Tuesday, December 14, 2010

December 2010 TINSA index

The December Tinsa Spanish property price index report estimates that prices are falling at an inter annual rate of 3.6%.

This is the 36th consecutive month that TINSA have opined that residential property in Spain has fallen in value, with the Balearic Isles and the Mediterranean coast falling by the highest margins.

TINSA's index implies that prices aren't falling as steeply as before. Oversupply, massive unemployment and weak demand continue to drive down prices.

The market analytsts, Fitch, have estimated that the down turn in prices will continue throughout 2011.

The rate of decline has been slowing since a early 2009, a simple extrapolation of the change in rate indicates that the market should bottom late 2011. However other factors may come into play, forcing prices down further. The withdrawl of extra unemployment benefit in February and the repricing of Spanish properties held by the banks is likely to depress prices further.

This means that those wishing to move to Spain should probably consider renting rather than purchasing at this stage. It's a buyers market so take your time and start by making a low offer.

The TINSA index is based on the opinion of valuers, rather than actual sale price data. The word on the street is that there are some great bargains out there, but there is a lot of property over-priced on the market.

Original article Spanish Property Magazine

Smoking Ban in Spain

Spain will ban smoking in public areas on the 2nd of January 2011.

The legislation has been pushed on Spain by the EU. It's a slippery slope and an affront to democracy and personal liberty.

I agree that smokers should be considerate, especially around children, diners and flammable flora. I hate seeing cigarette butts in the sand.

I don't see the need for governments to tell us what to do. It's a slippery slope. If you leave it up to the government, you remove the responsibility from the citizens. Good respectful and careful behaviour becomes enforced by the state rather than society.

At least in Spain you don't have to standing outside in the rain.

There should be smoking bars, not out right bans. Cigarettes go well with coffee and drinks. Some people enjoy it. It's also quite social.

The science behind the ban is flimsy at best. Of the 92 peer review scientific journal articles on passive smoking, none conclusively show that passive smoking causes disease.

The smoking bans have been introduced largely because of lobbyists such as ASH

The diffusion gradient of cigarette smoke from the smoker to the passive smoker is such that it's impossible to accumulate toxins at a level that causes cancer. Anti-smokers may find it unpleasant, but it's not as much of a health hazard as walking next to a line of traffic.

For more information on the history of the anti-smoking movement visit www.velvetgloveironfist.com

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

European Enforcement Order - "Costa Nightmare"

The infantile news jocks at the mail on Sunday, ran a piece about Spanish Property predictably entitled, "Costa Nightmare" - yawn. The story about how, Banco de Sabadell, a Spanish bank obtained a European Enforcement Order to recoup monies owed to them.

In 2004, an English couple, the Chatterton's signed a contract to purchase an apartment in Duquesa, on the Costa del Sol.

They found it difficult to make the repayments and offered the property back to the bank. The property was in negative equity and the bank wanted to recoup the rest of the money the Chattertons owed. So the bank has used a piece of EU legislation to claim assets from an uncontested debt.

The mail's skew on this story is that it's somehow unfair, and that the big nasty EU is interferring in our lives.

It's one example of where the EU's legal to our lives is justified and wanted.

The ability to more easily recoup monies from debtors across european borders, makes Europe a better and more financially sound place to live.

Whilst it's sad that people should find themselves ina situation where they lose their home because they are unable to pay back a debt. A contract is a contract and a debt is a debt. Were these people naively thinking that the shores of blighty somehow protected them from their creditors?

Wiltshire MEP Ashley Fox (Conservative) is reported to have said; ‘To me this is against the laws of natural justice. I shall be writing to the Commission to ask that they investigate.’

Does Mr Fox believe that debtors should be able to escape their creditors, simply because they live in Wiltshire and not Malaga?

Perhaps Mr Fox should leave the conservatives and join the natural law party.


Details of the eu legislation can be found here.

