Property Discount is No Guarantee of a Sale

Selling your property became more difficult in 2015, according to data released by online property portal Fotocasa.

Owners who had a property for sale in 2015 found they had to reduce the original asking price by an average of 14% in order to sell. This is the equivalent of 33,400 Euros, one percentage point below the previous year. Fotocasa reported that the 14% decrease was the slightest reduction required to sell over the last six years, and indicates a continuing recovery in the property market.

Discounts Applied to Properties by Year

On average, 36% of owners who put their property on the market were able to close the deal, an increase over 2014 when only 28% of owners managed to sell. On average it took 10.6 months to sell a property, one month shorter than in 2014 when it took an average of 11.5 months.

In 2015, 44% managed to sell their property in under six months, while 25% needed between seven and 12 months to sell. A further 16% took between 13 and 24 months while 15% took over two years to complete a sale.

Beatriz Toribio from Fotocasa, said “The housing market has not yet recovered, but has been reactivated and therefore is more dynamic than in the worst years of the crisis. In 2015 those who managed to sell their property took less time to complete and applied a lower discount. But to sell, you need to lower the price: 81% of the owners who sold a property in 2015 had to do this,”.

Type of Residence

Of the sellers surveyed for the report, 46% said the property they sold was their main residence, followed by those selling a second home (22%), while a further 18% said the property sold had been inherited.

By types of property 52% were flats and 19% were houses. Apartments made up 7%, with 4% being duplex properties, and 4% penthouses.

Price Reductions Don’t Guarantee a Sale

According to the data, 64% of properties for sale in 2015 failed to sell, despite an average time on sale of 14 months. Of those that didn’t sell, 66% said they had applied a discount to the asking price with an average discount of 14% of the asking price. This translates into 32,797 Euros but this was not a guarantee that the property would sell.

Toribio explained that “The price is one of the factors that influence the purchase of a house, but also the location, distribution, quality and housing characteristics. Not everything is sold,”.

Despite the findings the survey also showed that there is still some resistance to reducing prices with 52% of owners who did not manage to sell said they had not applied a discount and were not willing to do so.

“For the first time during a study we found owners who, despite not selling, are reluctant to lower the asking price, which is very surprising after all that has happened in the housing market,” added Toribio.

How to Sell?

The data also shows that more people are turning to Spanish real-estate agents in order to market and ultimately sell their property. 68% of people who sold their property in 2015 did so through an agent.

Sellers citied the main reasons for using agents rather than selling privately as being the quality of potential buyers (43%), convenience (24%), and avoiding red-tape (16%).

You can read the full report here.

The Nota Simple Explained

Nota SimpleA Nota Simple is an official extract report that contains a full property description and can be obtained from the local property title registry office or, by subscribers, over the Internet. This is a very important document in Spain, as it contains information about the legal status of a property. If you intend to buy a property of any kind, it is very important to know who is the registered owner, what is the registered description, and what legal charges or restrictions are registered against the property.

The information contained in the Nota Simple includes:

  • The current owner(s), their relationships and when they bought it;
  • Any debts secured on it that must be paid before its ownership can be transferred e.g. mortgages, unpaid taxes, community debts, private debts, etc.;
  • The boundaries of the property, though these are often hazily described as just the land owned by their neighbour;
  • The total square metres of the land and the gross overwall area of all built structures;
  • The use of the property (whether residential, agricultural, etc);
  • The rights that others may have on the property e.g. public paths and rights of way, roads, water, sewage, etc.;
  • The share of the costs of the community of owners in which it lies;
  • And if you are really fortunate, the Catastral reference.

Before you request a Nota Simple, you will need to provide the following information:

The full name of the individual owner or owning company. Ideally, but not essentially, you should also have the NIE, CIF or passport number.

or

The Property Registry data, which can be either the Finca number or the unique identification number: IDUFIR.

With either of these sets of information you can carry out a search of the whole of Spain and obtain details on all the property owned by an individual or company. As there can be many owners with similar names, it’s best if you can restrict the search ideally to the minimum of which registry office the property is registered in.

You can obtain a Nota Simple in Spanish, from the land registry and this can be requested in person at any registry office. Alternatively, go online where requests are usually obtained within 24-48 hours. In both methods there is a small charge. Alternatively, ask somebody with a subscription to obtain information for you.

As stated above, the Nota Simple will contain information as to whether there are debts associated with the property. It is possible for debts of an individual to be attached to the property he owns although they may have no other link to the property itself. Be aware that if there are debts attached to the property, then it is essential that they are cleared before the ownership is passed over to the buyer, otherwise they will remain and become the responsibility of the new owner.

Inaccuracies

You may find, on receipt of the Nota Simple that its description is not the same as the actual property. An error in the description of either accommodation or the floor area is important and should be rectified by the seller prior to the sale. It may be that improvements have been carried out on the property and their absence on the document is sometimes an indication that work has been carried out without permission.

Inaccuracies may also mean that a mortgage valuer working for a Spanish lender or insurer could have to value on a reduced basis, as they are obliged by law to use the lesser of the actual area and that recorded in the title, whenever there is a difference between the two. Outbuildings such as garages, stores and even swimming pools should be recorded too, as this all affects the value of a property. However, unless you have an excellent grip of Spanish or are adept at dealing with Spanish bureaucracy, it is recommended that the Nota Simple is discussed with a legal expert or property professional, to make sure that all is in order and the property meets your requirements.

More Information

If you would like more information about the Nota Simple and how it could affect you, the team at Survey Spain Network is available to offer informed help and advice. We have the advantage of carrying out Acquisition Surveys of the building and being able to compare the actual property with the Nota Simple and the Catastral description (see other article) and thus make sure that differences are caught prior to purchase, so that correcting them remains the responsibility of the seller and is not transferred to the buyer, at his or her future cost.

Article courtesy of Campbell D. Ferguson, Survey Spain Network – www.surveyspain.com

Costa del Sol is the cheapest

Costa del Sol still pulls in the crowds
Costa del Sol beaches still pull in the crowds

The Costa del Sol has been named as the cheapest holiday destination for British families during October.

The Post Office Travel Money carried out a half-term survey comparing the total cost of 10 items commonly purchased while on holiday in the 12 top destinations for half-term holidays

The total cost of items, including toiletries, drinks and eating out, was £59.58 on the Costa del Sol, compared to £86.28 in Turkey.

Sarah Munro, head of Post Office Travel Money, said: “Price is bound to be a big consideration so it is good to report falling prices in five of the destinations that attract UK families.

“… in these uncertain times people would be wise to plan their trips carefully and make sure they are fully protected. A package taken with a well-established and ATOL-protected tour operator, together with comprehensive travel insurance, is probably the safest bet.  Families can also avoid wasting cash through expensive last minute airport currency purchases and can cut costs abroad by using a credit card like the Post Office card with 0 per cent commission on purchases overseas.”

The survey found that although prices for some of the items had increased in Spain by as much as 15% in the last year it was still the cheapest destination in Europe.

The most expensive Eurozone destination, according to the survey, was Tenerife where the 10 items cost £111 (€127), 86% higher than the Costa del Sol. Miami topped the list overall with a cost of £138.87 for the 10 items.

Full details and results can be found here: RoyalMailGroup.com