Guide to Investing in Property in Costa del Sol

spanish property investment

Investing in property can be a great way to diversify your overall portfolio, and looking further afield for a place to buy can help to bring you a better ROI if you choose wisely. Unfortunately, thanks to the recent financial crisis, Spain has been much maligned of late, but there are green shoots of growth starting to emerge – especially in the ever-popular Costa del Sol.

There are currently quite a few bargains to be had in the region because of the 2007 / 2008 global meltdown. Prices are as much as 40 to 50% down on peak levels, so the room for growth is clear and savvy investors are beginning to snap up deals all across the Costa del Sol.

Guide to Investing in Property in Costa del Sol Aspen Woolf

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Many analysts believe that the worst is now firmly behind us and the housing market has reached its bottom in Spain, but only time will tell if this is truly the case. However, there are plenty of encouraging signs across the country.

Statistics such as annual price increases of 5.12% to June 2015 and overall property transactions being up 7.9% in the same period show that Spain is slowly beginning to come out of the doldrums.

Positive indicators aplenty across the Spanish housing market

Guide to Investing in Property in Costa del Sol Aspen Woolf

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As we’ve already touched upon above, there are some good early indicators that Spain’s housing market is moving in the right direction. Let’s take a look at them, and more, in greater detail:

  • Apartment prices – Buyers and investors are always interested in price movements when evaluating a market, and the signs coming from Spain are good at present. Apartment prices were up 6.47% in 2014 and 2015 is expected to be another growth year. The average home value in 2014, evaluated by sales in that year, was €141,718 and this year is expected to close at €145k and beyond. This is an increase that takes the market back to the levels seen in 2012.
  • Sales made – Another healthy indicator is the total sales made in 2014. This figure was up for the first time in seven years and is on course for a greater increase in 2015. Last year saw a jump of 2.6% and 2015 is being estimated to show a further 7.5% increase in property being sold across Spain.
  • Mortgages issued – Volumes rose in 2014 by 13.8% to reach a total just shy of €39.5 million and lenders are expected to issue around €42 million in 2015, a further increase of 6%.
  • Average mortgage value – Not only did the amount of mortgages increase, so too did the average mortgage value. The average residential mortgage in 2014 was stated as €131,984, a 15.8% increase on the figures for 2013. 2015 is expected to follow suit with a more moderate increase of 3.4%.

 

 

Guide to Investing in Property in Costa del Sol Aspen Woolf

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  • New construction figures – The days of construction on every corner are not quite back yet, but the cranes are returning to the Spanish skyline slowly but surely. 2014 saw a steady increase of construction projects being undertaken, and in 2015 a further 7.5% increase is expected.
  • Future project approval – Residential developments are once again beginning to seek approval and the figure estimated for 2015 is a 5% increase on last year.
  • Property market as a whole – While the majority of investors will only be interested in the residential market, getting an overview of the entire property landscape can also serve as a good indicator for future growth. While this figure is far less pronounced than the residential sector alone, the Spanish property market as a whole is still showing signs of growth and is currently on course for a 1.8% increase on the figures given in 2014.

Guide to Investing in Property in Costa del Sol Aspen Woolf

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Predictions for the coming year and beyond are optimistic and many investors are actively seeking out the hottest deals across the Costa del Sol.

Why choose the Costa del Sol?

The Costa del Sol is synonymous with sun, sea, sand and sangria here in the UK, and Brits are well accustomed to the region thanks to years of package holidays and cheap flights. Much of the property along the Costa del Sol is at the luxury end of the Spanish market, and it is that sector that is enjoying the largest growth of late.

If you are considering purchasing an investment property abroad with a view to letting it out to tourists, then the Costa del Sol is an ideal location. The region enjoys around 325 days of sun every year, so out of season times are kept to a minimum. This means that your fill rate will be significantly higher here than in other areas.

Guide to Investing in Property in Costa del Sol Aspen Woolf

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Tourists are given plenty of options for entertainment here too. The Costa del Sol boasts some of the finest golf courses and the water sports on offer are wide and varied. For those more intent on relaxing while they are here, there is an abundance of things to keep them occupied too; beach lovers, night clubbers and shopaholics are all well catered for.

