Top Tips for Buying the Right Ruin in Spain


The dream of buying up an undiscovered renovation project with bags of potential in a stunning part of the world is one that many people share – whether the favoured location is Tuscany in Italy, Normandy in France or Murcia in Spain, the dream consists of finding a well priced property project with plenty of scope for personalisation and transformation.

Since there’s been a decline in interest for buying faceless homes on mega developments, particularly in Spain, it seems that people’s passion for taking on a property renovation project has in fact increased. Further fuelling the dream of controlling the development of a perfect property is the financial aspect of buying an affordable ruin and gradually working on the redevelopment of it as and when funds become available. This suits those who cannot raise funds to purchase in any other way, those who like the thought of buying cheaply in a weak market and adding real value, and those who no longer feel good about spending money they don’t have in the form of a mortgage! Therefore, if you fall into any of these categories and it really is your dream to find the perfect renovation project in Spain, here are essential tips to consider in order to buy the best ruin with the most potential for your budget: –
– Think about why you’re buying the property and let this guide you. If you’re buying a property to live in, the practical aspects of everyday life will be more important to you than whether the home has room for that all essential pool that holiday homes and rental properties need. This consideration should be taken further too – i.e., you need to think about the accessibility of any property, it’s proximity to essential amenities and services such as electricity and water supplies, and ultimately, you need to research and determine whether you will have planning permission granted to enable the renovation to take place.
– Get a reputable lawyer on board to help you research the right of the vendor to sell and whether the property is being sold free of any debts or claims against it. The land title needs to be carefully investigated to ensure you’re buying what you think you are, that land boundaries are identified and that there’s no chance anyone can impound the property or lay claims to it in the future, or prevent you from developing it.
– Look realistically at your finances before you proceed. You will need to afford the property, buying fees and then afford to have the renovation work done. Get quotes from builders that include professional fees, final finish and any money you will have to pay for planning permission, building regulations etc., then have a healthy contingency budget – just in case!
– Be realistic about how long the entire project will take – and remember that it could take months to get the permissions you need to start and to secure the services of the builder you want to do the work. Anything from the weather to public holidays can and will affect build time, so don’t set unrealistic time goals.
– And finally, once you have transformed your Spanish ruin into the palace you always dreamed of, what are you going to do with it? If you want to let it out have you marketed it? If you want to retire to live it in have you sold your UK property? If you want to resell it for profit, can you afford to potentially ride out any period of economic downturn that Spain may still be experiencing? Have an exit strategy in mind that is flexible and viable.
In terms of what’s available, you’ll truly be spoilt for choice – currently for sale from one agency in Spain, Casas de Lorca, are the likes of Finca in Diputacion de Nogalte in Lorca which is in Murcia. This is a beautiful 200m² house with great potential, incredible views and situated in a peaceful location. It comes with 14,000m² of land, but it does need a lot of work! Location-wise it has good access and is only minutes away from the motorway and less than an hour from the stunning nearby coastline.  Electricity runs beside the property and a water deposit could easily be installed, this particular property is available for sale for €105,000/£83,000. Alternatively, what about Finca in Aguaderas which is also in Lorca – it’s a mega project with a 14+ bedroom property which is composed of one large main house and 2 separate guest houses. There is a BBQ and entertaining area that comes with the impressive 1,500m² of property and 20,000m² of land, and this renovation project might make an ideal hotel or business venture.  The location is ideal as well as it is close to Lorca and close to the motorways too.  This property is available for the price of €695,000/£550,000.
For more information please contact Casas de Lorca on 0844 734 8057 or visit

No Wane in Spain’s Popularity Predicted for 2009


With the falling strength of the Pound against the Euro and with an increasing witter of wariness about Eurozone destinations, there remains one close-to-home country that is still drawing British holidaymakers time and time again – Spain.