European Enforcement Order Legislation

Monday, November 29, 2010

Euroland La La La

Many said that the Euro couldn't work without debt union and fiscal union. The bond markets are pushing hard. The cracks are being patched over (Greece and Ireland), but if the euro is to survive debt union and fiscal union. Will the Irish and greeks accept the loss of fiscal sovereignty to the EU? In

Spain has to refinance it's debt and there are doubts as to whether the political will exists for the surplus countries (Germany, France and teh Netherlands) to take on the debt of their Southern neighbours.

If the eurozone breaks up and Spain goes back to the peseta at the level at which it joined.

166.386 Ptas = 1 Euro

Many analysts are predicting a drop in the value of the euro, meaning that property in Spain for those wishing to purchase will become cheaper.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Spanish Property Prices Decline for three consequctive years.

Throughout the late 90's and early noughties the Spanish Property saw an explosion in popularity, construction and price. Any boy from the country who knew how to mix cement or carry bricks could get a job.

Spain has massive a glut of unsold properties, and as developer and individuals continue to go into liquidation banks are resposse

The bubble burst in November of 2007 and since then prices have dropped some 25% (depending which measure you look at), with many analysts predicting that property prices will continue to fall.

The word on the ground is that many properties on sale are often over priced, but if you can find the bargains, these are selling for around 50% of their pre-boom prices.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

TINSA - Sold!

The Spanish Property valuation company TINSA, has been acquired by Advent, a Boston based private equity firm.

TINSA publishes an index of Spanish Property prices based on valuations.

Advent paid 100M Euros for a 94.5% stake in TINSA. TINSA posted a turnover in excess of 80Million Euros for 2010.

Advent are hoping to grow the company by expanding into other regions and by buying up other similar businesses.

It is rumoured that Advent are also looking at Servetas, another Spanish valuations company.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

November 2010 TINSA price index

The November (For October 2010) price index indicates that Spanish Property prices are continuing to decline.

Download the TINSA index for spanish property

TINSA estimate that prices are falling at an interannual rate of an estimated 4.6%, at the same time the Spanish national institute of statistics have recorded an increase in property transactions.

TINSA base there Spanish Property price index on valuations, so they should be taken as collective opinion of valuers rather than hard fact.

Prices are decreasing as vendors lower there prices in order to attract the scarce number of buyers.

Banks are revising the prices of properties they have repossessed over the few years. In order to clear properties banks are having to cut prices in order to get the property off their books.

Banks are sometimes offering 100% loan to value mortgages, often for the value of the outstanding loan at the time they where repossessed. It should be pointed out that many properties from the banks don't offer value for money, as similar properties can often be purchased for less.

On the other side of the coin an investment fund Taurus Ibérica has been set up with a view of purchasing bargain properties and turning them round quickly in order to make a quick profit.

It is expect that as serious investors come into the market, who aim to make a quick profit when the market bottoms, this will be the time to buy.

The general advice to buyers out there is to either wait as prices to continue to fall or if you can find a property at considerably lower than the market value.

Pig on the Roof

The town of Nijar, in the Spanish province of Almeria is on the way to San Jose if you are travelling from the North to South.

We' stopped off for a drink and a bite to eat and since we weren't in a hurry to get anywhere we had a bit of a wander around the town.

Whilst we were ambling the cobbled narrow streets, I spied a sight you don't see every day.

A pig on a roof!

The piglet looked down at us as we looked up at it. A friend once said to me that holidays are all about ice creams and photo opportunities. Well I took the opportunity to shoot our little porcine friend with my lens.

A small crowd of gathered to admire and wonder at the piglet with heavenly aspirations.

"Como ha subido alli?" - How did it get up there? "No lo se". I don't know.

The piglet became increasingly inquisitive and tip-trottered toward the edge of the roof to see what all the pink hairy headed creatures were looking at.

Piggy stepped a bit to far, lost his trottering and toppled over the edge falling about 15 feet and then bouncing a foot.

The pig was significantly more stunned by his fall than I was by the surprise of seeing him fall. I grabbed him by his pork chops and asked one of the kids who was standing by if they knew his owner. They said they did. The owner shortly arrived on the scene so I handed over Mr Bacon Sandwich, feeling quite smug and humoured about the whole incident. The piglet had been saved.