The infrastructure is also good, with numerous amenities and transport options available. Communication systems are bang up to date and there are fantastic medical facilities throughout the region.

Where on the Costa should you buy?

Guide to Investing in Property in Costa del Sol Aspen Woolf

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From San Roque in the west to Málaga in the east, the Costa del Sol has long been a favourite location for Brits looking to invest in property abroad. Here we give you the low down on some of the most popular places for property along the Sunshine Coast:

  • Estepona – Possibly one of the most charming coastal towns along the whole length of the Costa del Sol, Estepona is a beautifully picturesque place to buy your property. From large fincas through to quaint townhouses, Estepona has it all.
  • Málaga – The sixth largest city in Spain, Málaga is a lively hub that balances the old with the new in a way that other cities fail to achieve. Property here is diverse and in depth research is necessary. However, there are undoubtedly some fantastic opportunities to be had here.
  • La Cala de Mijas – The mix of affordability and affluence that can be found in La Cala de Mijas is something that attracts plenty of investors to a town that is growing in popularity. Many ex-pats already call the town home and the luxurious villas located here offer those who want to get away from the more ‘touristy’ areas the perfect retreat.
  • Puerto Banús – What can be said about Puerto Banús that you don’t already know? Home to the rich and famous, this is one of the glitziest places along the whole coastline. The shopping and nightlife is excellent here and the properties available range from tiny apartments through to high-end luxury villas. The nearby Los Flamingos Golf Resort is one of the jewels in the Costa’s crown.

Guide to Investing in Property in Costa del Sol Aspen Woolf

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  • Torremolinos – Torremolinos managed to get itself a label that few resorts would want in the 80s, but now it has smartened up its act and many investors are finding good opportunities here. Close to Málaga airport, Torremolinos definitely warrants closer inspection when choosing an investment property on the Costa del Sol.
  • Benalmadena – Situated a mere 19km from Malaga Airport, Benalmadena is a part of the Costa del Sol that is gaining in popularity. The atmosphere here throughout the summer months when tourism is at its peak is electrifying and the award-winning Benalmadena Marina is widely regarded as one of the finest in the world.
  • Marbella Ask a Brit about the Costa del Sol and the chances are good that they’ll automatically think of Marbella. This stylish town has some beautiful properties within its borders, but prices are not cheap.
  • Sotogrande – As high-end as Puerto Banús, but a lot more low key, Sotogrande is a stunning, picture card image of a Spanish coastal town. The white architecture here seems to never go off-colour and the port is one of the most beautiful places to while away an afternoon. Property here is at the luxury end of the market, but it is definitely money well spent.
  • Fuengirola – One of the forerunners of the package holiday boom in the 1980s, Fuengirola is another town that has been unfairly tarnished in the British press. The upside is that there are bargains to be found here and the tourists keep on coming every year to soak up the seemingly endless rays of sunshine. Fuengirola is hugely popular with Nordic tourists and it is the last stop on the C1 Train from Malaga Airport, making it very accessible and affordable to get to.

Guide to Investing in Property in Costa del Sol Aspen Woolf

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These are just a few of the well-known names in the area but there are many other towns, cities and resorts along the length of the Costa del Sol. Buying a property abroad is no different to buying a property here in the UK when it comes to the importance of selecting the right location. Therefore, it is vital you make sure that you find out all that you can before making any final decisions about which part of the Costa you should invest in. Sites such as Idealista and Fotocasa can help you get an idea of price ranges in individual areas.

Types of property available

As with most of Spain, the types of properties that are available to investors are quite varied. From sprawling multi-million-euro mountaintop villas down to studio apartments, all are on offer here.

Another thing to consider when looking for an investment property on the Costa del Sol is whether or not to buy real estate on a new development or opt for a resale property. This is something that would need to be decided by the individual as both have their pros and cons, such as different tax implications. Doing your homework at this stage will certainly pay dividends further down the line.

