Russian Meeting Point gets under way

Russian Meeting PointThe “Russian Meeting Point” opened yesterday in a bid to boost the sale of Spanish coastal property to Russian investors.

This years event is being held at the Hotel Villa Padierna and so far has attracted large numbers of investors and property agents, all here to find investment opportunities on the Costa del Sol. The main focus of the group is the so-called “Golden Triangle” which includes Marbella, Estepona and Benahavis. However, other areas are also being marketed at the event including the Canary Islands, Balearic Islands, Alicante and Andalucía. The three-day event will close tomorrow (Friday).

Ángeles Muñoz, Mayor of Marbella, visited the event on Thursday morning accompanied by Enrique Lacalle, the president of the organizing committee, and the President of the Andalusian Federation of Developers and Residential Tourism, Ricardo Arranz.

Muñoz attended the event to see first-hand the level of interest from various investors and property agents for the Spanish property market and, more specifically, that of the Costa del Sol.

Many of the exhibitors have already expressed their satisfaction with the volume of contacts made at the exclusive real-estate forum.

Sr. Lacalle thanked the exhibitors for their attendance and is convinced that the event will prove to be profitable for all involved.

David Scheffler, Director of Expansion of Engel & Völkers, said “This initiative is a great opportunity for the Spanish real estate sector in general and particularly for us, so we could not pass up this opportunity. At The Russian Meeting Point we are presenting over 6,000 real estate properties to potential buyers from Russia. ”

The event also included talks presented by some of Spain’s business leaders. One such talk, entitled “What the Russians want to know before buying a property: How to get a mortgage in Spain.” was given by Alberto Pulido, Director of Business Mortgages in Spain’s Banco Santander.

There will be further talks on Friday including “Managing visas and residence permits” which will be presented by the National Association of Developers.

This is the second edition of the Meeting Point and will be followed by a third which will take place in Barcelona in October at the Fira de Barcelona.


Property sales figures lowest since 2006

According to reports from the housing department in the Ministry of Public Works, property sales in Spain fell in 2011 by 29.3%, in terms of volume.

There were 347,305 registered property transactions in 2011 which is the lowest level recorded since the crisis began. It is a fall of 64% since the peak in 2006 when just short of one million property transactions were recorded.

During the fourth quarter of 2011 there were 105,560 property sales in Spain, representing an increase of 37.9% from the previous quarter but, more importantly, a decrease of 29.9% over the same period in the previous year. It is the first quarterly figure to top 100,000 transactions, following three consecutive quarters below this figure.

In the autonomous regions Andalucía recorded the highest number of sales with 67,018, closely followed by Valencia with 48,028, Madrid  with 45,020 and Catalonia where 44,961 properties were sold. Madrid, Barcelona, Alicante and Valencia recorded the greatest increase in sales.

In terms of sales to foreigners, by province, Alicante came out on top with 2,532 sales, followed by Málaga with 1,158.

Of the Q4 total, 43,974 sales were for new homes, representing 41.7% of the total, leaving 61,586 resale properties, 58.3% of the total.

For the full year, new housing accounted for 126,840 transactions, 36.5%. Resale properties made up 220,465 sales, accounting for 63.5% of the total transactions. This data shows that since 2008, the second-hand housing market has achieved some stability, with annual transactions over 220,000.

Real-estate challenges in 2012

The Spanish real-estate market faces challenges in 2012 with further financial reforms expected to increase pressure on the banks real-estate portfolios.

This is according to Trends 2012, a survey carried out by CB Richard Ellis (CBRE), which talked to over 200 executives across the sector, all of whom agree that Spanish banks’ surplus stock must be moved before the country could begin to emerge from the crisis.

Of those interviewed a staggering 91% agree that Spain’s banks are not dealing with their real-estate portfolios adequately, and a further 60% think those portfolios will grow during 2012.

Sales figures in 2012 are likely to be similar to last year but smaller deals will be more popular as the corporate and public sector seek to cut costs. Currently, properties in the 100,000 to 120,000 euros price range, with finance available, are seeing the most movement.

“The main task for Spain’s public sector in 2012 is to reduce costs, and in order to do so they need to optimise and manage their real estate assets,” explained Eduardo Fernández-Cuesta, president of CBRE Spain.

“The key to the sector’s recovery is the necessary rationalising of banks’ real estate portfolios. The measures taken by the central government, obliging the banks to amortise assets, point the way forward, but there is still much to be done. The restructuring of the financial system will return confidence and credibility to the real estate sector.”

Experts predict house prices will continue to fall in 2012. However, prices in Madrid and Barcelona are now falling slightly slower than in 2011. Property prices on the Costa del Sol continue to plummet and experts think this will not change until the banks’ surplus stock is reduced.

Record drop in mortgages in 2011

According to new figures from the Spanish Mortgage Association (Asociación Hipotecaria Española, AHE) the number of mortgages from Spanish banks fell 6% in 2011, the largest drop ever recorded.

