Is the Spanish Property Market on the Up?

2013 looks set to be a good year for Spanish property. Latest reports summarising property sales and rental statistics from government and independent sources, show that the second half of 2012 saw an increase in international buyers looking to snap up good value property stock. And there’s a number of reasons why now is a good time.Thanks to the mild climate, over 300 days of sunshine a year on the Mediterranean coast and rich cultural history, the tourism industry remains strong in Spain, with a reported 52 million visitors between January and October 2012. This strong tourist industry is helping to support the Spanish property market, with plenty of people still wanting to buy there. The British lead the way with 30 per cent of the international market share, but Russian, Scandinavian and Benelux buyers are also big investors. Sales towards the end of 2012 were up significantly on the previous year. For example, on the Costa del Sol Taylor Wimpey de Espana reported a 52% increase compared to the first 9 months of 2011.This is thought in part to be linked to British buyers who have taken advantage of the strength of the pound over the Euro. But in addition, the Spanish government has introduced a number of policies designed to make owning rental properties in the country more appealing to foreign landlords. In particular, a tax relief initiative, whereby landlords will receive all of the rental income they make from their portfolios. There have also been proposals by the Spanish government to offer residency rights to non-EU buyers who spend more than 160,000 euros, which it is believed will be positive for the market if it goes through in 2013. The Spanish government is also encouraging new landlords to Spain by changing the laws in favour of property owners to make it more attractive to buy properties and to rent them out by giving more powers to landlords. All of these measures appear to be having a positive impact on the Spanish property market.Importantly, properties are cheap, in fact cheaper than they have been since 2002. The cost of Spanish property is low compared to prices across Europe. You can get an apartment for fewer than 50,000 euros and a villa for less than 100,000. And your money goes further; the cost of living continues to be much lower than in the UK.Another factor is that it’s getting even easier to travel between the UK and Spain. With flight times at 2 – 3 hours and many companies offering cheap deals, getting there has always been relatively straightforward and affordable. But now new flights are available including new British Airways routes to Alicante, Barcelona, Palma and the Canaries and Monarch are now flying from East Midlands Airport.Spain has long been a Mecca for British tourists and those seeking a sunnier and more relaxed lifestyle abroad, and it looks like now could be a good time to make the move, or an investment in property market.