Developments in Spain's property market over 2007 have changed the face of Spanish real estate, taking it from an investor's dream (with quickly rising prices and nonstop demand) to a more consumer-centered market offering increased accessibility for the individual property buyer.
Foreign homebuyers are still drawn to Spanish property thanks to the attraction of Spain's sunny weather, beautiful natural surroundings and inviting culture. With the conclusion of Spain's decade-long property boom, these buyers can now look forward to a more stable, dependable market as well as increased bargaining power in the purchase of a home.
The picture was completely different only four years ago when the Spanish real estate boom was in full expansion and yearly price increases reached nearly 20%. Investors out for quick and easy profits flooded the market, causing rampant development with little respect for consumer satisfaction, much less Spain's natural heritage.
Today, the Spanish property market is much more amenable to private homebuyers wishing to relocate, retire or vacation in Spain. The Spanish government has made deliberate efforts to cushion price landings, helping the market take on a sustained level of growth that can be maintained in the future.
This measured change gradually moved profit-seeking investors out of the picture, which in turn has brought equilibrium back to the market. With demand no longer drowning out supply, homebuyers are no longer in competition with each other and developers and sellers are once again placing emphasis on quality construction and consumer appeal.
As prices take on a level of sustainable growth, property buyers can look forward to solid appreciation long term. Although Spanish property is still transitioning from an investor-focused to a consumer-oriented market, it doesn't show indications of suffering a crash due to the stoppage of the property boom, thanks partly to Spain's enduring appeal as a preferred overseas property market.
In fact, the positive influence of foreign homebuyers in popular areas such as Murcia and the Costa del Sol played a large part in the overall increase of prices in Spain throughout 2007. Were it not for this contributing factor, prices might have experienced a decrease, since prices did actually fall in 11 provinces throughout Spain in areas not popular for overseas property.
Property in Spain will retain its value and overcome the transition to a post-boom market thanks largely to the continuing participation of foreign property buyers. Moderate price increases (such as the 4.8% increase in 2007) will continue to shift the attention of investors out for lucrative ventures, while increased stability and accessibility acts in favor of the individual consumer.
Fortunately for Spain, its true appeal as an overseas property market remains unchanged. Spanish property will continue to attract foreign buyers with its warm weather, enjoyable culture, sparkling coastlines and relaxed lifestyle.
Patrick Collins works as a content writer for oppSpain a company that is specialised in selling off plan properties in Spain.