Property prices in Marbella are rising without causing a slowdown in the number of transactions made.
This is the main conclusion that comes in the latest study on the property market of the Costa del Sol from the international franchise network of estate agents, Re/Max.
After the explosion of the economic crisis at the end of 2007, the average cost per square metre has not ceased to fall.
In the last six years property prices have dropped by 30 per cent in Marbella. However this latest survey stresses a change of direction in the period that has just ended.
An end to falling prices
Although there are no figures from the last quarter of 2014 yet, the development of the market between January and September 2014 confirms that the tendency of a freefall in house prices has come to a halt.
If buyers paid 1,911 euros per square metre in the first quarter, in the second and third quarters the price rose to 1,930 and 2,004 euros respectively.
The quarterly variation is of a 3.83 per cent rise while the year on year figures reached as much as a 5.49 per cent rise.
The experts predict that in 2015 this change of direction will be consolidated, but they are still cautious.
“This small rise marks a change of direction but we should proceed with caution because it comes from the very lowest property prices and is still very low”, claims the statement from the Re/Max survey.
Alongside the rise in the cost per square metre last year Marbella has also seen a steady growth in the number of sales made in compariosn to 2013.
Between January and March proerty sales were 76 per cent higher, between April and June 35 per cent more while between July and September the rise was 12 per cent.
This improvement in sales figures is universal along the Costa del Sol.
According to the survey the main municipalities of the area, except for Benahavís had better sales figures in the third quarter than in the same period the year before.
In this comparison, Marbella, with 827 transactions, is the town with the second highest sales figures after Malaga city.
And at what price are they buying? The survey signals that in 2014 there has not been an appreciable variation through the province. 90.1 per cent of the properties sold in the second quarter of the year had a price inferior to 300,000 euros.
In this period only 16 homes with a value of over a million euros were bought which supposes a small rise in sales with regard to previous quarters. However, the head of Eralia Estates in Marbella, Leonardo Cromstedt, confirms that this figure could differ from reality because the possibility exists that the ownership of a number of expensive homes is in the hands of a society and sales made through shares are not recognised in official figures.
Mortgage advice for expats
Despite British expats now typically being classed as ‘high risk’ by UK lenders, mortgage approval should not be a struggle – if three key steps are taken, according to the deVere Group, which has 80,000 mainly expatriate clients globally.
Kevin White, Head of UK Financial Planning at deVere United Kingdom, comments: “Is it impossible for a British expat to get a UK mortgage nowadays? No, not at all. 95 per cent of our clients who live and/or work overseas get a mortgage agreement. This is despite the majority of expats being flagged up as ‘high risk individuals’ because of their lower UK credit rating as they have lived outside the UK, earned a different currency and worked for a non UK-based firm.
“If expats follow certain criteria, mortgage approval should not be any harder for expatriates than for UK residents.
“These criteria include having both local and international bank accounts that are stable; demonstrating a commitment to saving a decent deposit; and hiring the services of an English-speaking public notary or lawyer who can certify documents locally.”
White goes on. “Expatriates need to be careful that interest rates are in the currency they want the mortgage in. For instance, a mortgage in sterling for a client earning in Dirhams (UAE) could mean the mortgage payment goes up as and when currencies fluctuate.
“Expats must also make sure they are not being charged ‘additional fees’ because of their offshore status. We have seen mortgage brokers charge up to 1.5 per cent of borrowing because they are an expat.”
Courtesy: Sur in English
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