info@OverseasDreams.com
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