British buyers are rekindling their love affair with Spain, according to Conti, the overseas mortgage specialist.
In May alone, Spain accounted for 44% of enquiries received by the company, overtaking France, which accounted for 37% of enquiries, for the first time in a year.
Banks such as UBS are predicting that Spanish property prices have another 8% to go before bottoming out, and buyers are taking the opportunity to snap up bargains from some very motivated vendors, Conti says.
Spain also offers cheap and easy access from the UK, good rental opportunities and much better weather than the UK.
According to data from the General Council of Notaries, the number of foreign and non-resident buyers of Spanish property increased by 28.4 per last year, compared with 2011, and the British are the biggest buying group.
Conti said that efforts being made by regional estate agents and tourism boards to improve Spain’s tarnished image are leading to high hopes that increased foreign investment will eventually help to revive the country’s property market.
The market should also be bolstered when a new law granting automatic residency to non-EU nationals buying property worth at least €500,000 is passed.
Clare Nessling, director at Conti, said: “There’s no denying that the country’s financial and economic woes have left a huge glut of new and repossessed properties sitting empty and struggling to sell, but some bargain basement prices are turning heads, particularly those of the British, and there may never be a better time to buy a Spanish home.
“Mortgage availability, unsurprisingly, isn’t as good as it was a few years ago, but there are still lots of opportunities, especially if you have a healthy deposit to put down. It’s generally possible to borrow up to around 65-70% of the value of the property, and rates currently start from just 3.2%.”