The Property Investor Show & OPP Live took place in London last week, and was attended by many Spanish property developers and delegates, including Spanish housing secretary Beatriz Corredor who wanted to assure British buyers that they could trust the system and safely buy a Spanish property.
The minister talked about the decree to legalise existing properties and said this, combined with the 4% drop in new-property tax and falling house prices made Spanish property a safe investment.
Following a heated discussion with the minister, MEP Marta Andreasen claimed Spain’s secretary for housing ‘is in denial’ regarding the severity of the problems experienced by expats who have invested in the country.
UKIP’s Marta Andreasen MEP said: “I was quite upset that she refused to accept or mention the fact that were serious problems affecting Brits in Spain.
“She referred to new reforms that had supposedly made Spain a safe country in which to buy, but these reforms neither resolve the past nor the present problems.
“The British are among the highest proportion of foreign property purchasers, but the bad reputation Spain has earned itself has seen the level of interest in Spanish property plummet. This so-called ‘property roadshow’ was to address that with the aim of portraying that everything is fixed and the Brits can start spending their money again. How wrong this is.
“Regional governments pick fights with local governments, mayors and politicans take bribes, then get prosecuted for corruption – it really is difficult for any British person to trust anyone throughout the home buying process.
The Spanish minister made no mention of the thousands of people who had bought in good faith only to find out that their properties were built illegally and are therefore unsellable, as well as being cut off from local water and electricity supplies. Many property owners also face the prospect of their property being demolished, and in some cases the owners may even have to contribute financially to the demolition.
This was the second time this year that the minister had spoken to potential British investors in an attempt to revitalise British investment in Spain.