We went on our way, and later on we re-encounter the piglet in the arms of a burly long haired Spaniard who dutifully informed us that piggy was in for a roasting that evening.

At least he would be extra tender. Cochinillo al horno.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Spanish Property Rental Websites

Hi all,

I am a web developer and I build individual websites for rental properties.

I have built a number of property rental websites:



If anyone wants a website to help them let out their property, please get in touch.




Sunday, October 31, 2010

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

House to rent in Puerto de Mazarron - 450 Euros per Month (long or medium term)

Puerto De Mazarron, Murcia

Spectacular area.

So you want to move to Spain, but you know now is not the best time to buy, rent instead.

Long / medium term rental available for only 450 Euros per month

3 bedrooms
2 bathrooms

Less than 10 minutes walk to the towns beaches

Easy to get to.
Under an hour from Murcia Airport and the new Corvera Airport opening in 2011. An hour and a half from Alicante Airport. An hour and 45 minutes from Almeria.

For more information email willneedham@gmail.com

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Connells and CAM join forces to sell Spanish Property

The CAM (Caja Mediteraneo) bank and Connells Estate agency have joined forces to try and sell CAM's residential property portfolio. Connell's with their impressive track record of selling properties in the UK undoubtedly can bring a lot to the partnership. It's refreshing to see one of the banks admitting they need help to shift their growing catalogue of properties they have acquired through repossessions. It's a sensible start and I'm sure this move will generate a lot of sales.

Connell's previously partnered with a Spanish Property agent, the now defunct Parador Properties.

Whilst I am certain that Connell's will be able to muster up some clients, even in these depressed times...I'm not so certain how the whole process will flow so easily.

It does prompt a few questions:

Who will being doing the selling on the ground in Spain?

Will there be any kind of an after-sales service?

In my experience the vast majority of British property purchasers did so from British sales people. If Connells think it's just a question of getting bums on an aeroplane and CAM think it's just a question of showing an English couple a house, they may not be as successful as they both hope.

I am a little bit bemused as to why the banks haven't struck up multi-agency deals with all the real estate agents up and down the Costas and shifted the properties sooner and faster. The local British agents have a great deal of experience and skill at selling Spanish property.

For a list of banks featuring repossessed Spanish property visit: www.respossesed-spanish-property.co.uk

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Paramount Theme Park - Alhama de Murcia

It has been agreed that the new Paramount theme park will sit next to the Condado de Alhama, on land formally owned by Polaris World.

The location is between the towns of Alhama de Murcia and Mazarron.

The theme park will be a short distance from Covera airport due to open next year. Covera Airport

This will come as a boon to the region, which badly needs the employment.

It's also good news for people who let out holiday properties in the area on developments such as:

  • Condado de Alhama
  • Mazarron Country Club
  • Camposol

The nearest beaches to theme park the will are at Puerto de Mazarron

Paramount formally managed Terra Mitica, just outside Benidorm.

Those wondering what the park might look like may here flagship park is Kings Island

Original Article

Friday, October 15, 2010

Where are the banks repossession bargains?

Looking through the Banks' websites advertising repossessed spanish property it soon becomes obvious that a disproportionate amount of respossessed properies can be found in the following provinces:

These three provinces are over represented with proeprties.

I found properties discounted by more than 50% in these area

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Cheapest Properties in Spain

In this article I examine where to find the Cheapest properties in Spain.

There are two intrepretations of the term cheap;
  1. Cheap in absolute terms. I.E. What are the Cheapest properties in Spain?
  2. Cheap in relative terms. A luxury villa reduced from 2 000 000 Euros to 1 000 000 Euros could be considered to be very cheap.
The cheapest properties in Spain in absolute terms are typically:
  • Situated inland
  • Small in Size
  • In poorer areas
  • In a delapidated condition
  • Spanish rather than expat areas
  • Older rather than modern construction
  • Further from an international airport
That said cheap properties in Spain can offer alot. It's not difficult to find a habitable property for under 25 000 Euros if you know where to look. These properties enable the purchaser to get onto the property ladder where they wouldn't be able to purchase elsewhere. If you are a DIY or have building skills, this amplfies the range of properties open to you.