At year end the mortgage balance stood at 1,009,656 million euros, the report shows.

In absolute terms, the net decline in mortgage lending was 67.271 million. In December alone it shrank by over 8 million euros, representing a decrease of 0.5% over the previous month. The data confirms the contraction suffered in Spain for the last four years. This is in contrast with growth exceeding 20% experienced during the peak of the housing boom.

By December, 543,766,000 euros in mortgages had been approved by savings banks, 6.54% less than a year earlier. For banks, the balance stood at 374,491,000, a 5.69% decrease from December 2010. Meanwhile, credit unions granted 67.058 million in loans, 4.87% less than the same period last year, while credit institutions account for 13.807 million euros, 36.02% more than in 2010.

With regard to new borrowing there has been a collapse in loans for private and corporate borrowers. According to the Bank of Spain the form of credit that suffered the most was families borrowing for property purchases. During 2011 banks granted 37.525 million euros in mortgages, a figure that is 46% lower than the year before when they loaned nearly 70,000 million.

The association suggests that the downward trend is likely to continue over the coming months, at least during the first half of this year.

In December the AHE predicted that the “turbulent” economic environment in Spain, and internationally, provides an “uncertain future”. However, a broad improvement in credit in the real-estate business is expected by the AHE.

The credit crunch became more severe in 2011, and when the crisis deepened it resulted in difficulties in obtaining finance. It is these circumstances that have reduced the overall balance of the mortgage portfolio which has reduced by 5.7%.

With the crisis continuing the market looks uncertain. On one hand falling house prices and interest rates are likely to increase the number of mortgages, while on the other hand economic pressure and rising unemployment could reduce borrowing.

Mariano Rajoy’s recently elected government has already approved financial reforms in an attempt to “clean up” the banks balance sheets and reduce their exposure to bad loans.

Spanish banks reserve money for real-estate losses

Three of Spain’s largest banks have released details of their plans to comply with government regulations to provide provisions to cover real-estate losses.

Last week, Banco Santander announced that they had set aside €1.8 billion to cover losses on repossessed homes and they now plan to add a further €2.3 billion to this reserve.

Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA) say they will set aside €1.4 billion, which will be added to money it had already reserved before the government regulations were announced.

BBVA made it clear that its good results in 2011 meant it would be able to “entirely absorb” losses in 2012 using this money.

Caixabank also stated it is looking for an extra €2.4 billion to set aside to cover its real estate assets and losses.

Manuel Gonzalez Cid, financial director at BBVA, told Reuters that “These are the strongest banks in the Spanish financial sector so it’s not surprising they can manage the [requirements] through generic provisions or by bringing forward other capital buffers.”

As well as downgrading Spain’s sovereign debt rating this week Moody’s also downgraded Catalunya Banc and Bankia’s debt and deposit ratings over concerns that they are unlikely to meet the requirements for covering real estate losses as laid out by the government.

SIMA 2012 – International Real Estate Exhibition – Madrid

SIMA 2011 attracted over 70,000 visitors

The 2012 SIMA (Salon Inmobiliario de Madrid) International Real Estate Exhibition is coming again this spring.

Running from 31 May – 03 June the construction and real-estate trade show will be held in the Feria de Madrid with a 16,000 sq meter exhibition floor.

SIMA is the biggest real-estate exhibition in Europe and one of the biggest in the world. It is one of the best platforms to market homes and services to tens of thousands of visitors, all of whom are there to investigate overseas property.

SIMA provides a world of opportunities including:

  • The most extensive selection of private and social housing.
  • The best opportunities in both primary and secondary residence.
  • The greatest selection of investment properties in other countries.

It is also the ideal place to meet the most qualified professionals and leaders of the top companies and institutions from the real-estate market, to discover new business opportunities in Spain and other markets and to identify key market trends.

SIMA 2011 attracted over 300 exhibitors and over 70,000 visitors.

For real-estate professionals SIMA is a chance to meet with other leading professionals and organisations in the real estate market both in the national and international sectors. It offers companies and professionals from emerging markets across the world the ideal place to make contact with investors from Spain and other countries.

More details can be found here: SIMA Expo and here: Reed Exhibitions (Reed show different dates to those on the SIMA website – I have requested confirmation of dates from both Reed and SIMA and will let you know)

2 Bed Apartment For Sale – Puerto Banús

2 Bed Apartment For Sale in Puerto Banús – Ref: MFSA465

2 Bed Apartment For Sale - Puerto Banus

Price: 165,000€

Ground Floor Apartment, Puerto Banús, Costa del Sol. 2 Bedrooms, 2 Bathrooms, Built 90 m², Terrace 60 m². Orientation : South. Condition : Good. Pool : Communal. Views : Garden, Courtyard. Features : Covered Terrace, Private Terrace, Paddle Tennis. Furniture : Optional. Kitchen : Fully Fitted. Parking : Underground. Category : Bargain, Resale.