2008, although somewhat shaky for many, was a good year for this popular European tourist destination, with the Office of National Statistics (ONS) ranking Spain the ‘Top Holiday Destination in 2008’, with a total of 12,029,325 holidays attributed, ahead of both France and Italy. These findings were also corroborated by BAA Scotland’s figures that have shown that the Iberian skies were busy with Scottish-departed planes in 2008 – with Spain the most popular travel destination for those travelling overseas from Aberdeen, Glasgow and Edinburgh Airports.
And with a healthy year of tourism behind it, Spain is looking forward to a similar 2009, even given the continued economic downturn., a site that offers the easiest way to search for flights online, revealed five Spanish destinations made their Top Ten Most Popular Destinations for 2009, a list based on the destinations most searched for on the site. With Malaga, Alicante, Tenerife, Palma and Murcia all residing in the top ten, Spain seems on track to have another bumper year. Barry Smith, Skyscanner co-founder, explains,
“This year, it’s all about making your money go as far as possible, which is why Spain remains an extremely popular destination for British travellers. It’s close, warm and still very good value.”
And Skyscanner is not the only one to recognise Spain´s positive credentials. In their 2009 Travel Trends Report, ABTA highlighted Spain’s consistent appeal as “a destination with so much variety that its attractions appeal to a wide variety of travellers, whether it’s adventure or culture seekers, families or pilgrims. While its countryside, language and culture are quite different from our own, Brits really do feel at home in Spain. They are reassured by its excellent infrastructure and facilities, and are warmly welcomed.”
The continued draw of Spain as a holiday destination with a great many assets is excellent news for those looking to invest in property in the country and as Martin Dell of Spanish property portal, explains there are certain types of property that remain ever-popular,
“the majority of foreign buyers are more interested in traditional inland property or a beachfront lifestyle.”
When it comes to traditional properties of this kind – and in turn the ‘true’ Spanish lifestyle that is so appealing for many – there is one province that stands out and yet still represents a good buy. Mike Hamilton, MD of Casas de Lorca sheds light on why Murcia is an up-and-coming region for those considering buying property in Spain,
“When speaking to people who are looking to buy property in Spain – be it for their own use as a holiday home or as an investment property that can be rented out – I find that a great deal are drawn to the country for its lifestyle and therefore are looking for the ‘true Spain’ over and above more well-known ‘Britain in the sun’-type resorts. They want to integrate with the Spanish, enjoy the beauty and space of the rolling countryside and learn the language. Murcia is one Spanish region where these things can be enjoyed with ease and where property is still affordable, which ultimately in these challenging times is of utmost importance.”
The affordability of Murcia as a province when compared to other more well-known coastal regions such as the Costa del Sol and Costa Blanca, for example, means that essentially the British pound can go further to buy a bigger property of high quality for the same price as a property of limited size and value elsewhere. Supporting this fact, have shown in their latest independent findings that average house prices in Murcia are 18.4% cheaper than the Spanish average (an average of €202k compared to the Spanish average of €247k).
Casas de Lorca sell bespoke villas that can be tailor-made to suit individual needs and desires, set within 5 acres of Murcian countryside surrounded by vineyards and almond groves and close to the town of Lorca, the properties make the most of the very best that Spain has to offer whilst using aspects of traditional architecture to truly capture the spirit of Spanish life. A three bedroom villa on a 5 acre plot of land can be purchased for €199,000 but if a larger property would be more suitable, the stunning four bedroom, three bathroom Casa Mallorca, for example, is built over two levels giving a feeling of grandeur and taking full advantage of the stunning views of the Murcian countryside. Prices start from €329,000.
For more information please contact Casas de Lorca on 0844 734 8057 or visit

