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UK buyers snap up Spanish bargains

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Overseas buyers of Spanish property jumped by 28.4% last year, with Brits the biggest buying group.

British property buyers are rekindling their love affair with the Spain according to overseas mortgage specialist Conti.

In May, Spain accounted for 44% of enquiries received by the company, overtaking France, which accounted for 37%, for the first time in 12 months. Property prices in Spain have been falling since the credit crisis struck and, according to some banks, such as UBS, still have 8% further, on average, to fall.

In light of current market conditions, buyers are seizing the opportunity to snap up bargains from willing sellers. It also helps that Spain offers cheap and easy access from the UK, good rental opportunities and much better weather than the UK.

According to data from the General Council of Notaries, the number of foreign and non-resident buyers of Spanish property increased by 28.4% last year, compared with 2011, and the British are the biggest buying group.

It is hoped that the Spanish housing market will be bolstered in the future when a new law granting automatic residency to non-EU nationals buying property worth at least €500,000 is passed.

Clare Nessling, director at Conti, said:

“There’s no denying that the country’s financial and economic woes have left a huge glut of new and repossessed properties sitting empty and struggling to sell, but some bargain basement prices are turning heads, particularly those of the British, and there may never be a better time to buy a Spanish home.

“Mortgage availability, unsurprisingly, isn’t as good as it was a few years ago, but there are still lots of opportunities, especially if you have a healthy deposit to put down. It’s generally possible to borrow up to around 65-70% of the value of the property, and rates currently start from just 3.2%.”


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