Guide to Investing in Property in Costa del Sol Aspen Woolf

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As with any other investment you make, research is everything. Find out as much as you can before you sign on the dotted line. Thanks to the Internet, property research has never been easier, so there really are no excuses nowadays.

What to do once you’ve found your Costa del Sol property

Now that you have done all of your research and found a suitable property for your investment, you will probably be wondering, ‘What now?’ Well, walking you through all of the do’s and don’ts of property investment in Spain would take another guide altogether – so we wrote one! Click here to find out more about the process of buying property for investment in Spain.

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A Guide to Property Investment in Spain

spain property investment

With any investment, doing your homework is often the key to success. Buying property abroad is no different and, for those who wish to purchase a property in Spain, this guide will help you get a handle on some of the dos and don’ts of Spanish property investment.

Why Spain?

For many, the global economic crisis was a disaster that they would sooner forget. Property markets across the globe were hit dramatically and many have struggled to make any gains at all since the storm hit back in late 2007. However, some analysts now believe that many of the markets that suffered through those dark years have now bottomed out and they are starting to represent great value for those who are willing to invest again.

A Guide to Property Investment in Spain Aspen Woolf

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Spain is one such market. Property prices there have been adversely affected since 2007, but things are starting to look rosy once more – especially at the higher end of the market. Spain is also well known to us Brits, and the familiarity that we have with the country gives us a sense of security that we simply wouldn’t have if we chose to invest abroad elsewhere.

The Spanish government has also recently made amendments to its so-called ‘golden visa’ scheme that should make the opportunity more straightforward and accessible for non-EU investors to gain residency. The scheme – which has been slow to take off since its inception back in January 2013 – has now been simplified and it is hoped that overseas investors will be tempted back by the offer, fueling growth once again in the housing market there.

A Guide to Property Investment in Spain Aspen Woolf

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How the market stands currently

Property in Spain has already been seeing the first shoots of recovery over the last 12 months or so. Annual price growth to June 2015 was reported at 5.12%, largely thanks to overseas investment in the luxury property market.

However, overall property transactions have also increased by 7.9% across the same period, which underlines the hope that the Spanish property market is indeed on the up.

Average house prices across the entire country are down by 29% on their pre-bubble levels, so the room for growth here is extraordinary. Many experts are strongly advising that now is the time to get back into the Spanish market as demand is expected to rise sharply again over the coming months and years.

A Guide to Property Investment in Spain Aspen Woolf

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Buying a property in Spain for investment purposes

Now that we have an overview on the current situation in Spain, it’s time to dig a little deeper into how best to go about acquiring a property there. While each individual’s circumstances will be different, there are certain things that everyone who wishes to invest in property abroad will need to take heed of. Let’s get started

Finding the right property in Spain

Buying property as an investment is different to buying property to live in. There are certain things that need to be taken into consideration in order to get the best ROI possible and keep costs to a minimum.

A Guide to Property Investment in Spain Aspen Woolf

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Many of the basics of property investment remain the same regardless of where you are buying, these include:

  • Selecting a favourable location – Don’t let price influence your decision at this stage of the process. Look for areas that have obvious potential and good surrounding amenities and infrastructure.

Buying a property simply because it suits your budget will not guarantee investment success, so it’s vital that you choose a property based on the needs of others rather than your own.

Look out for places that people want to move to and research the local schools and transport links, and delve into the employment situation in the area.

  • Study the local market – Explore the local market as best you can. Try to find out how property prices have performed over recent months and what the turnover rate has been like in the area.

Ask about relative rental yields and occupancy rates, too. Any information you can gather prior to moving forward with your investment will prove invaluable at the decision making stage.

  • Do your sums – Once you have a certain amount of knowledge you will then be able to better calculate whether or not the investment will be right for you.

Take into account all of your costs and remember to add a margin of error into your equation too. Doing so will give you a buffer should your estimations fall short.

A Guide to Property Investment in Spain Aspen Woolf

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Legal guidance

Even if you are completely familiar with the conveyancing process here in the UK it is vital that you seek the help of a Spanish land law specialist. Urbanismo (Spanish land law) is quite different to ours and the conveyancing system in Spain can prove to be challenging.