The Spanish Property Market – reasons to be optimistic in 2009

Cape Verde


In the last ten years, more and more Brits have taken the plunge of investing in Spanish property, be it in the form of a holiday home, buy to let investment or permanent relocation. However as a difficult year for the Spanish property market draws to a close and with future financial concerns at the forefront of many people’s minds, we ask how this market will fair in 2009?
Casas de Lorca, established developers in Murcia, south east Spain, offer their thoughts about what they expect to see during the next twelve months. Looking at the key underlying market influencers, they offer concrete reasons as to why the more alarmist predictions of slumps should be exiled and why interest in Spain by Britons will continue to thrive well into the next decade.
Experts believe that both UK and Euro interest rates will continue to fall throughout the first half of 2009 helping to stimulate both the UK and Spanish property markets. As lower interest rates and greater governmental pressure on banks increases lending, the UK property market is likely to be stimulated. As people manage to sell their UK homes, more can buy their dream home and relocate to Spain as is the desire of many. Casas de Lorca has a large database of clients who have decided that they wish to purchase a luxury villa in inland Murcia but are waiting to sell their home in the UK; therefore if the falling UK interest rate simulates the domestic property market, then not only will there be more new buyers for Spanish property but it will allow Casas de Lorca’s existing prospective buyers to complete their purchases.
Aside from economic factors, Casas de Lorca say the popularity of Spain as a holiday destination over the last year has reasserted itself. Twelve months ago, there was a large growth in potential property purchasers looking for new, emerging, often viewed as ‘better value’ markets than Spain leading to a glut of property stock, especially on the popular Costas. Towards the end of 2008 however, many of the flight routes to emerging European destinations were cancelled leaving buyers less sure of the more untried and untested destinations. Nevertheless, the resultant over supply of holiday homes in Spain led to price reductions in some areas, which can be viewed in a positive as well as negative light. Whist some investors became unsure about potential price drops, others saw the opportunity to grab a bargain and this is set to continue in 2009.
Whatever the changing economic circumstances, the underlying reasons why Brits love Spain remain unchanged. The year round sunshine, easy going lifestyle and comparatively lower cost of living are still strong pull factors. For the climate alone it is regarded as one of the preferred destinations for the retirement market. In addition, many looking to retire abroad are coming to the conclusion that emerging destinations may not have the same quality of health care or the familiar culture they see as Spain offering them.
Mike Hamilton, Sales and Marketing Director of Casas de Lorca believes that although 2009 may present more difficulties than in recent years, he remains unconcerned about the Spanish property market and its long lasting attractiveness to Britons. He says:
“Despite current difficulties, I believe the various underlying factors leave cause for optimism in the Spanish property market, chief among them the Brits’ enduring love of Spain. For example, I have forecast for strong growth in our villa sales. The classic designed villas set on five acre plots have continued to sell well during the credit crisis, so I predict that if dropping interest rates begin to stimulate the UK property market we will be seeing at least a 30% growth versus 2008. It will take time for the property market to begin to recover, but with low interest rates and uncertainty in the stock market it is difficult to see where else people would look to invest.”
For more information please contact Casas de Lorca on 0844 734 8057 or visit
Example of a property for sale in Murcia:
Casa Cordoba, Lorca, Murcia
Lorca is found in the Spanish province of Murcia and is a town full of cultural and historical features including museums, churches and a castle. Lorca is called the city of the sun and has many leisure facilities such as a theatre, cinema and hosts many concerts and festivals throughout the year. It is located within 20 minutes of the coast.
The Casas de Lorca villas on 5 acres are only a twenty minute drive away and the location of these villas mean stunning panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. There are 3 airports within an hours drive and high speed trains mean links to Madrid are very popular too. 
Casa Cordoba is a classic Andalucian styled 3 or 4 bedroom villa uniquely built around an internal glass walled courtyard. The views through the living room and the high tower fill the villa with lots of light and provide stunning views of the surrounding countryside.
Prices start from €256,000 for more information contact Casas de Lorca on 0844 734 8057 or visit

Turn an extraordinary space into a meaningful place with Casas de Lorca


Imagine a five acre plot of land in the province of Murcia, south east Spain, close to the city of Lorca; blueprints laid out on the table before you of a villa with Moorish arches, a central courtyard and ornate turrets; a large window that looks out onto the Cordilleras Béticas mountains with a breeze full of sea air rolling in from the coast only 20 minutes away and a clear blue sky with the sun beaming down giving life to all. This sounds like an extract from a fairy tale or something only dreams are made of but for one man all these elements have become reality.