View full property details and more photos

For more information or to arrange a viewing of this property please contact us using the details below.

Tel: +34 952 907 386 | Mov: 627 979 440
Property For Sale in Marbella


Spanish banks ‘encouraged’ to sell assets

Mariano Rajoy
Rajoy will "encourage" banks to sell assets

In an address to the Spanish parliament last week newly elected Mariano Rajoy says Spain’s banks will be encouraged to sell off their real estate portfolios in 2012.

Mr Rajoy said the true value of the aptly named “toxic assets” held by many of the country’s financial institutions needed to be clarified.

The Guardian quoted Mr Rajoy as saying: “We must clear up doubts about the value of certain assets, especially in real estate, which make access to the markets for the financial sector more difficult and also damage the credibility of our public debt.”

Antonio Barroso, analyst with Eurasia Group, told the Associated Press that there is still a division between the Popular Party, who have the majority in Parliament, and the Bank of Spain regarding the option of establishing a central bank to deal with all the toxic assets.

The value of property in Spain has taken a large hit over recent years with the latest Tinsa report showing a national fall of 8% between November 2010 and November 2011.

2011 Round up

Merry Christmas
Merry Christmas everyone!

So it’s here again! Another Christmas on the Costa del Sol.

Although this is my seventh Christmas in Spain I never can get to grips with it. It’s been warm and sunny throughout December and it’s hard to get into the Christmas spirit when it’s not snowing and cold.

There are illuminations hanging in the streets and shop windows are adorned with trees, tinsel and the usual “grotto” displays but with the sun on your back it all feels out of place.

One thing I have got used to is not having to scrape ice off my car windscreen in the morning. Good luck with that my English friends!

2011 Real Estate Market

The real-estate market has suffered terribly during the last few years but has shown some small signs of recovery in 2011, nothing of significance though. It’s been tough for me to write anything positive over recent months, I hope I didn’t bring any of you down!

Some banks have begun lending again, property prices crept up slightly and Spain saw record numbers of tourists.

Spain elected a new leader – Mariano Rajoy – and I look forward to him doing some good work for the country. Let’s be honest, he couldn’t do much worse than Zapatero did! I hope he keeps the tax on new builds at 4% rather than reverting back to 8% and I hope he doesn’t increase property tax, there are rumours that he will, and this would be devastating for an already wobbly market.

Unemployment in Spain rose to record levels this year and urgent action needs to be taken to stop it continuing. A good suggestion I have for Rajoy is to stop charging a “self-employment tax”. In case you’re not aware, if you want to help yourself out of the crisis and take the initiative to start your own business the Spanish government will charge you around 260€ per month, every month, regardless of your earnings. So if you start a business today but don’t earn anything for the first three months you still have to pay the 260€ per month. It’s a stupid tax that discourages new business. There is no justification for it. You still have to pay income tax and social security on any earnings on top of this tax so what is it for exactly?

The banks in Spain are looking forward to a hard year too. They have assets to move, debts to pay and defaulting loans to claim. They have work to do and with government pressure on them to behave 2012 will surely be a year that the banking industry wont forget in a hurry.

My friends in the mortgage world have hinted at some good news coming early in the new year and I look forward to spreading some positivity.

I will also be publishing some interviews in the new year from people within the real-estate market including agents and developers and I’ll try for some councillors too.  If you think you have something to say that is relevant to the market, or you know someone that has, please let me know. I’m always looking for new content and this blog reaches thousands every week (which surprises me!) so send me stuff.

I am on holiday from 6pm today until Jan 3rd so there wont be many posts over the next 10 days. I will try to write some though and if anything important happens I will definitely post. However, not much happens in real-estate over the holiday so don’t hold your breath!

So I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous new year! See you in 2012!


4 Bed Villa For Sale – Cabopino

4 Bed Villa For Sale in Cabopino – Ref: MFSV457

4 Bed Villa For Sale in Cabopino

Price: 2,195,000€

Detached Villa, Cabopino, Costa del Sol. 4 Bedrooms, 3 Bathrooms, Built 200 m², Terrace 100 m², Garden/Plot 400 m². This spectacular villa overlooks the Cabopino port and has direct access to it. Downstairs there is a big lounge, kitchen with american style fridge and a guest bedroom with a bathroom. The whole villa is equipped with electric shutters. Upstairs are 3 bedrooms. The respectably sized master has a jacuzzi bath and shower and a dressing room. The 2 guest bedrooms have Jack & Jill shower room. Other features include electric gates for parking spaces, video phone, camera system covering the whole house and a BBQ area with bar. The villa also comes with a berth for a yacht.

View full property details and more photos

For more information or to arrange a viewing of this property please contact us using the details below.

Tel: +34 952 907 386 | Mov: 627 979 440
Property For Sale in Marbella