Where to find these properties:Use our Spanish Property Finder a let us know what sort of property you are after.The cheapest properties in Spain in relative terms is typically:
  • About be repossessed
  • For sale by a bank having been repossessed
  • In an area where there is a lot of similar property for sale
  • In an area where property speculators have purchased
Pre-repossesion properties are probably the cheapest properties in Spain and represent the best value for money. If the vendor is in a situation where he has a mortgage on the property, but still a large amount of equity. That is to say he owes less to the bank than what the property is worth. If he doesn't keep up with the mortgage payments the bank can respossess the bank and sell it. If he wants to sell and pay off the loan he may offer the property at less than bank would offer it for if it were to be repossessed.

The original article can be found here: The Cheapest Properties in Spain

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

House prices fall by an estimated 5%

The latest TINSA figures indicate that prices in Spain are still falling at a relatively steady rate. Whilst there is an increased decline over the last trimester, most observers consider that the worst of the crisis is over, but that property prices will continue to fall.

The TINSA property valuers suggest that prices have fallen at a year on year rate of 5%. TINSA reckon that property prices are falling fastest along the mediterranean coast, which they estimate is falling at a rate of 8.7% per year.
The coastal areas saw the largest inflation during the boom years, so it is perhaps unsurprising that they are the biggest fallers in recession.

They estimate that a property worth 100,000 euros last September would be worth 95,000 euros today.

Download the latest TINSA report. (Spanish)

Owning a property in Spain in this market should be viewed as a liability rather than an asset.

The reason for the decline can be put down to the over supply of property on the market, the high unemployment rate in Spain and general maliase in the wider economy.

It would be a mistake to assume that a property price decline is confined to Spain. Similar declines are being observed in other markets, such as UK, Ireland and the USA. The Halifax reported a recently recorded drop in UK house prices.

The message to potential purchasers out there is to continue to wait and rent property in Spain instead of purchasing.

Please visit Spanish Property Magazine, to read the original article.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Spanish Property Prices Drop Further

One of the largest Spanish property portals, idealista, publishes a price index for the 3rd Trimester of 2010.

Which can be found here.

The index indicates that prices are continuing to decrease.

Although asking prices are not a representation of sale prices (especially in Spain!), the fact that vendors are willing to discount indicates the direction the Spanish Property market is generally heading.

Average asking prices fell by 2.7% over 3 months to the end of September, according Idealista, one of Spain's largest property portals.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

September 2010 Tinsa

The August TINSA index (Published September), indicated that prices are still falling.

The year on year rate of decline is -4.6%. (July was -4.3%).

Tinsa have guaged that prices have been falling year on year for more than two successive years.

Some commentators have suggested that the Spanish property market is approaching the bottom of the curve.

The number of buyers entering the market is down for the first half of 2010 to 2009.

The simple economic principle of supply and demand will continue to drive down prices. Whilst there is a dearth of buyers and an over supply of property, prices will continue to deflate.

The poor domestic unemployment data, wider economic gloom and poor performance in other housing markets will continue to take it's toll.

TINSA's figures are based on property valuations, and not on actual sales data.

Original Article

Monday, August 23, 2010

Monsoon Britain

I am writing this with a runny nose and a bad cough. It's August, middle of Summer, and the gods are heaping their love on Britain in the form of liquid sunshine.

My washing is on the line and if it soaks up much more water it might just snap the cord and fall in the mud. Joy!

My girlfriend, who lives in Torrevieja, Spain, has informed me that "It's too hot" and that she is heading to the beach this afternoon to swim in the balmy waters of the Mediterranean. She lives in Spain, and since the property crash, I have been working in the UK with the hope that one day I'll be able to go back.

After suffering one of the coldest winters we have endured since I was a child, waking up to go to work in the cold bleak twilight scraping ice off of my car daily. I remember "ice" from the years I spent in Spain....it's the stuff they put in drinks, to stop them getting too hot!

