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Spanish Property Market Overview - JANUARY 2022

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Spanish Property & Exchange Rate Market Update - January 2022 
Don't let the sun set on your dreams!


From Tuesday 7th December 2021 the UK government once again requires evidence of a NEGATIVE Covid test BEFORE traveling to the UK.  An "antigen test" is now sufficient (€20 at a clinic in Murcia) so no need for the expensive and invasive PCR test with a further PCR test due within TWO  days of arrival in the UK. 

Last month there were the following highs and lows on the exchange rates with highs of 1.1919 and lows of 1.1699  making a massive potential loss of €2,200 for exchanging £100,000 for Euros in the space of one month. You can avoid these potential losses by using a currency exchange rate specialist who will fix you the best rate in advance and protect you against downturns.

However with all this uncertainty anyone buying a Spanish property this year is advised to talk to one of the currency exchange specialists who can peg a forward rate for you to prevent losing out on currency changes.

For advice and our recommendations on who best to talk to contact us at

Exchange rate highs and lows for January 2022 to date: 1 GBP = 1.2017 Euros (Jan high) - 1.1891 Euro (Jan low) 

Highest exchange rate during past year = 1.1919 (Dec 2021)  Lowest during past year  = 1.0832 (Dec 2020)

New properties in Spain are continuing to sell well due in part to much higher specifications due to they new law for building regulations and also offer the new contemporary architectural designs and quality finishes that are now available. Build times are shorter (6 months) and developments are smaller. There are still plenty of resale bargains too although with many having been snapped up recently there are fewer coming onto the market now.

If you are planning to buy a property in Spain this year it makes sense to use one of the independent exchange rate specialists well in advance of your purchase to secure the best rates and avoid these fluctuations. . For advice and recommendations contact us at

The Spanish government have issues a Royal Decree which protects UK expats rights in the event of a no deal Brexit. They have made clear they will make bilateral agreements with the UK to protect their economy from losing the valuable contribution that UK expats make to their economy.

Spanish mortgages have become a bit easier to get as banks are now seeing the improvement in the Spanish property market. In certain cases a loan to value  ratio of up to 70% is possible.

Bargain Spanish properties in coastal regions (and good inland areas up to about an hour from airport and coast) are now selling steadily to foreign buyers unlike the domestic Spanish property market which is still depressed.

Spain still offers the best mix of quality of lifestyle, low living costs and wonderful weather that appeals to most Europeans and as it is just a short flight or even drive away it ticks most peoples boxes so to speak. In addition with property prices down to those of 10 years ago it really is an achievable goal for many people. .

Spanish property still remains a bargain for UK buyers and this has been good news especially for pensioners as this means their limited income will now go further in Spain.


The lure of the mild and sunny weather of southern Spain with its healthy and quality lifestyle really peaks when there is cold and severe winters back home. With many bargain properties still available it really is a good time for those close to retirement to make a visit and see what they could be missing; The first weeks of January have been wonderful on the Costa Blanc & Calida with blue sky and sunshine and day time temperatures of 19º-21º (mid 60's)

  • 300+ days of sunshine each year ensures a healthy outdoor lifestyle and clean fresh air
  • Mediterranean diet
  • Excellent medical and hospital facilities
  • Easy and cheap flights home
  • Friendly ex-pat communities
  • Every conceivable sport, hobby and interest catered for
  • Cheaper living costs
  • Exchange rate means pensions go further
Buyers looking to re-locate on a permanent basis require a different sort of property with more space for both living and storage. Properties that meet this criteria are usually detached and in shorter supply than the typical holiday home. The Dutch, Belgiums and Scandinavians are currently buying up many of the prime location properties at bargain prices. But the market is still slow with many bargains still available. For a better lifestyle and investment it is important to take the time to choose a good location.

Spanish property transfer tax on resale property is 8% (up to 400k Euros, 9% over 400k and 10% over 700k) On new properties you pay 10% IVA (Vat) instead of a transfer tax. In addition there are the Notary and legal fees to pay.