While it is perfectly fine to opt for a UK based lawyer or estate agent, it is important that you check their credentials prior to proceeding. Anyone handling property purchases for you should specialise in International Transactions and be registered with the UK Law Society. Drill down further by inquiring about their previous dealings with the Spanish conveyancing system and, wherever possible, try to obtain testimonials from previous clients.

A Guide to Property Investment in Spain Aspen Woolf

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Should you choose to have a Spanish lawyer handle your purchase, ensure that they are registered with the local bar association (Colegio de Abogados) and that they are currently practicing. Your legal representative should hold professional indemnity insurance too.

Do not, under any circumstances, sign anything or part with any money until you have received independent legal advice.

Dealing with the language barrier

Independent translators can be worth their weight in gold for those who do not have a good grasp of the language. While the vast majority of legal representatives you’ll deal with will be fluent in English, your contracts and documentation will all be completed in Spanish. Therefore it is vital that you get these translated into English so you know exactly what you are signing before you put pen to paper.

A Guide to Property Investment in Spain Aspen Woolf

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Obtaining a mortgage

Many British banks will be happy to give you a mortgage on overseas property, but, on occasion, better deals can be had if you deal with a local Spanish bank. Unlike banks in the UK, many Spanish banks set their own rates and fees.

So, within the same overall bank, different branches can offer different rates to borrowers. Shopping around is a must when looking for a mortgage in Spain as the variation between one high street lender and another can be vast.

A Guide to Property Investment in Spain Aspen Woolf

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The majority of mortgages issued in Spain will be variable rate mortgages. These can rise and fall according to the changes made to the base rate, which is set by the European central bank.

Fixed rate mortgages are available, but they are not common. In fact, as little as 3 per cent of all mortgages issued in Spain are fixed rate. Similarly, mixed mortgages – those fixed for a certain period at the beginning of the mortgage, which then turns variable when that period has elapsed – can be found through most lenders, but they are not the norm.

Again, the importance of research cannot be understated. Make sure that you are fully aware of any clauses or stipulations set into your mortgage before you sign.

A Guide to Property Investment in Spain Aspen Woolf

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Deposit levels

Current deposit levels vary across Spain, and things are getting better in this regard. Spanish banks have been risk-averse over the last few years for obvious reasons, but many are now loosening their belts and offering more reasonable deposit rates to purchasers.

Non-Spanish buyers can expect to be hit harder than Spanish nationals, however. In some cases, you will find that some banks are even willing to go as low as 90% with their deposits; depending on personal circumstances.

A Guide to Property Investment in Spain Aspen Woolf

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This is largely done in the hope that it will stimulate overseas investment once again, and this can only be a good thing for those looking to turn a profit in Spain, but don’t have a big deposit to offer. As long as you are willing to invest your time and efforts, this is a great moment to seriously consider venturing into the world of Spanish property investment. That is, once you know all the facts of course.

Taxation

Spain has introduced a raft of new taxation laws over the last year, so it is important that you consult with a Spanish tax specialist prior to moving forward with your purchase.

Tax levels in Spain can vary between resale properties and new builds, and completion taxes can be high in some instances. La Complementaria, or ‘bargain hunter tax’ as it is known, has caught many unawares.

A Guide to Property Investment in Spain Aspen Woolf

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This supplementary tax is added to properties after completion as the Spanish tax office alleges that purchasers have underpaid their property transfer tax. Thankfully, there are preventative measures that one can take prior to purchase to ensure that you do not fall foul of this stealth tax.

A good taxation specialist will be able to help you through the potential minefield, ensuring that you do not incur any nasty surprises after your purchase goes through.

A Guide to Property Investment in Spain Aspen Woolf

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Getting a return on your investment

As an investment, you will naturally want to see a decent return on the money you invest initially. While capital gains will potentially give you the greatest reward, you will obviously want a more immediate return too. This can be achieved in one of two ways: short- or long-term lets.