Lorca based property developer, Casas de Lorca, offer the opportunity for those looking to buy land and build their very own luxury villas in this spectacular setting. Drew Broadley, a retired gentleman from the town of Montrose in Scotland, is just one of Casas de Lorca’s clients who “took the bull by the horns” and decided to build his very own casa in Spain.
“I decided to use my time and finances as an investment into Lorca, with villas in mind that would be more like a home than the average “holiday property”. I chose Spain because of its popularity with the British, its retirement community and the fact that it is so accessible in distance and cost” says Broadley. “So many properties in Spain are small and only cater to short term visits but the properties that I chose to have built not only had unique build features but are also safe, spacious and private making them very appealing to those who want to get away from it all.”
Broadley, who influenced some of the architectural features of the villas, has taken many visits to the area, taking an active role in making sure the villas would have as much “sales appeal” as possible. He says “I bought four plots of land to build on with a view to sell or rent three of the properties and use the capital from those to design and build my own on the forth plot. The process has been very simple and with Casas de Lorca being an English speaking developer means that all the contracts and lawyers documents were covered in both languages. The communication between developer and client should be high on the list of considered factors when purchasing abroad.”
Financially Broadley bought one of the plots with savings and then took out mortgages through two Spanish banks for the remainder. He comments “I took the mortgages out with two of the commercial Spanish banks, Cajamurcia and Banesto.  Cajamurcia were helpful as they have their website in English and they have internet banking in English.  Banesto’s website is a bit hard to follow as everything is in Spanish but I suppose us lazy Brits should learn Spanish!!”
Mike Hamilton, Sales Director of Casas de Lorca, goes onto say: “Despite the state of the current market people are still looking to buy abroad and are still attracted to Spain for many reasons. Enquiries to the company Conti Financial Services for overseas property mortgages still highlight Spain as its top destination for UK buyers. Recent research carried out by savings bank Alliance and Leicester International has also highlighted the top ten reasons why people rate their new country of residence over the UK with Spain coming top of the polls for better climate and weather with quality and pace of life taking second and third place. The study asked British expats and families who have immigrated to Spain which just shows the large spectrum of people that Spain appeals to.” Hamilton, who guided Drew Broadley through the process of buying and building, knows that there are more than just financial considerations when buying abroad especially when you are able to have elements of choice in design and layout of your home. Drew Broadley embraced this advice when considering his four properties and really appreciated the guidelines that Casas de Lorca provided.
“There are 3 fundamental considerations that people should always look at, the never changing location, design and materials” says Hamilton. “Choosing the right plot for your home can vastly affect the feel of the property and also the finished value. A finished villa on a plot with magnificent views can be worth over 50% more than a finished villa without views or with poor access.”
Hamilton goes on to say that like Drew the eventual selling on or renting the property out has to be considered. “Personal taste forms part of the process when it comes to design and layout but there are a few key factors which affect the desirability of the property. Firstly orientate the house towards the best views. In the UK people usually wish to orientate the house towards the South but this is not necessary the case in Spain. It is better to look out towards the views whichever direction they might be and to have the sunrise flooding into the house rather than facing south when the sun is too high to come into the house.”
“The layout of the house is also extremely important. A good house is split logically between the day time and night time areas and one of the biggest pieces of advice I can give is when looking at possible house plans is to imagine walking around the house and imagining how it is going to flow. The expert design team at Casas de Lorca can assist with this and can give useful advice on architecture features such as courtyards and turrets; we have even designed a house with 15 arches made from Tuscan Stone surrounding a pool which is built into the house!“
“So having got the location and design right, the last challenge is the materials. At Casas de Lorca we have built an exhibition centre to help manage this process” concludes Hamilton: “From tiles to the type of stone window surrounds, wood for the doors and built in wardrobes to the door handles, we have literally thought of everything.”
Making a sound investment that’s been given the personal touch will always be a rewarding experience and Drew Broadley is just one of the many people who have enjoyed the services and opportunities that Casas de Lorca has provided. One of the design villas available through Casas de Lorca is Casa Cordoba a classic Andalucian styled 3 / 4 bedroom villa uniquely built around an internal glass walled courtyard. The views through the living room and the high tower fill the villa with lots of natural light and provide stunning views of the surrounding countryside; prices start from £236,900 /€319,000.

So, for your opportunity to follow Drew’s footsteps and to make an extraordinary space your meaningful place contact Casas de Lorca today on 0844 734 8057 or visit