Prices for Spanish properties fell in real terms to the levels of 2003/4 which is great for buyers as prices are now pre-boom levels and so represent good medium to long term investment bargains.  The Covid-19 lockdown stopped the market in it's tracks for 4 months but since the first lockdown ended the market picked up but was still very slow. However there is a head of steam building up from UK buyers who have postponed their viewing trips until it is safe to travel once again and with the latest news on a vaccine being available in the UK (because the UK government invested in Pfizer, Oxford and others and are ordered millions of doses back in July) There is still a good choice of both resale and new key ready properties available but great care should be taken to buy in only the best locations which have now stopped dropping in price.

The property market in Spain has changed and the last few years with vendors lowering their asking prices to reflect the real world. Most sellers are now asking at least 30% less than prices that they could have achieved 3 or 4 years ago. Of course it is still very much a buyer's market and vendors will consider offers but only if they are reasonable offers. But nobody now is building in a margin to allow for a big discount because they just would not get anyone to view in the first place. So having dropped their asking prices by 30%+ few vendors will accept an much less.

Banks are offering "repossessed" properties but beware because many of these are in poor areas and are being offered at higher than current market values because the bank need to recover a high loan to value mortgage. There are also agents who are using "distressed" sales as a marketing tool. Again beware as many of these are not the bargains they are claimed to be. The banks are offering up to 100% mortgages which can disguise a higher than market price,
The Spanish property market is split into three distinct groups. Prices for property built close to the large cities with good access (1st group) and good quality individual property in good locations (2nd group) seems to have leveled out with the prospect of a return to increase in values on the horrizon. While the values are forcast to continue falling for the 3rd group - that is all the rest including property built (and overbuilt) in poor locations with no amenities, large blocks of empty apartments and large estates of mass produced properties that are all similar.

Therefore buyers should avoid this third group and concentrate on the 2nd group of Spanish property in good locations which still can be bought at bargain prices of eight years ago as this will be the first sector to start to increase in value.  There is still large number of new enquiries coming in from all over Europe including Russian UK with buyers seeking a new home in the sunshine with a better lifestyle.

There are some tremendous property bargains still about including detached villas from €150,000 in good locations with amenities within walking distance, apartments from €60,000 and even a selection of properties with 90%-100% mortgages.

The winter in this part of Spain is mild and pleasant with plenty of winter sunshine and with so many Spanish property bargains about now is a good time to make a viewing trip. Winter is an excellent time for selling properties in Spain as buyers can come and sample the wonderful sunny blue skies when the rest of Europe is covered in cloud with rain, snow, frost and fog. In the UK and northern Europe it gets dark before 4 o'clock while here in Spain it is light until 6 o'clock and the there is clear visability with wonderful long distance views particularly in beautiful inland areas like North West Murcia.

How does the exchange rate effect the Spanish property market? In theory if Sterling becomes weaker it makes a purchase of a Spanish property more expensive for the UK buyer. However in practice the purchase is not more expensive as the Spanish property vendors have been dropping their selling prices accordingly. Also interest has remained strong throughout the summer as many UK residents, who for the last two years have had their plans on the back burner, now want to make their dreams a reality.
If Sterling gets stronger, which many economists are predicting for next year, then it will bring the turning point for the Spanish property market. As buyers for the UK will start to exchange more Euros for their Pounds this will be reflected in future Spanish property prices. Vendors with Spanish properties for sale will start to revalue their properties upwards. There will not be a dramatic increase in prices but it will mean there will be less bargains about, so 2013 will possibly be the best time to buy a Spanish property at a price well below the real value.

Several other factors are having an effect:   The British Pound is growing stronger against the Euro -- the Spanish weather and lifestyle will always be appealing  --  those who planned to retire to Spain are not getting any younger and cannot keep putting their plans back -- the rest of the Eurozone has realised Spanish prices are now a bargain and are actively in the market and have been joined by buyers from Russia.

There are still plenty of exisiting re-sale properties available and some excellent "key-ready" new property bargains on fully completed developments with all facilities in place and a 10 year guarantee.