Short-term lets

Short-term lets to tourists can be a great way to get higher returns from the property, but it is not without issues. Short-term lets require more work from you or your property manager to ensure good fill rates are maintained throughout the year, and there are legal implications as well.

A Guide to Property Investment in Spain Aspen Woolf

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The regulations for letting property to tourists will vary by region, so your lawyer or estate agent will be best placed to advise on this once a suitable property has been found. It is worth bearing in mind that fines for non-compliance can be extremely large, up to €30,000 in some cases.

Long-term lets

Longer-term lets are subject to the national rental law rather than the more complicated regulations laid down for short-term rentals. That being said, it is always worth seeking the advice of a professional to ensure that you and your property are fully compliant with Spanish law.

You will need different contracts for your lettings depending on how long the let is for. These contracts are easy to come by, and they are an essential part of the process that should not be overlooked.

A Guide to Property Investment in Spain Aspen Woolf

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Consider using a letting agent

Letting out property overseas can be a headache so it is well worth considering using a local letting agent to handle the day-to-day running of your property. They will be able to keep occupancy rates up and deal with any niggles that your tenants may have while they are renting from you.

Certain areas of Spain, such as Murcia, require you to have a specialist agent from a tourist apartment management company to handle all short-term lets to tourists, anyway. Again, this is something that your lawyer or estate agent can advise you on when you make your initial inquiries.

A Guide to Property Investment in Spain Aspen Woolf

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Conclusion

While the above will stand you in good stead when choosing your property, it is also important to have the right people on your side too. Be sure to do your due diligence on anyone you deal with throughout the process.

The amount of companies offering investment opportunities both at home and abroad is growing by the day, so it is essential that you stick with an established name such as Aspen Woolf for added peace of mind.

If you enjoyed this blog post then perhaps you would like to read “Why Now is a Great Time to Invest in Spanish Property“?

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Why Now is a Great Time to Invest in Spanish Property

spanish property investment

Spain – synonymous to all Brits with sun, sea and sangria – has, over recent years, had its reputation tarnished somewhat. Thanks to the global financial crisis of 2008, many Britons had their fingers burnt when investing in property abroad, and Spain was one of the biggest culprits.

However, listening to numerous tales of woe does not tell the full story. Many of those who were worst affected bought at the height of the Spanish property boom and left themselves with nowhere to go but down. Today, however, the situation is very different indeed.

Why invest in Spain today?

Why Now is a Great Time to Invest in Spanish Property Aspen Woolf

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Things have slowly been improving across the country over the last year or so. The Spanish government brought in timely measures that, although painful for many at the time, seem to have helped turn this beautiful country around. Things are on the up in Spain.

2014 saw unemployment drop by a quarter of a million and the country’s GDP grew by 0.9% in just the first quarter of 2015 alone. This growth is 18 times that of the United States, and the country’s output for the same period rose at three times the rate of the UK. Spain has beaten all expectations to become an economy to watch over the coming months and years.

The Pound Vs. the Euro

Why Now is a Great Time to Invest in Spanish Property Aspen Woolf

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Thanks to all that is currently happening in Greece, the Pound has gained strength against the Euro in recent months. Historically too, the Pound has been the dominant currency despite its 2008 low period. Many analysts are predicting strong times ahead for the Pound with further uncertainty across the eurozone.

International money transfers have never been easier either, thanks mainly to the increasing use of the World Wide Web. Here at Aspen Woolf, we have our own international money transfer service which enables our clients to obtain far better rates than those offered by the High Street banks – a choice that simply wasn’t available a decade or so ago.

Where to invest?

Why Now is a Great Time to Invest in Spanish Property Aspen Woolf

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While Spain on the whole may be experiencing a move in the right direction, it’s essential to know exactly where to invest your money in order to see the best returns. One such area is often to referred to as Spain’s Golden Triangle; the three points of which are Estepona, Benahavis and Marbella.

Property prices are low in this region, despite its solid reputation. Developments such as Hoyo 19 Los Flamingos – part of the Los Flamingos Golf Resort – which sits almost centrally within the three points of the triangle, offer investors a fantastic opportunity to purchase property at a price that should allow for growth in the future. It’s provision of specialist golfing experience, easy access to beaches and restaurants, and it’s vast range of incredible, awe-inspiring views make this resort the envy of almost any location in the world.

