Cheap holiday homes in Spain due to new reforms
Thursday 1st March 2012
New banking reforms are expected to hit Spanish property prices hard, causing values to plummet across many parts of the country, particularly in popular holiday destinations, presenting further bargains for house hunters looking to buy ahome in Spain.
According to Spanish Property Insight, referring to a recent article in the Spanish financial daily Cinco Días, the Spanish government has introduced reforms to reduce home prices and get banks lending again. But some experts believe that this will cause the price of holiday homes on the coast to plummet due to the chronic oversupply of unsold homes on the market.
Josep Oliver, economics professor at the Autonomous University of Barcelona, believes that property prices in the country's main cities are now at or near the bottom of the downturn, but the same can not be said for holiday homes along the coast.
"There is not much room left for price declines," he told the press. "Discounts of up to 50% are only being considered for holiday homes or unfinished new-developments."
He added: "Whilst the stock grows in holiday home areas, demand is focused on big cities and provincial capitals where there is little excess and prices have already adjusted."
According to CatalunyaCaixa, a savings bank, about 65% Spain's housing glut of 800,000 new homes was built on the coast with holiday home buyers in mind, especially in Catalonia, the Balearics, the Valencian Region, Murcia and Andalucia.
The problem is most acute in the Valencian Community, with approximately 210,000 unsold new homes, or 26% of the glut, followed by Andalucia with 137,000 and Catalonia with 107,000.
The province with the biggest problem by far is Castellón, in the North of the Valencian Region, and home to the so-called Orange-blossom coast (Costa del Azahar), with around 114,000 empty new homes, compared to 57,000 in Barcelona and Alicante (Costa Blanca), 52,000 in Murcia, and 40,000 in Valencia province.
"That means Castellón, a relatively unheard of destination with a new airport that nobody yet flies to, is responsible for around 20% of the entire Spanish glut of new holiday-homes. New developments in Castellón like Marina D'or development help explain why, said Mark Stucklin of Spanish Property Insight.
He added: "The excess inventory of new homes in Malaga province, home to the Costa del Sol, is relatively minor in comparison. According to local builders there are less than 20,000 new homes on the market, most of which will have sold in the next couple of years. The Costa del Sol is a mature market with good access and diversified international demand where almost everything sells in due course.
"The Costa del Azhar is a different story. Who will buy 114,000 new holiday-homes there in any reasonable time-frame? What if prices get really cheap there? Will that help, or is there no demand at any price?"