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COVID restrictions are easing – is now the time to buy?

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The end seems to finally be in sight!

COVID restrictions have played havoc with the regular buying process for a huge portion of the Marbella real estate market. Foreign investment into property in Spain makes up a whopping 16-20% of the entire market. Chances are if you’re reading this blog, you are (or are planning to be) one of these investors.

Times have been hard – knowing what or when to buy has been even harder!

Whether you’ve been planning a move to Spain permanently or have simply been looking to buy a holiday home, we know that it has been made so much harder this last year.

Yeah, video tours and viewings are okay. You can sort of get a feel for the properties, but there is simply nothing like being there and experiencing it. Being based primarily in the Malaga province, we understand that the overwhelming majority of our clients are looking in this area for more than just a property.

They want to experience the bars, the beaches, the restaurants, the lifestyle. Even as a potential investor into real estate for rental or holiday lets, it´s so important to understand these factors, as that is what attracts people to the Malaga region.

The on-going (but hopefully not for much longer) COVID-19 pandemic has really put a dent in a lot of people’s abilities to be able to do this essential research. Travel restrictions, testing, limited flight availability, time off work for quarantining – the list goes on and on.

BUT there seems to be light at the end of the tunnel.

The end of restrictions?

With vaccination programs being rolled out in unprecedented numbers across Europe there is hope on the horizon for a return to normality over the summer. We are choosing to remain optimistic, when, this occurs, it means that we can finally get you out to Spain and really show you what you’ve been missing this past year!

We don’t seem to be the only ones who are optimistic in our outlook. The UK, in particular, has laid out a ‘one way’ roadmap out of lockdown. As a result, airlines are seeing bookings abroad, and to Spain in particular, in huge numbers.

Simply put – people are itching to get away.

We do understand however that not everyone is quite so optimistic. Chief economist of the Bank of Spain, Oscar Arce, is quoted as saying “If the vaccination levels are high in June, the tourist season will be saved. But if it’s delayed to the end of the summer the economy will suffer a great deal. In those three months of radical uncertainty, we have a lot at stake.”.

So, the question remains – is 2021 the year to buy?

We would argue yes.

Of course we would. We are real estate agents – it´s our job to say yes!

While we are obviously bias in this approach, we are also being honest with you.

The early year predictions for 2021 were that property prices, across the whole of Spain, were set to fall anywhere between 3-9% over the course of the year. Most experts were predicting for normalisation and increase of property prices around middle of 2022.

However, with the early rollout of mass vaccination programs and easing of restrictions there is a resurgence of interest in Spanish property from tourists. We are seeing this particularly in the UK, which is the biggest foreign investment market into Spanish property.

In fact, prices in touristic, coastal areas (like Marbella) are predicted to increase by around 2.5% over the next year – a stark contrast to the overall condition of the Spanish property market!
So, if you’re looking for an investment opportunity now could be the time to buy!

Not only are prices currently low with predicted growth, but we would think it’s pretty safe to assume that with the amount of people already trying to book trips abroad – you will inevitably see a busy year for holiday lets and rentals once travel and tourism resumes.

Fed up with the same four walls?

If, on the other hand, you are looking to buy to relocate, now might also be a good time to start looking as well.

With low prices and a large number of properties currently on the market, you have exceptional levels of choice. By purchasing a property during a low turn in the economy, you will generally end up with far more for your money, plus return on investment when the market stabilises. We can’t think of many situations where getting more for your money is ever a bad thing!

Not only will you be getting more ‘bang for your buck’, but I think we can all agree that a change of scenery might be needed now more so than ever! A lot of us have spent the best part of the last year cooped up indoors, staring at the same four walls dreaming of getting away. We know that for a lot of people, this has finally been the tipping point for them to stop putting off their dreams of moving abroad.

Again, we might be biased, but we simply could not think of a better place to be right now than in the heart of Marbella. Even if the pandemic drags on for a little while longer, we can assure you that the glorious south coast weather and strolls down beautiful golden beaches helps takes the edge off it – just a little bit…

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