Archive for September, 2010


September 20th, 2010

Despite fears that sales would plunge after a hike in VAT on new home sales at the start of July, the Spanish property market had its best month in almost 2 years.

There were 38,838 home sales in July, up 15pc on the same time last year, and 16pc on the previous month, according to the monthly figures from the National Institute of Statistics.

Year to date (cumulative sales to end July), the market is 10.3pc bigger than last year, though still down 47pc compared to 2007.

On an annualised basis, sales have increased every month this year. If the figures are a true reflection of the market, that suggests that the worst is behind us, assuming there is no second act in this drama.

Surprisingly, sales of new homes leapt an annualised 21pc, and 26pc compared to June. I expected sales to plunge after an increase in VAT on new home sales came into effect at the start of the month.

Once again, new home sales were greater than resales, as they have been most months since the crisis began. In a normal market, resales should be bigger than new home sales. One explanation for this anomaly might be that banks are using a lending bias to off-load their new homes. Some banks are reported to be lending up to 100pc on new homes they have taken over from bankrupt developers.

Tags: ,
Posted in Property market | Comments Off

September 17th, 2010

Euribor (12 months), the interest rate normally used to calculate mortgage repayments in Spain, has now risen for 5 consecutive months to its highest level in more than a year.

Euribor reached 1.421% in August, an increase of 3.5% on the previous month, and 6.5% higher than August last year.

As a result, borrowers on annually resetting mortgages will have to start paying more. Repayments on a typical annually resetting mortgage (150,000 Euros, 25 years) will rise by around 6 Euros/month, or 70 Euros/year, to around 594 Euros/month.

This is the first time that Euribor has risen on an annualised basis since October 2008, when the credit crunch first griped the markets. Interest rates then tumbled as central banks poured money into the banking system. Rates are now starting to rise as investors fret about a fiscal deficits and inflation.

Story by Mark Stucklin

Tags: ,
Posted in Financial & Mortgages | Comments Off

September 17th, 2010

The Spanish house price index figures for August 2010 have just been released. See the graph and the table below for an up to date overview of the real estate market trend in Spain.

Spanish House Price Index - August 2010

Spanish property prices are still falling, but by less with every passing month. Average Spanish property prices fell by 4.4% over 12 months to the end of June, show the latest figures. The rate of decline has been slowing since June 2009, when it peaked at -10.1%. If the trend towards smaller declines keeps up, average property prices will be stable, or even growing slightly before the end of the year. Prices have fallen the least over 12 months in coastal areas and the Islands, areas traditionally popular with foreign buyers looking for holiday and retirement homes. Prices are down just 3.0% on the coast.

The graph and table data represent the year-on-year evolution of Spanish property values. For example, if the value for August 2009 would be -3.9, then this means that average property prices in August 2009 are 3.9% lower than they were a year earlier, in August 2008.

The graph and table on this page contain up to date information for the past 13 months. For more information, please look at earlier monthly reports, or the historical overview since January 2001.

The graph and table data are based on actual property valuations, as established by one of Spain’s larget independent property valuation companies, Tinsa S.A. They are not based on asking prices or (under)declared selling prices, nor on the statistics as provided by the Spanish Ministry of Housing, and are therefore considered to be the most acurate and reliable source for this kind of information.

Tags: ,
Posted in Property market | Comments Off

September 8th, 2010

Seven out of ten Britons who have retired abroad are happy with their new country and likely to stay there, a recent survey said.

Fewer than one in five who have gone to live in France, Portugal or Spain are considering returning home, it found.

The poll also found that nine out of ten of expat retirees live among the natives of their adopted country rather than among fellow Britons in communities of exiles.

The survey, carried out for NatWest bank, suggested that the trick to a happy retirement overseas may be planning ahead.

The highest levels of satisfaction were found among those who were employed in their new country before giving up work.

Among those in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the U.S. who worked in their chosen country before retiring, fewer than one in ten thought they might go back to Britain.

Nearly 150,000 British citizens left the country last year to live abroad, many of them after giving up work.

According to the survey, there are now an estimated 900,000 expat pensioners, with nearly 300,000 in Australia, 115,000 moving to Spain and just under 75,000 in France.

Dave Isley, from NatWest International Personal Banking, said: ‘Retiring abroad is still very much a popular choice and expats are happy with their chosen life paths.

It’s encouraging to see that the majority of expats believe they made the right decision in retiring abroad and are living their chosen dream. It is enlightening that 92 per cent of expats chose not to retire to a designated expat community.

‘This seems to emphasise the notion that expats have retained a sense of adventure.’

‘They really do want to start afresh and experience life as a local rather than settle with other expats.’

‘By immersing themselves in a full, enriched life as a local, retired expats can certainly learn and gain more from their time abroad.’

The survey also revealed that nearly six out of ten retirees abroad feel their experience has been better than they expected.

Only one in ten said retirement in a foreign country had proved worse than they thought it would be.

Among expat pensioners in France, Spain and Portugal, who mainly left Britain after they retired, just 16 per cent thought they might return.

The survey was carried out by the Centre for Future Studies among 1,300 retirees.

Story from Daily Mail

Posted in Lifestyle, Travel | Comments Off