Why Now is a Great Time to Invest in Spanish Property Aspen Woolf

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La Manga Club in Murcia (among those nominated as “the most attractive” area in 2012,) also offers absolutely breathtaking scenery alongside beautiful interior designs and comforts. This sports and leisure club currently boasts 40/50% below peak selling prices, so there’s really not much to wait for at all if you’re considering your first or next move in international property investment.

It is not just us who are predicting good things for the Spanish property market. Global billionaires such as George Soros, Bill Gates, Carlos Slim and John Paulson have all been investing heavily in the country’s real estate too. When you look at the track record of renowned businessmen such as these, very few mistakes are made.

While riding on other people’s coattails may not seem like the most intuitive reason to make an investment, if you’re going to follow anybody, these guys are the ones to fall in behind.

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Look to Spain for Bargain Properties

spanish investment property

Thinking of buying a home in the sun? Look to Spain for bargain properties as housing crisis comes to an end say experts

Prices of homes on the Mediterranean coast rose 0.2 per cent in March

First increase since January 2008 – since when average values across that region have fallen by 48%

Bargains galore: Zoopla advertising four-bedroom townhouse in Almeria for £19k

After what seems an eternity, it’s over. No, I’m not referring to the General Election, but the long-running Spanish housing crash.

‘After seven years of consecutive declines we’re starting to see signs that Spanish house prices have bottomed out, and even started to rise in some segments,’ says Mark Stucklin, the Barcelona-based British editor of Spanish Property Insight, a website for buyers.

Tinsa, a Spanish valuation service, says prices of homes on the Mediterranean coast rose 0.2 per cent in March – the first increase since January 2008, since when average values across that region have fallen by an extraordinary 48 per cent.

That’s not all. Spanish house building is finally under control, with planning applications for new homes just 4 per cent of the level in the boom days of 2006.

Spanish banks, which once had a million repossessed homes, now have a reasonable 120,000. All that is translating into buyers returning to find a dream home in the sun.

There are bargains galore. Zoopla is advertising a four-bedroom townhouse in Almeria for £19,200. A two-bedroom apartment in an Alicante city block, complete with communal rooftop pool, can be yours for £25,100.

Even the high-end estate agents such as Savills and Chestertons are now selling new flats on the Costa Blanca for well under £120,000 each.

Agents say most British buyers are particularly attracted to the Costa del Sol thanks to 20 flights daily from the UK to Malaga.

Look to Spain for Bargain Properties Aspen Woolf
Bargains: 3 bedroom, 2 storey townhouses in this new development in Alicante, Las Brisas de Alenda, go for £105,604 through Savills

Coastal properties in established resorts and developments are selling for just £40,000, while high-end purchasers look at the cities – especially Valencia and Barcelona – and favourites like Mallorca and Menorca.

And experts are confident this upturn will last, with some buyers making commitments not just for get-rich-quick new-build schemes, but serious restoration work.

‘In prime areas, we see a substantial increase in older homes bought for refurbishment or total renovation,’ says Michael Corry-Reid of Aylesford International, an agency with offices in Spain.

But be careful if you need a loan to buy your villa, flat or finca. The Spanish mortgage system is stricter than the UK’s and particularly hard on self-employed borrowers.

‘An option may be to extend the mortgage against your UK property and use the money to buy in Spain,’ says Miranda John, international manager at broker SPF Private Clients.

As always in Spain, care must be taken over tax and legal issues. Agents advise buyers to use only experienced lawyers and not to sign documents in a language they do not understand.

Allow 10 per cent of the purchase cost for property tax, notary and land registry bills and the cost of switching on utilities. On new-build homes, you may have to pay VAT, too.

But the holiday home dream could be back.

Original article written by Graham Norwood for Daily Mail

Why UAE Investors Look to Spain

spanish property investment

Golden visa rule allows investor and family to travel within Schengen area without visas.

