For the country property market in Andalusia, 2014 has been a record sales year! Property prices on the Andalusian countryside have stabilized and the exclusive market is leading the recovery. We notice a strong confidence in the Spanish economy from foreign investors and would like to invite you to Andalusia in 2015. Re-write your goals, it is time to celebrate life!
Record Sales in 2014
Preparing for Christmas 2014 we reflect on a record sales year of 2014. We have had an extremely busy year with many visiting and enquiring clients. Adding to this the changes in the Spanish law on registration of properties (again!) and thus extra work in the office we decided to invest in more help and are happy to welcome Pia Eklund from Sweden to our team. Pia is an experienced estate agent from Stockholm. She will boost the listings and sales of Villas & Fincas and will assist in the office as a senior agent.
Banks are lending again
Apart from an increase of interest from clients we notice new signs of a recovering market through the banks as well. They are keener to lend money, against better rates and with realistic valuations. This is good news for the Spanish property market. It means that purchasing property is feasible again for a larger group of customers.
Furthermore we see indications of a recovery in the construction industry. Although Spain is not there yet, several construction works have started again on the coast, mostly related to renovation projects and finishing existing tourism related buildings. The fact that the summer of 2014 has been a top year for tourism has definitely had its influence on this!
Geo political matters
Some concerns we have to express as well. Geo-political issues are affecting the property market in Europe, and therefore Andalusia, as well. The conflicts between Russia and the Ukraine have been in the news over the last few months. It’s not clear whether a solution is going to be found shortly, we are likely to enter into a cold period for the time being. For now it means that oil prices are crashing and this is strongly affecting the Russian economy. Russian clients have seen their capital in Rubles diminishing with more than 40% and they are putting their purchase intentions on hold.
Property Prices stabilized
The latest house price index from the property registry is showing a small increase of 1.15% over the last 12 months. The expectation is that prices will not increase fast during the coming year in Spain. The Costa del Sol and Andalusia inland market is strongly driven by foreign demand. The confidence of foreign investors in the Spanish economy has definitely improved over the last year, yet it might take a while for the larger group to feel confident enough in their own home economy to spend money on a second home.
Exclusive market is leading the recovery
For Country Properties we have seen a strong demand at the high end market. Quality properties on top locations have been sold this year. Who are these purchasers? Who do we see in our office? We have noticed an increase of Belgium, French and Scandinavian buyers. Also the Russians are tasting the Andalusian country side, as well as buyers from the Arab and African countries like Quatar, Kenya and Nigeria. The traditional British buyers are coming back in the market but are no longer the number one nationality purchasing in Andalusia. However, the economy in the UK is improving and there is an appealing currency rate from the Pound against the Euro. Adding historical low mortgage rates and eager banks to lend we expect the British market to grow in 2015.
Andalusia is improving
2014 Has been a year of many improvements in Andalusia. As an absolutele highlight we would like to feature the bubbling, refreshed city of Malaga. The new pier with mooring for large cruise ships and yachts is a joy to wander round, grab a tapa, if not go for a meal in the Michelin Star Restaurant José Carlos García. Culturally the Picasso museum and The Carmen Thyssen Museum with their international art collections and expositions are more than worthwhile a visit. And we are anxiously waiting for the branch of the Centre Pompidou to open on Pier one. The cosy and beautifully reformed streets in the old town and the restored Moorish and Roman ruins safeguard the authentic Andalusian charm of this city.
Another town of excellence is Estepona, lead by ex notary, Mr. Jose Maria Garcia Urbano. The old town has had a complete make over! The remodeling involved the resurfacing of nearly 7,000 square meters of road and paving and the installation of over 2,000 plant pots and containers with nearly 4,000 plants, completely transforming these old streets and creating an attractive environment for both locals and visitors. We advice to try the new tapas bars like Casa del Rey in the old centre.
We slowly notice the professionalism in rural Andalusia as well. Finally walking tracks are properly signposted, guided tracks in different languages are offered by local tourism offices and the rural hotels are doing excellent business. Slowly we see an increase in agricultural tourism as well. There are excellent wine tours available in the area of Ronda, visiting top-bodegas and next to this; the new thing is olive-oil tasting routes.
Finally Andalusia is proudly sharing her treasures with the public!
Villas & Fincas in 2015
And what to expect for next year? The Villas & Fincas team will continuously work to improve the sales and marketing with a new state of the art website with excellent SEO. We will also source new exclusive collaboration networks to market all our country properties to the right audience. Our aim is to focus even more with specific properties to the right public! What we offer is not only properties, we offer a lifestyle! Our customers enjoy the stunning natural setting of Andalusia, the tranquility of nature, the stunning views. Some closer to the coast and others further inland, even with an agricultural activity, but all sharing the same values. Due to the higher international demand we have listed and will continue to list large olive farms, professional and hobby vineyards, hunting estates, equestrians, haciendas and country villas. Living, working and investing in Andalusia becomes easier every year for foreigners. Transparency in law and town halls like Marbella, Estepona, Ronda and Malaga are putting Andalusia back on the map!
Live your dream
For all our customers who are still looking for their dream Country Property, we would like to invite you to visit Andalusia in 2015 and re-write your goals. It’s time to celebrate life!
Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New year!
Oscar, Anita, Pia