The ever optimistic people of old Britannia assure me that because winter was so cold this year we were in for a scorcher this summer. I remember the soothsayers at the Meteorological office informing us that 2009 would bring a "BBQ summer". 2008 was a washout too.

Original article

Wednesday, August 11, 2010




- Many Spanish Banks are guilty of gross negligence and lack of
professional due diligence for their failure to issue or to verify the
existence of Bank Guarantees/Certificates of Insurance to protect
deposits paid in advance by purchasers for off-plan property
in Spain, as required by Spanish Law, in particular, LEY 57/1968,
Article 1.2

- Purchasers hold Spanish President, Mr José Luis Rodríguez
Zapatero and the Governor of the Banco de España, Mr Miguel
Ángel Fernández Ordoñez ultimately responsible due to their lack
of supervision and regulatory control.

- In many cases where Bank Guarantees were issued to purchasers
Banks are now refusing to honour them even though the developer
has clearly defaulted on the contract, thereby unnecessarily
forcing the purchaser into a lengthy and expensive litigation

Spanish Law - LEY 57/1968 provides comprehensive protection for purchaser deposit funds paid to the developer in advance for a property. The rights granted to the purchaser under LEY 57/1968 are of a 'Caracter de Irrenunciables' (Inalienable Character) and are INDISPUTABLE.

LEY 57/1968 states:

Article 1.1: The developer must ensure the return of the payments made plus six percent annual interest*, by means of a Contract of Insurance granted with an Insurance Entity inscribed and authorized in the Record of the General Sub-department of Insurers or by means of a Bank Guarantee issued by an Entity inscribed in the Record of Banks and Bankers or Savings Banks, if the construction does not commence or complete for any reason by the agreed deadline.
* The Building Act LEY 38/99 amends this percentage to the legal rate as published annually in the Boletín Oficial del Estado.

Article 1.2: Must deposit the sums advanced by purchasers through a Bank or Savings Bank, which must be deposited in a Special Account, with separation from any other funds belonging to the promoter, which may only contain funds deposited for the construction of dwellings. For the opening of these accounts or deposits the Banking institution or Savings bank, under its responsibility, will demand the guarantee to which the previous condition refers.

The preamble of LEY 57/68 explains clearly the reasons for its implementation in 1968. It states that there was justified public alarm at the fact that repeated abuses had been taking place with regards to off-plan deposits. It says the abuses which were obvious criminal acts had a serious disruption of social life, constituted a serious alteration of the social coexistence and caused irreparable
damage to trust and good faith.
It says LEY 57/68 was being introduced in the Public Interest to create general preventative standards to ensure the real and effective protection of funds paid in advance by purchasers and to ensure they received a refund in the event that the house building did not take effect.

However, despite LEY 57/68 being introduced in the public interest to protect deposits paid by Off-Plan purchasers we now find that during the past 10 years thousands of Off-Plan purchasers in Spain were not provided with the legally required Bank Guarantees and in many cases where Bank Guarantees were issued the Banks & Savings Banks are now refusing to honour them.

A number of Spanish Banks & Savings Banks accepted funds which they knew were for off-plan deposits and failed in their obligations under Spanish Law – LEY 57/68 – to either issue the corresponding Bank Guarantee or to verify the existence of a Bank Guarantee or Certificate of Insurance.

Some Banks included pre-determined expiry dates in Bank Guarantees that they issued even though this is contrary to the requirements of Article 4 of LEY 57/68 which states: ‘Once the Certificate of Occupancy is issued by the Provincial Delegation of the Ministry of Housing and given by the promoter of the housing to the buyer the rights guaranteed by the insurer or guarantor will be cancelled’.

As a direct result of this negligence many purchasers have been unnecessarily forced to take expensive and lengthy litigation proceedings in an effort to have their inalienable rights which are granted by LEY 57/68 upheld.


The Banco de España is the national central bank and supervisor of the Spanish banking system.