10 reasons why Middle East investors should look at Spanish real estate

Investors from the Middle East are seeking to diversify their investment portfolio and today there are many possibilities and opportunities in the marketplace. But one of the countries that is attracting attention among private and corporate investors is Spain, thanks to the potential of price growth and the Golden visa rule that allows investors and their family to travel within the Schengen area without visas.

Here are 10 reasons why investing in Spain’s real estate market is ideal for any Middle Eastern investor.

1) Low prices post-recession

Since 2007, the economy, and the real estate sector in particular, suffered a severe readjustment with a decrease of 30-40% in the prices across the country. This negative trend slowed down during 2014 and prices started going up in the big cities: Madrid and Barcelona. Therefore, opportunistic investors are taking advantage of these low prices in order to diversify their portfolio across diverse industries. Commercial, offices and residential, in this order, are the sectors that offer higher short-term returns and big potentials in the long term. Furthermore, the current dominance of the Dollar – and Dirham – over the Euro makes the investment even more accessible.

2) Economic recovery

The growth of the Spanish economy during 2014 and the prediction of its GDP to grow on an average of 2% per year from 2015 onwards have favored the amount of transactions during 2014. In total, €7 billion have been invested in the non-residential real estate sector across last year, a huge increase from €2.5 billion during 2013, according to consulting firm Savills. Residential investments, dominated by foreign buyers, have reached €6 billion.

3) Strong tourism

Spain remains one of the most popular touristic attractions worldwide. During 2014 the number of visitors reached 65 million, 5 million more than in 2013, just behind the US and France. With a total of more than €1 billion in investments in the hospitality sector, an increase of 37% from 2013, Middle East investors have also targeted the Spanish market. Qatari groups, Qatar Armed Forces Investment Portfolio (QAFIP) and Katara Hospitality purchased the Renaissance Barcelona from Marriott International for €78.5 million and the Intercontinental Hotel in Madrid for more than €70 million.

4) Opportunistic market

Whereas traditional Middle Eastern investment locations such as London or Paris are suffering from high prices that limit the ability to enter these markets, Spain offers lower barriers of entry for investors seeking opportunistic investments. Especially in regards to areas of growth and regeneration, like Murcia.

5) Easier access to credit

The economic recovery goes hand-by-hand with the credit availability and investment opportunities for local and international investors. Banks are starting to lend more money since the beginning of 2014 and developers are slowly starting new developments. Demand never diminishes in the big cities.

6) Golden Visa

Since 2013, non-resident investors that acquire real estate for a value of, at least, €500,000 are eligible to obtain a residency by investment which allows the investor and its family to travel within the Schengen area without visas. At the same time, it is possible to stay within the Spanish territory for as long as desired but there is no minimum stay necessary in order to maintain the residency.

7) Increase of rental among nationals

Due to the economic downturn since 2007, many Spaniards do not still have the economic power to purchase a property and, consequently, renting has become more popular in this period. In the last decade the number of residential rentals has increased by a 36%.

8) Big investors

Bill Gates, George Soros or Goldman Sachs are just a few of the big names who have invested heavily in the Spanish economy during 2014. Likewise, Middle Eastern companies such as National Bank of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Bank, IPIC (International Petroleum Investment Company of Abu Dhabi), Emirates or Qatar Airways have made their moves to penetrate the Spanish market. The fact that these brands are investing in the country creates are trend that is being followed by investors worldwide.

9) Prices increase potential

A big difference between investing in Spain and in other countries, like the UK, Germany or France is the potential for price growth. Whereas rental and selling prices are already reaching maximum levels in other European countries, Spain offers big margins for improvement in the short and long term.

10) Direct flights from UAE

Direct flights from Dubai to Madrid and Barcelona and Abu Dhabi starting to fly from March 2015 to Madrid, makes the journey for UAE residents easy and short. Furthermore, Spain allows easy and short transit to all European countries by air, train and road.

The author of the article is the Co-Founder of Hispalux Consulting.

Note: The views expressed are the author’s own and do not reflect in any way, the views of Aspen Woolf. Readers are advised to carry out their own due diligence before taking any decision.