Costa De Almería Property Market in Great Shape
The Spanish property market has weathered national lockdowns, travel restrictions and the uncertainties created by Covid-19, and on the Costa de Almería the sector has not only survived the pandemic it’s in great shape.
Demand for permanent and holiday homes in the pretty mountain village and surrounding areas like Lúbrin, Antas, Sorbas and Tabernas has been so high in fact it’s outstripping the number of properties available.
“We’ve never been busier”, Joanne Desmond from Bédar-based Olive Properties tells Ultimate. “We’ve got a lot of people looking, but we need more properties to sell just now – the first time we’ve had this”, Joanne reveals. “Even properties we’ve had on the books a long time are being snatched up. We’ve got buyers fighting over properties, which we’ve never had either.”
It’s much the same story for the Price Brown Partnership in Mojácar Playa. “We’ve been selling more than we’ve been listing”, reports Sales Manager Elaine Midgley. “For the first time I can remember I’ve got people coming in and I haven’t had exactly what they’re looking for. Normally I’d have at least two or three to show them. “Sometimes when something comes on you’ve already got a buyer in mind. The challenge for us now is to get the listings. I think that’s probably been the same across the board. “The pandemic has made people think, ‘you know what, let’s just do it’”
Joanne believes living through Covid-19 has impacted on people’s mindset and is one of the key factors driving property sales growth on the Costa de Almería. “Life changes. The pandemic seems to have made people sit up and think I’m only here once and I’m going to make the most of it.” Elaine agrees. “I think the pandemic has made people think, ‘you know what, let’s just do it’. “People’s perspectives changed.”
Even during lockdown Olive Properties and Price Brown were busy. Both agencies had a significant amount of business from clients already living in the province looking to relocate or buy bigger. The agencies also sold to buyers living outside Almería or in other countries during this time, despite restrictions on travel and movement. Some were so determined to buy they did so from video viewings alone.
We are seeing a real diversity of people buying
Retirement age northern Europeans has been one of the Costa de Almería property sector’s main markets for years, but according to Joanne the pandemic has prompted more younger people to invest in homes in the region.
“We’re seeing a real diversity of people buying: a huge number who are way before retirement age, with families. People who were thinking of retiring to this area in maybe eight to 10 years are not waiting, and quite a lot who’d already bought holiday homes here have decided to buy a more permanent home.”
“People are opening businesses, taking big risks really, but going for it. Thinking if we don’t do it now, after being locked down and restricted, or losing people and going through family grief. I think it’s given people a different outlook.”
Another change since the start of the pandemic is greater buyer demand for properties with a work space. Elaine described it as “a key factor” for people buying now. “A lot of clients I’ve been talking to are working from home, or are working more from home. That means they can live here instead of being somewhere in the UK.” Joanne has found the same. “Buyers want an annex or room they can use or convert into an office so they can work at home.”
Brexit not putting off Brit buyers
Even Brexit doesn’t appear to be putting off Brit buyers. Joanne says Olive Properties has a lot of UK clients coming out and starting the process for residency. Elaine agrees the Brexit factor is not having a noticeable impact on demand from clients in the UK. At least not yet, cautioning, “maybe that would have kicked in earlier if we hadn’t had Covid.”
Elaine reports some of her clients are buying large villas to take advantage of the so-called Golden Visa. This allows non-EU nationals making a significant investment in the Spanish economy, including acquiring real estate with a value equal to or greater than 500,000 euros, to live and work in Spain.
It’s not just Brits buying property on the Costa de Almería though. Many Belgians and Dutch are investing in homes in the region, and Elaine notes that Price Brown had more Spanish clients this summer, as well as French and German.
It’s a sellers’ market
Costa de Almería properties are selling, but what about prices? “I would say they’re creeping up”, Joanne comments. “It’s a sellers’ market. There’s less on the market, there’s a high demand. Vendors are sticking to their prices, and people are paying them. Prices certainly aren’t going down. Elaine believes properties are currently “well-priced”, but that prices as much the same as they were before the pandemic. But she agrees that “vendors are now getting much closer to their asking prices”, and makes the point that “if we don’t have properties available to sell, then the ones which are for sale will go up in price.” The outlook for the Costa de Almería property sectors for the coming years is a positive one, in the view of Joanne and Elaine.
“There are still a lot of people coming out. It’s very busy”, Joanne points out. “The Belgians, the Dutch and the Brits are all selling at much higher prices – their markets are very buoyant – and it’s still very affordable here.” “Enquiries are up. And we’re getting much more serious or genuine enquiries”, adds Elaine. “Also, I don’t think we’ve seen the full potential of the Mojácar area. “There’s a lot of development going on. There are a lot of people investing, and I think that will drive prices up.”
Don’t leave it too long!
Joanne and Elaine have a clear message for anyone wondering whether now’s a good time to buy a holiday home, relocate to or invest in a bigger property on the Costa de Almería. “Don’t leave it too long!”, says Joanne. “Properties are being snapped up. If you’re serious about it you need to get here before the properties go.” Elaine says the same: “If you’re thinking of doing it, if you can afford it, then just go ahead and do it!”