Spain back in the top spot for overseas property buyers

Spain soars ahead with 54 per cent of mortgage enquiries in the first three months of 2015

Spain has returned to the number one spot for Britons buying property abroad, according to Conti, the overseas mortgage specialist. The country accounted for more than half (54 per cent) of enquiries received by the company in the first quarter of 2015, claiming first place back from France which had been leading the field towards the end of last year.

After a turbulent few years in the eye of the euro zone storm, Spain appears to be making a turnaround at last.  The economy is showing signs of recovery, tourist numbers are up, and after years of plummeting house prices, experts are predicting increases in 2015, with the cost of property in some areas rising already.

According to Spain’s National Statistics Institute, residential property prices climbed by 1.8 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2014 compared with the same period a year earlier – the sharpest quarterly rise since the first three months of 2008.

Conti has seen the volume of overseas mortgage enquiries increase by 41 per cent over the first three months of this year, compared with the final quarter of 2014. France, in second place, accounted for almost a third (29 per cent) of enquiries, followed by Portugal with 11 per cent.

Clare Nessling, director at Conti, says: “It was only a few years ago that the Spanish property market was shrouded in doom and gloom. Dogged by oversupply and plunging prices, many investors were giving it a wide berth. Fast forward to 2015, however, and things are looking much rosier.

“Bargain prices and the opportunity to negotiate these down even further with some very motivated sellers mean that it’s most certainly a buyer’s market. This together with historically low interest rates and the growing strength of the pound is making it much more affordable to buy there, and signs that the market is improving are starting to lift the confidence of prospective buyers.”

Caveat emptor

Excellent buying conditions may be luring Britons back into Spanish property, but Conti says that one important rule applies – don’t let your heart rule your head. It’s crucial that prospective buyers seek the right advice and don’t try to cut corners. The principles they would stick to in the UK also apply when buying overseas. Bitter experience has taught many overseas property buyers that scrimping on independent legal advice can effectively cost them their holiday home.

Best buy overseas mortgages available through Conti

Country Interest rate Product type Max LTV Method Minimum loan
Spain 3.35% Variable 60% Repayment €100,000
  4.00% Variable 70% Repayment €50,000
  4.00% Fixed – 5 years 60% Repayment €60,000
France 1.90% Fixed – 10 years 80% Repayment €100,000
  2.20% Variable – 10 years 80% Repayment €100,000
  2.70% Capped 85% Repayment €100,000
Portugal 3.30% Variable 30% Repayment €250,000
  3.45% Variable 60% Repayment €50,000
  4.10% Fixed – 5 years 80% Repayment €50,000
Italy 2.95% Capped at 4.95% 60% Repayment €250,000
  3.15% Capped at 5.15% 80% Repayment €250,000
Turkey 6.60% Fixed 80% Repayment €25,000
6.80% Fixed 80% Repayment €25,000

Rates correct as at 28/4/15. All product specifications will depend on individual circumstances. The table shows a small selection of the deals currently available and should be used as a guide.

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