House prices in Lorca, Murcia defy crisis to grow significantly…



According to the Spanish Ministry of Housing, the Murcia region of Spain is one that is defying well-publicised negative trends instead showing healthy house sales. The latest figures show that in the first two quarters of 2008, the number of property sales in the province has risen by 11.2%, from 2,288 in the last two quarters of 2007 to 2,545 sales.
Confidence in the Murcia region is growing and this is highlighted further when looking at the town of Lorca, specifically. Located in South-West Murcia, Lorca is surrounded by stunning mountainous terrain and as a town boasts many architecturally interesting buildings, borne out of its great historical past. Here, according to Spanish portal, average house prices have risen 6.5% year-on-year from an average of €246,000 in Quarter 3 2007 to €262,000 in Quarter 3 2008, showing that this is one region where the property market remains buoyant, with the 2008 figure 6.9% above the Spanish average asking price of €245,000.
Interestingly, shows that it is larger properties that are mostly bucking the trend – with the average price of 3 bedroom houses in Lorca increasing 0.8% from Quarter 2 2007 (€245,000) to Quarter 2 2008 (€247,000) and 4 bedroom homes increasing in value further still, by 3.1%, from €291,000 in 2007 to €300,000 in 2008. Mike Hamilton, MD of leading Murcia developer Casas de Lorca explains that this highlights a growing trend,
“We have noticed that when relocating to the Lorca area, more and more people are looking to buy larger properties, with the space and privacy of larger plots that simply cannot be found in the high-rise developments of old. This is why it is these properties that are increasing in value and desirability – as a growing number of people recognise the value of space in and around a property, as well as experiencing the authentic Spanish way of life that can truly be found in the Lorca area.” 
Fitting with the Spanish Ministry of Housing trend that most transactions are for new properties (with 2,083 properties sold in the Murcia region being new-build in Q1 and Q2 2008, up 61.7% on the last two quarters of the previous year), Casas de Lorca build bespoke villas on 5 acre plots of land in the stunning scenery surrounding the town of Lorca in the region. With more and more people choosing the space of a larger villa and more land, properties are proving increasingly desirable, with the Casa Mallorca 4 bedroom villa available at £244,000/ €329,000 boasting breathtaking views and classic architecture. To find out about this and other properties available within 5 acres of land, contact Casas de Lorca on 0844 734 8057 or visit

A home in Spain means nothing but the same?



