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Investors – what are the merits of being the last to buy?

It’s very often the case that new developments use all the incentives they can to encourage the first few buyers to sign on the dotted line – sometimes before the project has even started construction – to build up momentum and encourage more buyers to follow.

However, when it comes to acquiring a property abroad, whether as an investment or for personal use, there can be advantages to being the last to buy, rather than the first.

Marc Pritchard, sales and marketing director at Taylor Wimpey España, which has been selling coastal homes in Spain for well over 60 years, says purchasing the last units on a development delivers a number of clear benefits.


“First and foremost, there’s a much greater chance of the property being key-ready than if you’re one of the first buyers. That means you can see for yourself how well the property has been built and finished – something that’s simply not possible when buying off-plan,” he said.

“Snapping up the last stock also delivers greater insight into monthly communal expenses, so you have a better idea of what your ongoing costs will be.”

Pritchard adds that the last unit sold is often the show home, meaning that it might have a few added extras included that standard apartments on the same development may not.

Typically, show homes are penthouses or similarly impressive properties, coming complete with ‘lovely views, larger terraces or other advantages’.

Pritchard argues there’s also the possibility of negotiating to include the show home furniture in the purchase, which is ideal for buyers looking for a fuss-free, fully furnished property.

Taylor Wimpey España witnessed property reservations by British buyers rise by 180% in its May 2022 YTD figures, while data from Rightmove echoes the strong appetite from British buyers, with enquiries for homes in Spain increasing by 36% in April 2022 compared to the same month in 2021.

In fact, so intense is demand that three of Taylor Wimpey España’s developments in the Balearic Islands and two in the Costa Blanca are all now down to their final few units.

Meanwhile, in neighbouring Portugal, the demand for homes from overseas purchasers is also robust. Property investors from other EU countries into Portugal during the first quarter of 2022 increased by 72.3% compared with the same quarter of 2021, while foreigners investing from non-EU countries grew even more (up by 79.1%), according to statistics from the country’s National Institute of Statistics (INE).

What’s more, the purchase of new build properties in Portugal was up substantially during Q1 2022, with INE figures revealing a 28.7% increase compared to Q1 2021.

Palmares Ocean Living, owned and operated by Kronos Homes, is one resort that has been looking to service the huge growth in investor appetite. Last year, PIT visited the resort to discover what it had to offer.

Alda Filipe, Kronos Homes’ sales and marketing Director, also champions the advantages of snapping up the last units of a development or phase.

Reflecting on the last units of Phase I of the Signature Apartments at Palmares, she said: “While the first units are completely off-plan – which is advantageous because buyers get a better price – it might be difficult to visualise how the unit will be and have confidence in how the development will evolve in terms of timings, levels of finishings and so on.”

She added: “With the last units of the project, clients will have a clear idea, will have seen the development and will be reassured that it is a better and safer investment with strong capital appreciation.”

Filipe goes on to add that those investing at the outset of a development are committing to buy as much as two years before completion.

“In terms of market conditions, this means they will be unsure of how the market will evolve by the time the development completes,” she said.  

“Investing at a later stage on a resort also means that buyers can see how its amenities are developing. At Palmares, these have included a new clubhouse and the opening of a fine dining restaurant – Al Sud – which has already gained its first Michelin star.”

“This all adds to give clients a stronger sense of reassurance in the future of the resort,” Filipe concludes.

Chris White, chairman and founder of Ideal Homes Portugal, also echoes the upsides of acquiring one of the last couple of units at a development.

“If you purchase the last units, it is closer to completion, so you wait less time than those who bought earlier. You can also see the building quality, the finishes and how the spaces feel,” White said.

He added that buying last also doesn’t necessarily preclude you from snapping up a bargain, pointing out that an early investor will sometimes back out of a purchase closer to completion for personal reasons.

“Given that, from breaking ground to completion, you can expect gains of 15 to 20%, and in some cases even more, you may even get a fantastic deal,” he concluded.


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