“Uncertainty is now the main word in this exceptional situation,” Pritchard says. “We do not know when and how this alarming situation will finish. It depends on the government and the World Health Organisation.”
But he says interest from overseas investors in Spanish property is still very much there.
“We are still receiving leads from people interested in Taylor Wimpey España properties in all areas,” he claims. “We are attending to them online and by phone and will book appointments once people can move and travel freely once more.”
Interestingly, he adds, the firm has noticed some distinct opportunities as a result of the lockdown. “Many people are dreaming of homes with terraces, larger properties, communal facilities, reliable WiFi…and they would like to travel and buy abroad,” he says.
Will it take a long while for things in Spain to get back to normal, given how bad the impact has been in the country?
“Our forecast is that it will take one year for the Spanish tourism industry to return to its pre-coronavirus state. Tourism accounts for 15% of Spain’s total GDP and keeps many people in work. The country will be working as one to recover from this situation ASAP.”
But can things ever really be the same again, given the severity of the pandemic and its impact on all parts of life? “We need to be patient and work hard together,” Pritchard says. “Spain’s attractions will be there forever: 300 days of sunshine per year, sports facilities, beaches, golf courses, gastronomy, lifestyle, etc.”
He says Taylor Wimpey España has been working in Spain for over 60 years, suffering through and surviving the 2008 crisis. “We are now facing unprecedented market conditions,” he admits, but says: “We will still be here when the crisis ends, helping to support things to return to normal so far as possible.”
Prices will fall but rise again
David Fuster, a Spanish law specialist who founded Fuster & Associates in 1997, says it’s hard to talk about the future too much at present, but points to the economists who say the answer will lie in the time that this crisis lasts.
“That is, whether the way out of this crisis will have a V or a U shape. The longer the economic slowdown lasts, the greater the drop in price; a fall in prices is inevitable,” he says.
“It is possible that purchases by foreigners will not return until at least the summer or the end of the year, when free movement between countries will be restored.”
He says prices will fall for a period of time but will rise again, so it will be the time to invest ‘for those who have liquidity and access to financing’.
“It also seems that ‘buy to rent’ will be reinforced as, for people who lose economic stability, long-term renting will be a good solution,” he adds.
Spain remains the favourite destination of the English, Fuster says, which will help the recovery of the second homes market. “Without a doubt, as soon as the freedom to travel returns, everything will be back to normal. The situation right now is worrying, but there is also confidence. We all hope for a quick way out of the crisis.”
He concludes: “In fact, real estate agents are continuing their activity by showing properties via telematics and making reservations through us, pending purchase according to the inspection trip.”