Despite the slowdown in the Spanish property market there is still an astonishing volume of new properties coming onto the market targeting the holiday home buyer. So why, asks Mike Hamilton, Director of Murcia based Casas de Lorca, is the vast majority of Spanish property stock aimed at the holiday home market when over 70% of clients are looking to buy in Spain to live there full time?
“The first point to make” says Hamilton, “is that the difference between the two property styles is significant in itself. Apartments and duplexes and even some villas are built for short term accommodation; they are often smaller than your average home in the UK, with fewer appliances and accessibility can sometimes be a problem for the less mobile. You also have to bear in mind that out of the holiday season many resorts become like ghost towns with local shops operating restricted hours and few permanent residents. The 112m2 minimum detached villas that we construct on individual 5 acre plots around Lorca offer accommodation suitable for full time living with local stores providing year round supplies and the properties themselves offering a lot more space and freedom to make a real home.”
The OPP Spanish report in July 2008 extensively researched the market for Spanish property and concluded that 71.4% of all clients wishing to purchase in Spain were looking to live there full time; Mike Hamilton has seen these findings backed up in his own research: “75% of clients enquiring for property in our area of Murcia are looking to live here full time which just shows that there has to be a massive shift in the way we look at where and what we are building.” 
As an established real estate developer in Spain, Casas de Lorca, has seen the market rise and fall and in the current conditions has now chosen to not only look at what the statistics are really saying but also change the mind set and assumptions that are made about buying property in Spain.
“The last 5 years has seen a dramatic increase in the amount of residential development in Spain” says Hamilton: “and expats who have relocated and retired to the country are now ending up very disillusioned as well. This is a great shame as some areas of the Spanish coast are now being tagged by the retiree community as being areas that promote ‘First world prices, third world services, and underworld practices’ as a recent article in The Spanish daily newspaper ‘El Pais’ reports. We at Casas de Lorca want to demonstrate in our work ethic and our high quality product that there are regions and companies that offer the ‘original’ Spain, taking people back to basics and offering a safe and sustainable place for people to retire and relocate to.”
‘El Pais’ goes onto report that sales to expats in the region of Costa Blanca fell by 50% in the first quarter of 2008 compared to last year. The article quotes Gerard Peret, a Swiss national who bought a home in 1990 in Orihuela Costa: “We used to love it, but now it has all changed because of excessive, out of control development, everywhere has been built up, and there are so many people.” And as Hamilton explains what the locals are witnessing is true: “What developers in the region of Murcia are continuing to try and push through the system is incredible; 51 new golf course development proposals in the last 5 years really shows what a desperate place Spain is in.”
“I must take us back to the statistics though” Hamilton says: “ We have to ask ourselves, why is over 90 percent of the new property coming onto the market aimed at the holiday home market when over 70% of clients are looking to buy in Spain to live here full time? The reasons are various, but in essence many developers have simply failed to understand how the Spanish market has been changing.”
“This discrepancy led to an over supply of holiday homes suitable for short stays which meant that many developers had to cancel their plans for golf and coastal apartment developments. Moreover many investors struggled to sell on their off plan holiday apartments with the gains that they had been promised. This effect was heightened when the exchange rate plummeted from around 1.45 euros to the pound in Nov 2007 to 1.23 in April 2008, so many potential buyers decided to wait to see if the exchange rate would improve before investing.”
Brits buying property abroad, according to a recent overseas property ‘hot spots’ report compiled by Conti Financial Services, a UK leading overseas mortgage specialist is still highlighting that Spain is number 1 with buyers even though they have seen the gaps between overseas markets tighten. Simon Conn, Sales and Marketing Director at Conti Financial Services, says: “Spain and France are still leading the pack, albeit with a narrowing margin, and it’s not difficult to see why. Affordable prices, low interest rates, easy access and great weather have all contributed to the attraction of these destinations.”
So what is the future for Spain? And what is drawing buyers such as Drew Broadley to buy 4 plots of land in Lorca with one being put aside for his future hopes of retiring to the region?
In order to understand this we need to look at what other property markets have to offer and why Spain stands out; accessibility, climate, culture and of course price are the main factors to evaluate. Many investors have rushed to buy cheaper property in Eastern Europe attracted by low entry prices but it remains important to be sure about the accessibility, the climate and the culture as they may wish to sell the property in the future.
“Spain has a very strong future in international property. It is tried and tested and is the number one European destination for people looking to retire or relocate. In fact a recent report from Cater Allen Private Bank, part of Banco Santander claimed that over three million Brits are likely to buy a property overseas within the next two years as economic conditions in the UK make strong returns less likely”, comments Hamilton.
“I chose Spain to invest in because of its popularity with the British, the large number of retirees that are looking for something different and the simplicity and cost of return flights” says Drew Broadley, a retired buyer from Scotland. “Developers such as Casas de Lorca have focussed exclusively on lifestyle properties, building classically designed villas on 5 acres of land. This whole exercise was an investment and I cannot say enough as to how good Casas de Lorca was in handling the purchases.  It is extremely helpful to have English nationals on any Spanish estate agency team, it just makes the job so much easier and reduces the chance of a misunderstanding.”

Sales Director Mike Hamilton concludes: “We have continued selling at a controlled level right through the credit crisis and the downturn in the overall Spanish property market. People who are retiring or relocating cannot wait forever and flexible payment terms have allowed people to make their dreams a reality.”
To find our more about all that Casas de Lorca has to offer contact Mike Hamilton, Director of Casas de Lorca on 0844 734 8057 or visit

From Concrete Jungle to the Good Life


The maturing of the Spanish real estate market and movements made away from mass urbanisation and high-rise property development may well be impacting negatively on the rate at which such formerly constructed accommodation is being sold, but in direct parallel it is having a positive effect on the quality of homes being constructed for the lifestyle market.

