Suomma says it will simply ask the successful application to test the comfort, location, degree of sunlight and other factors at the homes they stay in, in exchange for an all-expenses-paid trip around Southern Spain. This is designed to make sure the company is offering the best luxury apartments and houses to those looking for fractional ownership on a second home in Spain.
The ‘unique job opportunity’ will enable the winner and their travel companion to journey around the whole ‘Sun Coast’ and fully immerse themselves in the Mediterranean culture. Here, the firm says, they can soak up the sights of the Balcony of Europe or sip Sangria while sitting along the Puerto Banús Marina.
The role includes the following for two people: return flights - up to £600; accommodation fees – estimated to cost £4,000 for 21 nights; food and drink allowance – up to £600; spending money - £1,500 (to check out local excursions); vehicle hire - £2,000; and a new camera - £650.
There are, though, a few catches, with those wishing to apply needing to be flexible between September and October to travel to Spain for the three weeks. The winner will also be considered for further tests in the Balearic Islands next year.
The winner is also required to take plenty of photos, keep a daily video diary and blog on their experiences to ‘give an honest review on each of the properties up for fractional ownership’.
Suomma says candidates should be verbal, charismatic, creative, outgoing (enough to confidently vlog about their stays) and have a great sense of humour.
Applicants must, to be in with a chance of winning, be at least 18 years of age, have a valid passport and will need to complete the submission form before the closing date.
“If there was ever an ultimate dream job that involved travelling, this is it,” Borja Badiola, CEO and co-founder of Suomma, commented.
“We’ve already received over 5,500 applications for the role so far in just a few weeks, and we’re excited to be able to give someone and a friend the chance to effectively holiday in Spain for three weeks on our dime.”
Spanish property market review Q1 and Q2
Here, Sean Woolley, managing director of Cloud Nine Spain, sets out his review of the Spanish property market in the first two quarters of 2022.
“It’s been a strong start to the year for us and most of the agents we speak to on a daily basis. We’ve all still been satisfying the pent-up demand that was left over from people not being able to get here because of Covid. However, it’s interesting to see that this doesn’t seem to be tailing off and there are a lot of people coming over to do property tours, who are making decisions very quickly and have decent budgets.
“We’re seeing a complete mixture of nationalities and less reliance on the Brits. In quarter two, there were 21 different nationalities buying, showing the cosmopolitan and diverse nature of the market here. The currency market is also making things much more interesting to a variety of buyers, with the Canadian Dollar and the US Dollar both very strong against the Euro. In July, the Euro dipped to the lowest level in 20 years against the dollar. So, it's a great time for American investors to use their dollars to buy a Euro asset.
“There’s now a shortage of stock on some developments and some of the most popular areas, following the post-Covid boom. For example, Four Seasons in Los Flamingos has 96 apartments and penthouses and at any given time on a development of that size, you'll have between five and ten percent of the inventory available for sale. But rather than the five to ten units we’d expect to be for sale, there’s absolutely nothing available and I now have a waiting list of buyers for the development. If you’re thinking of selling on projects with low supply, it´s a great time to do so!
“There’s a similar situation in Los Arqueros, which is a lovely golf resort on the road to Ronda, which has hundreds of properties but only two or three for sale. Señorio de Marbella on the Golden Mile is in the same position, with three properties available out of around 100 units, so people are having to move very quickly when something does come on the market.
“At the very top end of the market, I'm seeing quite a lot of price reductions. Now, don't get excited because it's not going to be a fire sale here, rather it´s a correction in the market following the inflation of prices due to the huge demand from overseas buyers towards the second half of the pandemic.
“This period saw people paying whatever they needed to be in a certain location, whereas now we have a more considered type of buyer in the market as a sense of normality returns. These buyers are taking their time, and this is causing a small price correction in the mid-high and high level of the market.
“As I say, it's not a market that's in any sort of distress at all, but I think there is a little bit of sense and normality returning to the market. We're seeing a few little tweaks that are making it a better market and more attractive for buyers.”
For a more in-depth analysis, you can watch the latest Marbella property market update video on YouTube to find out more.
Rise in Spanish mortgages being taken out by UK buyers
There has been an increase in Brits taking out Spanish mortgages, according to new research from agency Lucas Fox. The firm found that there has been 13% in just the last 12 months alone.
The findings showed that the average loan amount of British buyers is 70% loan to value, typically represents a euro value of 800,000.
According to Lucas Fox, the average price of properties bought by UK buyers has also gone up by 15% over the last year. It currently sits at 1,056.278,9 euros. *Source: Lucas Fox, July 2022).
What’s more, the research revealed that even cash buyers are taking out finance to leverage their Spanish property purchase and acquire pricier properties.
The firm argues that the cost of capital is relatively cheap at present, while the appreciation value of properties in a better location, with good level of amenities, is higher.
“Recently there has been a dramatic increase in the number of Spanish banks lending for property purchases, which has led to some very attractive conditions becoming available. Normally mortgages of up to 70% are available to non-residents and 80% to residents (i.e. those who pay their income taxes in Spain),” Mohammad Butt, Lucas Fox’s Barcelona Office Director, said.
“For clients residing outside Europe, some banks prefer to lend less, although this depends on the client's profile. Interest rates are still attractive and have remained very affordable for the last four years. However, with rates expected to rise soon, clients need to get their applications in now.”
He added: “Our mortgage brokers are continually evaluating the lending options available, so will know which mortgage and which lender is right for buyers, avoiding the minefield of often confusing financing options.”
Lucas Fox also shared some key tips on securing a Spanish mortgage:
There is only one main difference with mortgages for non-tax residents in Spain - the loan to value is around 70%, while tax residents in Spain can get around 80% LTV
It’s best to use a mortgage broker who will search the entire market for you. It will also make a huge difference to the ease and speed of the mortgage application process and will ensure that the best possible conditions are secured for you. Brokers achieve this by working with a network of trusted contacts at each lender, from Branch Managers to Commercial Directors.
Spanish banks are more cautious with sterling income and therefore may lend a lower LTV amount in order to hedge their risk. If your principal income is not being earnt in Euros, there is a law that states if GBP in this case falls by a certain amount against the Euro, then you can request the bank to switch the mortgage to a GBP mortgage. It is highly unlikely that the currency would swing by the amount needed to trigger this.
Taxes are different from region to region, which significantly affects the overall costs. As a rule of thumb, excluding Madrid, we recommend allowing between 12% and 14% of the price depending on the region. For Madrid, allow around 10% as stamp duty – property tax is lower at 6%.
All property buyers definitely need an NIE number (Spanish identity number). It’s strongly recommended that you appoint a lawyer to assist you with the purchase process and they can also apply for the NIE number on your behalf.
A formal mortgage application will need documents to prove your identity, income, taxes paid in the last few years, assets and debts, which will usually include a credit report from a credit reference agency.
Ensure that you thoroughly analyse the market before you purchase a property. The Spanish property market can fluctuate, so this needs to be taken into account.
Read the small print in mortgage contracts, especially if you are using a bank, as sometimes a mortgage may seem advantageous at the start, but can end up quite expensive at the end of the mortgage term.