I was Recently asked by a client to find a beachfront apartment in Marbellas golden mile
The criteria was a 3 bedroom apartment with good seaview upto 1.6 million close to Marbella centre. The client wanted to know he was getting a bargain buying in Spain
After contacting my network of 8 local agents in the immediate area and receiving 100 property details it soon became obvious that none of the agents had any real deals. Most property sent did not match criteria, very few were near the sea. The ones that were with sea view were tired and needed considerable sums spent on them to achieve the standard of luxury this client required and would take his budget well over 1.7 million
As with many clients they beleive the press that there are a mountain of repossessions in Spain ready to be snapped up, there for the taking.
For those that bought in the golden mile the majority were probably looking for the best location and buying without mortgage. At this level they are not under pressure to sell. Even if the recession has had some affect on their lifestyle at this level people often juggle their finances without having to panic sell.
Spain does have give away property for sale but much of them are found in out of the way back hill destinations or overlooking the motorways or where the architect must have studied a degree course for social housing in 1970´s Peckham. There are masses of repossessions or cheap property available in the bottom of the market.
The picture certainly changes when you approach Marbella, Puerto Banus and the luxury enclave of Sotogrande. In Sotogrande there is a shortage of property for sale as many villas after 3 years on the sales market are now rented or simply withdrawn due to owners seeing offers well below the price they wanted.
Whilst there is the odd bargain in the luxury market they are for those who live local and get the whisper early through their local networks. If you simply phone an agent monthly and hint that you may be able to fly in if its interesting enough normally means you will miss out.
There are possibly 20 prospective buyers here in Sotogrande who say they want to buy a villa all making statements along the lines that they will buy something that was 4 million for around 2 million. Many of these claimed buyers have been in rented accommodation for over 2 years still waiting for the one bargain that never seems to arrive or if it does it isnt quite the outlook or design they want.
For many of these people agents smile and continue to forward property but I suspect many of them will remain in rented for some time to come.
Its the same old story if you are very specific with your requirements then in the upmarket areas more often than not you will need to pay or go without.
With the uncertainty people who want to live here have put plans on hold but most people will run out of patience as another cold UK winter looms and then they will return to find "a place in the Sun"