With a strong pound and low property prices in Spain, real estate-related transfers from the UK are up by a quarter in the last year, the highest for three years, says exchange specialist, Currencies Direct.
There are more signs that Britons are increasingly looking to buy property in Spain – this time from rising currency exchange deals.
Property purchases in Spain are rising at their fastest rate for three years, as the strong pound and sluggish Spanish housing market tempts back British buyers, says foreign exchange expert, Currencies Direct.
Real estate-related transfers to Spain are up 25% year-on-year – their fastest increase in three years and compared to 2011, sales have soared by more than half (56%).
Sales are increasing all-round with the proportion of purchases worth more than £250,000, rising 21% year-on-year and those worth more than £100,000 up by a quarter.
But despite the rise in the number of purchases, the average value the average sterling value of purchases has declined 6% year-on-year and 9% from 2011, according to the Currencies Direct.
Unlike recent years, it really is a buyer’s market with fewer Brits choosing to sell up. Spanish sales from Brits looking to relocate to the UK are down 14% in 2014 compared to 2013.
Phil McHugh, Trading Floor Manager at Currencies Direct, says, “For the last 18 months, the pound has strengthened against the euro, making Spanish property more affordable and boosting buyers’ confidence. That’s almost certain to continue in at least the medium term, making prices progressively lower.
“Buyers may want to phase their purchases, to make the most of an even stronger pound in future, or take out a limit order, agreeing to buy currency only when the exchange rate reaches a preferred, higher level.”
But those buying homes abroad need to be aware of how currency fluctuations can have an impact on large, international purchases – especially if they are treating it as an investment, he says.
“The general trend may have been upwards but there have been some noticeable drops in that time – if those correspond with a purchase, that’s great news, but if that’s when you’re looking to sell up, it could cost you thousands. Buyers considering investing their pension pot in a foreign property should therefore think very carefully and look at ways to hedge their investment.”
Bradley Falconer, of luxury real estate specialist, BM Properties, in Sotogrande, Southern Spain, says changes to the pension rules in the UK will definitely have a major influence on the general property market.
“A lot of mature clients will be looking to spend their time in a better climate, both for health and personal reasons, which means they can take advantage of their hobbies and sports year round. The cost of living is generally lower than in the UK – so buyers could stretch their funds further, which is always a factor at pension stage.
“Right now, the exchange rate is in favour of UK buyers, so your money literally goes further. There are good opportunities to purchase property on the Spanish market.
“Property prices have adjusted to property demand. There are some developments which were built but never sold, as demand dried up – and here there is enormous opportunity to buy fantastic products at good value for money, compared with several years ago.”
Earlier this week, OPP Connect reported how British buyers are no longer dominating the Spanish market, as demand rises from Russian, Chinese and Scandinavian buyers.
Currencies Direct is headquartered in the City of London (United Kingdom) with operations in Europe, Africa and Asia, and is part of the Azibo Group, a privately-owned investment company.
* Spanish builder, Taylor Wimpey España, is offering a 5% cash discount on retirement properties at its Cala Magrana II development, Mallorca, that are completed by 31 December 2014. Two-bed homes on the contemporary development start from €230,000 before the discount.
Sales and Marketing Director, Marc Pritchard, says, “The low cost of living in Spain is also a draw. Quite simply, retirees can get more for their money here in Spain as their pensions stretch further. From food to property, pensioners can take advantage of lower prices in order to indulge in a level of luxury that retirement in the UK would preclude.”
By Adrian Bishop, Editor, OPP Connect