The UK’s coronavirus vaccination programme is the envy of Europe, with the British government projecting that all of its eligible citizens will have received their first vaccination dose by the end of July. Whilst this is good news in general, it is also specifically good news for Britons hoping to purchase property in Spain: according to new research conducted by Right Move, the speed of the vaccination campaign should result in surge in luxury property sales in Spain. In short, this is because when confidence rises in the UK, Britons feel more able to invest in the Spanish property they have always dreamt of. And with Britons potentially free to travel to Spain again by the 17th May, they could well be able to travel and resume property purchases within the next three months.
High Interest in Spanish Luxury Properties
Property Portal Right Move and Spanish consultancy firm Arum Group conducted a joint research project assessing the interest in the Spanish luxury property market by Britons. We already know that Brits are keen to return to Spain, with bookings for Spanish holidays up by a whopping 600% since Prime Minister Boris Johnson unveiled his roadmap out of lockdown to the UK public. At the same time as booking of flights and holidays to Spain increased, so too did the number of online searches for Spanish property sales, with a particular interest in luxury properties. These searches have remained high throughout lockdown, but they peaked particularly in the last two weeks, showing that the desire to remain Spanish property is still very much present in the British psyche.
CEO of Arum Group Jesús Abellán said: "We’ve seen a substantial increase in online searches and virtual visits for the acquisition of luxury properties"
The Positive Impact of Lockdown Easing
Lockdown and travel restrictions have made it near-impossible for Britons to purchase overseas property, but that should all change by the summer months. According to Rachel Beaton, Head of Overseas & Commercial Operations for Rightmove, "The forecasts are that by May 9 the UK’s main priority groups (people over 50 years old) may be vaccinated and during the summer and until September the entire adult population of the country will be vaccinated,"….”clients will seek to act quickly” once they are able to purchase property again, she added.
What we do already know is that the Spanish luxury property market is still alive and well, and poised to bounce back as soon as it is able. On Wednesday February 24, it was reported that one of the most expensive properties in Spain, a villa in the upmarket Sierra Blanca area of Marbella in southern Spain, was sold for approximately €40 million.
What Are Brits Purchasing Spanish Property Looking For?
According to the study outlined above, the average buyer profile of British nationals looking to purchase property in Spain are male (62 percent), over the age of 55 (68 percent) andstill working (64 percent) but they generally aren’t hoping to move and work in Spain: instead they either want to enjoy the Spanish lifestyle (49 percent) or retire here (45 percent).
These are buyers with cash to spend, without the hassle of property chains, and with a high degree of preparation. They are ready and able to buy as soon as they find the right property for them.
The Impact of Brexit
Of course, it’s impossible to talk about Britons moving to Spain, and purchasing property in the region, without mentioning the impact of Brexit. Forty-four percent of people surveyed wanted the property as a second home to enjoy during holiday periods, taking advantage of the 90 days in each 180 day period that they can spend in Spain without having to secure a visa. This enables them to circumnavigate the complicated process of securing Spanish residency, and still enjoy all the benefits of Spanish property ownership.
What is good news for the Spanish property market is that it remains the number one choice in Europe for Britons hoping to buy property overseas, with 48 percent of prospective UK luxury buyers in Europe having Spain as their number one choice. The number of British nationals who own a home in Spain is currently estimated at anywhere between 800,000 and 1,000,000, many of whom already spend only limited periods of time on Spanish soil during the winter months. This is a precedent that proves reassuring for those Brits hoping to spend this summer purchasing their own luxury property in Spain.
Are you in the process of moving to Spain or looking to make the right move to Spain for you? If you’re looking for estate agents in Southern Spain then why not get in touch ? Our locally based property experts are a font of local knowledge, and are perfectly placed to help you find the home of your dreams.