The Spanish property development frenzy of the last decade that resulted in massive resort style developments being constructed for sale to those in search of an accessible holiday apartment in the sun, or an affordable fly-to-let investment purchase, are proving less popular these days as other property markets open up and offer more affordable choice to such buyers.  Meanwhile, the evergreen and enduring appeal of Spain as a stunning, tried and tested lifestyle destination for retirees, relocating expatriates and those in search of the good life means that demand for quality property stock is driving the best constructors in the market and supporting an emerging trend in those wanting to buy quality Spanish property.
There has been a sharp and direct increase in consumer demand for homes in Spain constructed in an environmentally conscious way, for property for sale away from resort and estate style developments and for properties that allow buyers to truly realise their dream of living an idyllic lifestyle in a fantastic overseas destination where the natural landscape, fabulous climate and excellent quality of life that they are buying into are enhanced by a spacious, well constructed, beautiful home, located in an appealing destination.
This in turn has led to new areas of Spain becoming popular with those who want to buy into unspoiled regions where local government laws and policies have protected the natural landscape.  One such area of Spain especially popular with buyers seeking the good life is Murcia. Planning laws define different zones ranging from national park to urbanizeable zones in order to protect the pine forested mountain ranges and the vast majority of areas around them. If developers are looking to build urbanisations there is an abundance of land which is designated for this purpose. This land is typically near to towns, cities and motorways. As you head towards the stunning national parks the zoning changes to extremely low density so you can only build one property per 5 acres of land. The idea behind this intelligent approach to planning is to avoid the mistakes made in other parts of Spain, maintain the natural appeal of the region and preserve the beauty and attraction of Murcia for generations to come.
Mike Hamilton, MD of Casas de Lorca comments:  Many developers are missing the very real point that increasingly consumers require environmentally conscious homes with such things as solar power, eco friendly water conservation methods and where the environment into which they are moving will remain unchanged and unspoiled.  They want spacious properties with large gardens, they want these properties to be built in areas of outstanding natural beauty and they are not willing to compromise.  For the developer astute enough to recognise this demand and sympathetic and intelligent enough to embrace government policies rather than try to avoid them, there is great opportunity to be had in terms of constructing fabulous real estate in an ethical manner that is hugely sought after.”
Casas de Lorca have chosen Murcia for the construction of their lifestyle homes because of the blend of natural appeal that the region offers the would-be purchaser with its national parks, pristine coastline, rolling agricultural landscape and world heritage sites and historic cities.  They have also chosen Murcia because the regional government shares the same environmental preservation ethics as the company and their customers.  Those who choose a Casas de Lorca property benefit from acquiring a bespoke home set within its own five-acre plot of land, allowing purchasers to become virtually self-sufficient if they want to.  Additionally the properties come with almond trees or vineyards which reduce CO2 and also enhance the natural habitat for flora and fauna; it is even common to see eagles soaring above the land.   Solar energy hot water is standard and many clients are also opting for solar pool heating. We also employ the very latest environmentally conscious energy saving building methods throughout the construction of these hugely popular homes.  For more information about these properties and environmentally conscious property development in Spain please contact Casas de Lorca on 0844 734 8057 or visit

They think it’s all over…


There has been much negative press about the Spanish property market in recent times, with talk of land-grab and the boom-time being over however, a new report from the Spanish Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism’s Institute of Tourism Statistics (Instituto de Estudios Turísticos del Ministerio de Industria, Comercio, y Turismo) suggests that it’s not all doom and gloom, especially in the province of Murcia.

In the first 4 months of 2008 (January to April) total spend by international tourists in Murcia increased by 16% when compared to 2007, taking spending to a total of €166 million. Whencomparedto a nationalincreaseofjust 6.2% overthesameperiod, thisisclearlysignificant 
This increased tourist spend in Murcia supports the growth in passengers numbers witnessed by San Javier Airport which saw 2,002,949 passengers pass through the provincial airport in 2007, an increase of almost 22% on 2006 figures of 1,646,129 passengers.
Mike Hamilton, Director of Murcia based developer, Casas de Lorca, comments, “I have lived in Murcia for over 6 years and over that time I have seen a steady growth in tourist numbers and spending in the province. Much of the negative publicity about Spain has been generated by issues in areas to the south (Costa del Sol) and to the north (Valencia) of Murcia and has subsequently affected these markets however Murcia remains popular with British holiday makers and buyers.”
For more information on buying property in Murcia, contact Casas de Lorca on 0844 734 8057 or visit

Getting More for Your Money in Spain


There’s some good news for lovers of Spain from the Spanish property portal; the average price of a house in Spain this April is 3.6% lower than it was just a year ago – so you can get a bigger piece of Spanish real estate for your Euros in 2008!  But before you get too excited, the bad news is that your Euros may now cost you 16% more to buy than they would have if you’d bought them a year ago…

