The Economic woes that have crippled southern Spain’s tourism, hospitality and real estate industries in recent years have come to an abrupt halt in 2015. Despite the coldest winter in 10 years, economic data from its property industry is sure to bring warmth into the lives of the local residents and property professionals alike. According to official figures, the number of mortgage approvals in Andalucia has risen by 25 per cent so far in 2015 compared to this time last year. This continues the upward trend first noted in November 2014 when 14,500 mortgages were approved across Spain – a monthly increase of 14.2 per cent.
For the Rightmove Overseas website – a spin-off of the successful UK real estate portal – this trend has been reflected in a 72 per cent month-on-month increase in unique visitors in January compared to December. This suggests that more and more Brits are looking to take advantage of the strong pound and recovering markets to snap up a home in the sun. According to Rightmove, the most searched for country on its dedicated overseas portal was Spain, followed by France, the U.S., Portugal and Italy. A Rightmove survey found that 37 per cent of Brits looking to buy a home overseas searched for Spain, with 23 per cent opting for France.
There may be some truth in the observation that Europe’s leading real estate destinations may still be experiencing price falls. However, as recent reports in Spain reveal, there are wide regional disparities between price and price trends, with areas of the Costa del Sol actually recording slight price increases in recent months. As prices have stabilised and slowly picked up, so has interest in the real estate market, particularly from British buyers eager to invest in a lifestyle property on the Costa del Sol.
With economists expecting the pound to stay strong against the euro for at least a couple of months, now looks like a great time to get the ball rolling on purchasing that dream home in Spain.