How will the recent news of Spain being removed from the quarantine exemption list affect the country’s property market?
While the quarantine news is unfortunate for those who have already travelled to Spain or plan to do so in the near future, I think we will increasingly have to get used to these kinds of rapid lockdowns and quarantines between countries as the world continues to battle the ongoing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
This does not alter the fundamental advantages of owning a second home in Spain. It’s just a part of finding our collective feet as we establish the 'new normal.’
Why is now such an exciting time to be building new homes in Spain?
Spain’s property market has been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, just like markets around the world. However, the impact has not been even. We’ve seen Q1 2020 second-hand property prices rise by 2.7% year-on-year, which reflects the market slowing down as the coronavirus took hold.
However, new-build property prices during Q1 were up by 6.1% year-on-year. The difference between the two is a clear signal that institutional investors still have plenty of interest in Spain.
We’ve yet to see what the short-term impact of Covid-19 on Spanish property prices will be over the course of this year, but we do know it will be just that: short-term. When we’re developing and building new homes in Spain, we’re looking further ahead than that.
The process from finding the right land to handing over the keys of the last finished apartment can take years, so we’re always planning a long time in advance. Short-term market fluctuations tend to balance out when you take that longer-term view.
What does Spain have to offer British second home buyers right now?
A lot of people are focusing on different priorities now, as the coronavirus outbreak reshapes our thinking around what’s important and why. One thing we’ve seen is that buyers are thinking more about outside space – and about being somewhere where they can use that space almost year-round.
That means an emphasis on terraces, solariums and private gardens, as well as communal grounds and pools. Buyers are also looking for easy access to local facilities such as golf courses and beaches.
Locations such as the Costa del Sol and Costa Blanca therefore have a lot to offer British buyers right now. The idea of a sun-kissed lockdown bolthole is certainly one that appeals.
What procedures are in place to support buyers to purchase safely right now?
We’ve introduced a number of changes to ensure that buyers can view and purchase our properties safely. Viewings are by pre-booked appointment only, with strictly limited attendee numbers.
We clean show homes thoroughly between each visit, while masks and hand sanitiser are compulsory and available at every site.
Throughout the viewing, our staff keep their distance, giving buyers the chance to explore safely at their own pace, while still being able to ask questions as they look around.
How did the lockdowns in the UK and Spain impact interest in Spanish second homes?
We saw some notable rises in interest in both our coastal and our frontline golf properties during the lockdown. Visitors from the UK to our website over the March to July period rose by 67%, while the increase in June alone was up 75% when compared to June 2019.
Are financial circumstances driving buyers to put their pounds into property?
Obviously, each buyer has their own reasons for buying a home in Spain. However, it’s fair to say that the unlikelihood of any substantial interest rate rises in the near future in the UK is prompting those with cash available to look for more attractive options than keeping it in the bank.
Property offers a tangible alternative to a savings account, with the potential for capital growth in many cases outweighing the prospect of earning interest.
Are there any locations that buyers should pay particularly close attention to?
The Costa Blanca is an excellent choice for buyers on a budget, as you can get a lot for your money there, including homes on golf courses and those with direct beach access. The Costa del Sol is another great choice for buyers who want fantastic beaches and plenty of outdoor activities in the local area, while Cadiz province is home to some seriously premium properties.
Mallorca and Ibiza are also locations to watch, with the tranquillity of island life and the idea of being shut away from the rest of the world holding plenty of appeal right now.
What does Taylor Wimpey España have in store for the coming months and years?
We’re looking at a number of potential sites for future developments, with a focus on providing both golf and beach access in key locations. We’ve also got several launches coming up over the months ahead, covering a range of locations and price points.
2020 is certainly going to go down as one of the most interesting periods in our 60+ year history!