SPAIN’S (ONCE AGAIN) GROWING REAL ESTATE MARKET
In one way or another I have always been interested and involved in the real estate market. It began in my former home city of Toronto, where I became engaged in the very fast moving and constantly growing real estate market both for personal and professional reasons. Many of my clients, people relocating (temporarily or permanently) to Canada needed assistance with finding the right properties as well as trustworthy real estate agents and lawyers in order to close the rental or purchase agreements. I would assist with many of these issues.
After moving to Madrid few years ago, I realized that the need for these types of services here is just as present as in Toronto, if not more so. Few factors contribute to this reality.
First of all, between 2008 and 2013, the Spanish real estate market suffered one of the worst “bubbles” ever seen in the real estate world. Many of the properties lost more than 50% in value (especially those along the Mediterranean coast). Over the last year (2014) the market has seen a slow recovery, and its pace further picked up this year (2015). According to Forbes, the tide is turning for Spain’s real estate market (in fact, I’d argue that since its publication in May, the market already has turned the tide). Many other publications confirm this trend. Most recently, just in November of 2015, the NYT featured a special issue on house hunting in Spain, again commenting on the opportunities to be had at this time. Good and sometimes even great deals are abound, both in terms of move-in ready properties, as well as renovation properties (especially the latter), but prices have slowly started to increase again (and will continue to increase in the years to come). In fact, the market in Spain’s main cities (especially Madrid and Barcelona) as well as certain parts of Mediterranean and Atlantic Coast is so active that good deals fly off the shelves within 24 hours of being listed. Moreover, many don’t even get to the listing stage, since so much of the business here is done through contacts, referrals, and above all, “personas de confianza” (loosely translated as “people who can be trusted”). Simply put, this is the time to invest.
Finally, if you’re just looking to rent, unfortunately, 70% of the apartments on the market, especially in city centers, are of rather low quality, in need of renovation and/or updating, and with furniture that belongs only in one place – a museum. High quality, relatively modern or recently/newly renovated apartments either unfurnished or furnished with a taste are a very rare find, and if they do materialize, they’re rented literally within few hours of listing (if they even get to that stage, see my comments above). If you see something that you like and you know that the price is either within the market range or that it can be negotiated down a bit, you need to put down a senal (security deposit) right on the spot.
For all of the above reasons, foreigners interested in the Spanish real estate market (whether buying or renting), need help. That’s where we come in. Specifically, these are the services that we offer:
- Daily research of the most important real estate databases in Spain (there are only 2, perhaps 3, main databases) and identification of properties that meet with your specifications;
- Emailing of the properties of interest to you for your approval and, on that basis, scheduling of personal visits to inspect, on your behalf, the properties in person and to take photos of the premises (the photos included with the listing are often deceiving and can’t be relied on);
- Once specific property is identified either for purchase or rent, we negotiate with the owner to secure the best deal possible;
- Once the price has been agreed on, we work with trusted real estate lawyer to close the deal and finalize all necessary paperwork (transfer of title or rental agreement, property taxes, etc.)
For the sake of transparency, please note that in cases of real estate purchase transactions, we take a commission equivalent to 0.75% of the purchase price and in cases of rental agreements, we take a commission equivalent to 50% of one month’s rent.
It is important to note that real estate agents in Spain are unlicensed and unregulated, that’s why it is so important to ensure that the person you are dealing with is trustworthy, professional and, above all, well informed about the market and collaborating with a good real estate lawyer. Simply put, as a still practicing lawyer myself, I’ve got all these bases covered and can assure you that, when dealing with Experience Spain, the process of purchasing or renting a property in Spain will be as smooth and quick as possible.
Budget and mid-market properties: