The British want to buy in Spain

I recently read an an article in the Sur in English, which talked quite positively about British looking to buy in Spain. They recently attended a property exhibition called “A Place in the Sun” held at the NEC in Birmingham. Although smaller than previous exhibitions in the UK, “A Place in the Sun”, backed by the TV programme of the same name, held a successful show with a large turnout of people looking at overseas properties.

According to the Sur:
“This was especially good news for Spain, confirmed to be the favourite destination of potential property-buyers. No fewer than 60 per cent of visitors indicated an interest in Spain, with France coming in a poor second despite its familiarity and geographical proximity to British buyers. Unlike in previous years, there was no “French village” area at “A Place in the Sun”, and Spain’s main competitors were the USA and Australia and New Zealand, which were offering immigration packages.”

It appears that many of those who attended were simply waiting for the right time to buy, which they felt was now as they felt property prices were unlikely to drop much further, if at all.

Spain drew particular attention due to its climate, friendly people and general positive opinions due to previous holidays and such. The large amount of flights from various UK airports into Malaga was also an important factor as many ‘alternate’ destinations seem to be seeing reducing flights from the UK.

What is quite interesting, is that unlike previous exhibitions, where you simply had a multitude of stands talking invest this and invest that, there were several seminars discussing “Emigrating to Europe” and “Has the market hit rock bottom?”.

The seminars were conducted by a property journalist, the speakers being an international lawyer and an expert from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Stephen Jones, whose wide experience derives partly from his current position as British Consul in Malaga.

The seminars were conducted by a property journalist, while the speakers were international lawyers and an expert from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Stephen Jones, the current British Consul in Malaga.
“His advice was wide ranging, from questions of vehicle licensing to health insurance, tax liability and transfer of British pensions abroad. He strongly recommended that new residents in Spain should register with the local “padrón” and that they try to learn some Spanish before making the move, in order to facilitate life in Spain and enjoy all that it has to offer.”

Interestingly the Sur in English conducted its own survey, to see which areas were showing the most interest. Some potential buyers showed interest in being near the sea, others inland, but there was a marked lack of interest in the big new developments on the Costa del Sol, which includes many of those off-plan investments that were widely marketed during previous exhibitions in the UK.

Andrew Belles

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