Welcome to property-spain-uk.org.uk, your guide to 2 of the most exciting property markets in Europe: UK and Spain.
Property Market in Spain
With its expansive beaches, exquisite cuisine and relaxed lifestyle, Spain has long been a favourite destination for the discerning real estate purchasers of Europe.
Whether you are looking for investing or your dream villa on the beach – soaking up sun, sand and the sea, you couldn’t have picked a better time for investing in property in Spain as housing prices have just started their cycling recovery after seven straight years of falling.
With Spain’s inclusion in the EU in 1986 and the resulting influx of wealthy expats from other EU countries – particularly Britain, Spain enjoyed the longest property boom in its history. As a result, the 2008 recession hit the Spanish housing market particularly harder than other EU countries. Prices of residential properties fell by 30% in 2009. From 2008 to 2015, property prices in Spain have fallen for seven straight years and it is only now in 2016, that we are seeing the first green shoots of a recovery.
However, the recovery is still tentative and Spanish house prices have risen by only 0.8% in the first three months of 2016. The bank of Spain predicts that the property prices would strengthen more this year.
Where can you buy property in Spain?
Spain can be divided into several regions based on your lifestyle preferences.
- Andalucía – The most popular area of Spain for foreigners looking to buy property, it lies on the south coast of Spain and is famous for its hills, rivers and farmland. Within Andalucía, investors are now flocking to the rapidly growing region of Costa del Sol.
- Cataluña/Catalonia – An autonomous community on the North-eastern border of Spain which borders France and is home to Barcelona – the largest city of Spain
- Madrid – Often called the heartland of Spain, it is a beautiful city of sprawling boulevards and museums filled with the works of greatest Spanish artists. It is also one of the fastest growing property markets in Spain –with average housing prices rising by 5.37% in 2015.
- Canary Islands – Lying off the south coast of Morocco, the Canary Islands are one of the most important historical regions of Spain. Beaches, milder climate and natural attractions lead to more than 12 million tourists visiting the Canary Islands every year.
- Costa Mulida –It lies on 250 kilometres of pristine Mediterranean coastline in the province of Murcia and is famous for its pristine golf courses such as the Hacienda del Alamo which is the longest golf course in Spain.
- Costa de Almeria – Due to limited tourism, Costa de Almeria is one of the few untouched areas of Spain. It enjoys the most hours of sunshine and lowest rainfall in Europe.
Tourism in Spain
With its beautiful Mediterranean climate and sunshine, Spain has long been a favourite destination for holidaymakers. As an industry, tourism contributes 11% to Spain’s GDP – making it one of the most important areas of the economy.
It is the third most visited country in the world with 68 million tourists in 2015. The most popular destinations for tourists visiting Spain are the capital Madrid, the lively coastal city of Barcelona, the deserts of Almeria and beautiful beaches on the Canary Islands.
Rules and regulations for buying a property in Spain
There are no restrictions on foreigners who want to buy a property in Spain for commercial or residential purposes. In the last few years, the Spanish government has relaxed and simplified most of the laws governing property purchase for foreigners. The only additional document which you will need to purchase a property (vis-a-vis a local) is a financial number which can be acquired easily in a day or two.
In fact, to make property purchase more attractive for foreigners, the Spanish government has made all property investors spending above 500,000 EUR eligible for a residency visa.
However, to make sure that you comply to the laws and regulations of Spain – before you finalize your transaction, remember to employ an estate agent who will validate the property documentation and make the process easier for you.
Property Market in UK
Momentous political developments in the first half of 2016 have taken the UK housing market on a roller coaster ride. Brexit and Political uncertainty have buffeted housing prices to extreme highs and lows in recent times. This has turned it into a dream market for the property hunter looking for a bargain.
The fastest growth has happened in North England where the popular housing markets of Glasgow, Leeds, Manchester and Cardiff have seen good yields on investment. They benefit from high yields on rental properties and lower mortgage rates when compared to rest of the country.
Housing prices in South East England have risen by an average of 9.5%, which puts it second only to East England – which at 11% has become the fastest growing housing market in England. In the same period, housing prices in London have risen by 9% but the high base prices mean that the asking price for a London home still remains staggeringly high.
While the gap in average property prices between north and south is still large, it has narrowed in the last couple of years.
Here are some popular regions of England where you may consider buying a property.
East of England
Areas close to London (within 2 hours commuting distance) have seen the fastest price growth in the country recently. Being at the end of the metropolitan line, which makes it easily accessible from central London, the areas of Watford, Harlow and Waltham cross have seen their popularity soar over the last few years. Prices start from 250,000 in Luton to 435,000 in Watford.
- Manchester – A major city in Northewestern England with a strong industrial heritage, the average three bedroom home in Manchester costs £147,000. In recent times, most of the city has been redeveloped and has attracted many young companies and established businesses. It is an educational hub for northern England and many fresh graduates are choosing to stay back in Manchester after their studies are completed. It is expected to be one of the fastest growing property markets in Britain for the next few years.
- Birmingham – The average home price in Birmingham jumped by £ 10,000 in the last one year and property prices in the city have outperformed rest of the country for the last three years. The average price of a Birmingham three bedroom home was £ 136,000 in 2016.
- Leeds and York – While these fall into the category of affluent areas, prices are still nowhere near London and growth has not been hit by rising stamp duties and taxes.
- Liverpool – Though Liverpool has the cheapest homes of any of UK’s major cities, prices have been rising over the last year with 3.4% rise in 2015. The average cost of a Liverpool home still remains at £110,000 – a bargain compared to the rest of the country. It is still 15% lower when compared to the pre-crash 2007 average.
- Surrey – If you have been eyeing surrey as the place to make your next home, be prepared to shell out the big bucks now. The average detached home in the city is now nearly worth £ 1 Mn. Despite the price, surrey is a great place to live and you can expect the housing market to continue its boom over the next few years.