Photo credit: Cédric Nussbaumer
Time and time again, Spain seems to be the most popular destination when buyers look at European homes for sale. But what makes it such a common choice for property investment?
Familiarity plays a big part, with British buyers well aware of Spain's culture and coastlines. From footballing success in the World Cup to tennis triumphs at Wimbledon, Spanish sportsmen are household names, and that level of knowledge makes Spain an automatic consideration for a trip abroad – when it comes to investment, you stick with what you know.
The other major factor are the expats, specifically those of a more mature age. Spain was recently revealed as the most popular retirement destination for Europeans, and the Brits are leading the way. Golf courses, a sunny climate, Mediterranean beaches and fiestas all attract the older investors. The cost of living is moderately cheap too, especially in tourist hotspots on the coast (the Costas). Beach towns like Benidorm also have large expat communities, with a high proportion of English-speaking residents offering a welcoming environment - familiarity, again, plays a big part.
Then there’s the price. Spanish house prices have been falling for some time thanks to the current Euro crisis, but property purchasing is now even cheaper as the Spanish government cut VAT on new homes last week by 50 per cent. This reduction in property tax effectively saves a buyer a sizeable €8,000 on a €200,000 purchase of a new home. As a result, investment is expected to surge before the discount runs out at the end of 2011.
The very successful Inbetweeners Movie, which was released in the UK last month, was shot in Magalluf, Mallorca, and is expected to boost interest and familiarity with Spanish culture even further.
With the VAT reduction and raucous teen comedy adding to the other existing factors, Spain will probably have the most popular European homes for sale for some time to come.