The Banco de España stated in their 2008 customer service report (Memoria del Servicio de Reclamaciones 2008) and in August 2008 in El Pais Newspaper "There are obligations imposed by LEY 57/1968 on financial institutions - some banks have not acted with diligence"

Spanish President Mr José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero said in THE EU PARLIAMENT ON 6 JULY 2010: "My country is based on the rule of law and it respects and ensures that laws are respected. The courts are responsible for the application of law. We stand shoulder to shoulder with those people who, maybe, have had the wool pulled over their eyes in the property sector"


The ultimate responsibility lies with Mr Zapatero and the Banco de España for their failure to adequately and effectively supervise the Banks & Savings Banks who are the guardians of LEY 57/68 and who were the 'vehicle' through which the illegalities were allowed to operate.


Off-Plan purchasers are the innocent victims in a trail of lies, deception, negligence, lack of due diligence and complete lack of control within the real estate sector. In many cases the negligence and lack of due diligence began with the Estate Agents and has ended with the Banks & Savings Banks.

In a direct response, Ruth Genda, herself a victim of Bank Guarantee abuse, submitted a Petition to the Banco de España in January 2009, however at that time the Banco de España suggested that the matter be dealt with by the Spanish courts. This was a totally unsatisfactory response from the Supervisor of the Spanish Banking System, therefore another more detailed PETITION has now been organised for purchasers of Spanish Off-Plan Property who are currently suffering or have suffered ANY type of Bank Guarantee abuse.

This new PETITION has been organised by Keith Rule, Coordinator of the Finca Parcs Action Group, a group currently consisting of 63 purchasers on the Las Higuericas, Finca Parcs development, none of whom were provided with the legally required Bank Guarantees for their Off-Plan deposits.

The main aims of the PETITION which is primarily addressed to Spanish President, Mr José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero and the Governor of the Banco de España, Mr Miguel Ángel Fernández Ordoñez are:

• To expose the negligent actions of all those involved including the Banks & Savings Banks

• To highlight the unacceptable delays innocent purchasers are unnecessarily being subjected to in the courts
• To force accountability and demand justice

• To ensure change for the future


This is a serious public order matter and our petition demands that the Banco de España and Spanish Government act immediately to ensure that:

• Any purchaser not provided with the legally required Bank Guarantee is
refunded immediately in accordance with LEY 57/68

• Any purchaser in possession of a Bank Guarantee, where the developer has
clearly defaulted on the contract, is able to execute the Bank Guarantee, in accordance with LEY 57/68, without the need for litigation

• 'Fast Track' specialised courts be established

• The Spanish Government and Banco de España must immediately set up a fund to underwrite the refunds on all Bank Guarantee cases

• The Spanish Government and Banco de España must act now to ensure the abuse being suffered by innocent off-plan purchasers in Spain is ended immediately and that it is never allowed to happen again.


If the Banco de España and Spanish Government fail to act within defined timescales on the above issues then we ask the European Parliament and European Commission to take firm and effective action demanding that these very serious financial illegalities be addressed as a matter of extreme urgency.


This is the most extensive Bank Guarantee petition ever undertaken and it is essential that we gather as much information as possible to ensure we are able to present a comprehensive dossier of evidence and a complete account as to the scale of abuse suffered by innocent purchasers of Off-Plan Property in Spain.

Any person affected by this issue is urged to visit the Bank Guarantees in Spain website and add their voice to this very important PETITION:


August 2010 TINSA

The July TINSA index (Published August), indicated that prices are still falling.

The year on year rate is -4.3%. (June was -4.0%)

Over the past few months some agencies have tried to talk up the figures, because the rate of decline has been falling. Some agency sponsored news churners imaginatively interpretted the reduction in the rate of decline as an upward trend.

With unemployment running at over 20%, and banks reducing the prices of properties, I think the downward trend of property prices is set to continue for some time.

This means that the general advice to the investment buyer is wait. If you are looking to move to Spain consider renting, unless of course your decision to purchase is based on a lifestyle decision.

TINSA's figures are based on property valuations, so the shouldn't be considered as factual.

Original Article