If you are selling your Spanish property to return to the UK the current exchange rate is still good news and presents you with a window of opportunity. The current exchange rate has meant you will receive many more pounds for your euros when you sell. This is also good news for buyers as most sellers are passing on this gain so offsetting the negative aspect of the decline in the value of sterling.

There really are some excellent bargains to be had at the moment particularly for those who have planned to retire to Spain. Now is a very good time to secure your retirement in the sun with a better quality of life and cheaper living. Most vendors have dropped their asking prices to reflect both the market and the weakness in Sterling when it was almost one for one. Now sterling has gained around 20% against  the euro you can buy more for your money.

Builders of new developments are offering very good deals including excepting payment in Sterling. Re-sale properties have followed suit making prices similar to three years ago. There are also many buyers from Scandinavia and Russian who have not been effected by currency problems and who are snapping up the bargains.

Prices appear to have bottomed out for detached properties in nice areas and not everyone is as desperate to sell therefore the next few months should be the best time to buy a property in Spain, providing you do your homework and buy wisely.

Prices of new key ready property have also gone down over the last 12 months yet the quality of build and specifications have improved tremendously. Most new developers are offering incentives and some are accepting payment in sterling with exchange rates pegged to the better rates of several months ago. There is a shortage of new detached villas in good locations and these could be like gold once the credit crunch eases off.

There are also great value resale buys to be made as there is a lot of stock on the market but much of this is not in prime locations.

If you have planned to relocate to a warm and sunny climate with a better lifestyle or you just want a holiday home, then don't be put off by all the negative talk that has been doing the rounds for the last several months.

Yes of course the property inflation boom has come to an end in most countries and this may well be for the best in the long run. Property in the medium and long term has proven to be a sound investment. Whenever there has been a period with static prices or where there has been a short downturn this is always followed by a sharp upturn.

Spain will always be Europe's favourite holiday and retirement destination because it has the best year round climate and boasts a healthy stress free lifestyle and yet is only a short and cheap flight to visit friends and family.

Unless you are a short term investor looking for a quick profit then there is no reason to postpone retirement plans because of a fear of the ups and downs of property markets. There is an old saying "you are a long time dead" so why put off such important benefits to your life because of a strictly short term problem that will be forgotten in a couple of years.

Q: How will all of this effect anyone planning to buy a property in Spain?

A: Firstly you should determine your reasons for buying. If it is for a short term investment then perhaps you should wait for the market to settle. If however you have planned to retire to Spain (full or part time) or want a holiday home for more than a couple of years then there is no reason to delay. The weather and lifestyle have not changed and now is a buyers market.

The market for detached villas in good locations is still strong particularly in the choice inland areas like the one in the photos below.

As always it is Location Location Location! Good quality and value properties in good locations will be sound investments (as well as a wonderful places to live and enjoy the climate and lifestyle)
Winter is an excellent time for selling properties in Spain as buyers can come and sample the wonderful sunny blue skies when the rest of Europe is covered in cloud with rain, snow, frost and fog. In the UK and northern Europe it gets dark before 4 o'clock while here in Spain it is light until 6 o'clock and the there is clear visability with wonderful long distance views particularly in beautiful inland areas like North West Murcia.

We would add the importance of using an ethical professional estate agent and solicitor to find that quality property that meets all of your requirements.

If you are an investor looking for a quick profit, we suggest now is not the time. However the property market in Spain is now a mature one with a good history of growth and so investment prospects are excellent for the medium and long term.

If your main reasons for buying are for a better quality of life, a wonderful all year round climate and a lower cost of living then then don't delay - paradise awaits!

The demand for property in Spain is forecast to grow substantially over the next ten years as increasing numbers of Northern Europeans retire to warmer climates. According to an Alliance & Leicester International in reported that by the year 2020, one in five older people will be living outside the UK, the vast majority in Spain. Spain is the leading country for the many Europeans who desire a property as a holiday home or investment, which has lead to a doubling in prices in many parts of the country over the past eight years. Also, younger families are choosing to build a new life in Spain.



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