This is because the Pound is currently worth significantly less against the Euro than it did 12 months ago, so the house price depreciation benefit that has highlighted is eroded by the strong Euro/weak Pound situation.  This particular currency situation has arisen because global confidence in the Pound has been dented temporarily; this is thanks to worries about the knock-on effects in the UK of the sub-prime mortgage crisis in America and the near-collapse of Northern Rock last year.
Unfortunately, all of this currency negativity has been putting Brits off buying Spanish property when in actual fact, now is probably a perfect time to buy a home in Spain.  The IMF predicts that the British economy will grow more quickly than the Eurozone economy over the next two years; you can negotiate some spectacular deals with Spanish property developers; and you can certainly protect yourself from negative currency fluctuations if you know where to look for foreign currency exchange advice.
According to the foreign currency exchange specialists at Moneycorp, British buyers should not be put off looking for property to buy in Spain just because of the strong Euro/weak Pound situation. 
What’s more, Moneycorp don’t believe that buyers who have already bought a Spanish home should panic either.  Those who have bought a property under construction and who are making stage payments, for example, can still buy their Euros now, because it is possible for them to take a neutral stance on future exchange rate movements.  They can buy half of their required Euros today and half at a future date, when the outlook for the rate of exchange becomes clearer.  Those who have invested significant funds in a completed home in Spain  already can withdraw equity and benefit from cheaper Euro mortgage deals; they can also enjoy greater benefits from the Euros they release by converting them into Pounds!
Moneycorp can also offer more financial security to those who are interested in buying a property in Spain and who have yet to negotiate a deal.  They can actually pay a percentage deposit now while fixing an exchange rate for the balance of the funds required, for settlement at a later date.  No other money need be paid until that settlement date arrives; this approach to currency exchange is known as a “forward” transaction and it is exactly the strategy that larger investors are adopting right now as they seek to cash in on the weaker housing market in Spain while knowing exactly how much Sterling they will have to pay.
According to Mike Hamilton, Sales Director of Casas de Lorca: “seasoned investors are well aware that in a market environment where there are weakened sales projections, developers will ensure that those coming to the market are given the best deals possible. 
“For those with the money to buy in, a slowing property market such as the one in Spain right now represents the absolute best time to buy.  Not only are the smaller and the less scrupulous developers squeezed out of the market, but the larger developers who know what they have to do to generate sustained interest in their projects go all out to accommodate the buyer. 
“It’s a buyer’s market in Spain, and the buyers who negotiate the best property and currency deals will reap the strongest possible dividends in the future.”
So, you can get more for your money in Spain if you speak to a currency exchange specialist like Moneycorp, as they will show you how and when best to trade your Pounds for Euros. Then, because it’s a buyer’s market, you can get more for your money if you approach the larger, more robust and reputable developers. 
A highly detailed report in the Irish Independent recently backed up this theory, stating that in a weaker property market, every buyer heads for quality… This holds true just as much in Spain as it does in Ireland.
Let´s take a look at a developer, such as Casas de Lorca, as an example. This company is building some of the highest quality, most attractive properties in Spain’s Murcia region.  They give their buyers the best guarantees in the business, they offer homes on five acre plots of land and they build to five star standards, guaranteeing not just the title deeds and the build quality of their homes, but the fixtures and fittings as well!
If you buy through Casas de Lorca you are buying off-plan and you can make the most of their flexible payment plans and wait for the Pound to bounce back against the Euro.  You can also get real value in terms of what you purchase; for example, you get five acres of land with their luxurious five star villas. 
Casas de Lorca clients are also given the option of purchasing now but spreading their payments over a period of up to two years, giving them even more time to win the currency fluctuation game with expert help from someone like Moneycorp.  Or buyers can use a Euro mortgage to fund their build, so that they can benefit from future exchange rate movements in their favour.
The Casas de Lorca projects mentioned are near the town of Lorca in the Murcia province of Spain.  The company offers buyers the chance to own a stunning, custom-tailored villa with classic architectural features, such as rows of arches, courtyards, or walls of glass.  The villas are each located on five acres of land and these stunning properties are for sale from just GBP 196,900 / EUR 265,000, which buys you a four bedroom villa.  This offer really does give buyers the chance to own their very own home on a rolling five acre estate, rather than a generic apartment on a housing estate in an urbanised part of a popular Costa!
For more information please contact Casas de Lorca on 0844 734 8057 or visit