Fuster & Associates and AIPP join forces to set Spanish new build property benchmarks

Fuster & Associates and AIPP join forces to set Spanish new build property benchmarks

Spain
  • Safer new property buying process for consumers at heart of new partnership
  • Quality, assurance and reliability all top priorities for buyers and sales agents

Expert Spanish property lawyers Fuster & Associates and the respected Association of International Property Professionals (AIPP) have joined forces in a new partnership setting industry benchmarks to improve the new-build house buying process in Spain.

David Fuster and his team created the Fuster Standard in order to meet the critical need for rigorous legal support for Spanish property agencies. The Standard guarantees all the necessary legal paperwork has been completed in advance of a property being offered for sale, providing reassurance both for the agent selling it, and the consumer buying it.

Our goal is to reduce potential risks both to agents selling Spanish properties and to those buying them. We are looking ahead to a safer buying environment in 2020 through our partnership with AIPP, creating a roadmap for agents and their clients to avoid the pitfalls of the past and work towards a brighter future.”

David Fuster, Founding Partner, Fuster & Associates

AIPP is the trade body for professionals around the world dealing with buyers of foreign property. It is a non-governmental, not-for-profit organisation helping both the industry and the public.

“AIPP’s mission is to improve industry standards and help buyers make sensible choices. With the kind of purchase problems which can relate to new properties, it makes sense to look at the supply-side. Our agreement with Fuster & Associates establishes a new benchmark of due diligence at the point of sale, avoiding problems for sales agents and their clients long before the conveyancing stage. This perfectly complements our new AIPP agent training initiative, covering both compliance and business skills”

Peter Robinson, CEO, AIPP

Agents who sign up to the Fuster Standard can access an intelligent map that displays all new certified housing developments on the Costa Blanca and Costa Calida, with a planned roll-out across Spain.

The new agreement was signed by Fuster & Associates Founding Partner David Fuster and AIPP CEO Peter Robinson at the Fuster & Associates 20th anniversary event on the Costa Blanca 1st March 2020.

Fuster & Associates support clients in a wide range of property-related matters. This includes helping over 200 families to reclaim deposits lost to developers who went bust in the early 2010s.

For more information please contact Fuster & Associates on +34 965 271 505 or visit www.fuster-associates.com

Fuster & Associates and AIPP join forces to set Spanish new build property benchmarks

Fuster & Associates and AIPP join forces to set Spanish new build property benchmarks

Spain
  • New partnership agreement signed at 20th anniversary celebration on 1 March
  • Fuster Standard quality approval process at heart of working arrangement
  • Focus on helping agents promote only verified developments, benefiting clients
  • Verified developers to achieve better and wider sales distribution

Expert Spanish property lawyers Fuster & Associates and the respected Association of International Property Professionals (AIPP) have joined forces to create a new partnership that will set industry benchmarks for quality, assurance and reliability within the Spanish new build property market.

The agreement was signed by Fuster & Associates Founding Partner David Fuster and AIPP CEO Peter Robinson at the Fuster & Associates 20th anniversary event on 1 March 2020.

“AIPP’s mission is to improve industry standards and help buyers make sensible choices. With the kind of purchase problems that can relate to new properties, it makes sense to look at the supply-side. Our agreement with Fuster & Associates establishes a new benchmark of due diligence at the point of sale, avoiding problems for sales agents and their clients long before the conveyancing stage. This perfectly complements our new AIPP agent training initiative, covering both compliance and business skills”

Peter Robinson, CEO, AIPP

David Fuster and his team created the Fuster Standard in order to meet the critical need for rigorous legal support for Spanish property agencies. The market-leading qualified approval process sets industry benchmarks for quality, assurance and reliability within the Spanish property market, which is what first piqued the interest of AIPP. The Standard guarantees that all the necessary legal paperwork has been completed in advance of a property being offered for sale, thus providing reassurance both for the agent selling it and for the buyer.

It is the Fuster Standard that is at the heart of the AIPP partnership. Fuster & Associates will be in charge of the certification of developers through The Fuster Standard seal of approval. Certified Spanish developers will be offered discounted membership of AIPP with three clear benefits:

  1. Accessing AIPP member agents
  2. Option for unique, direct-to-market listings and editorial
  3. AIPP accreditation

Agents who sign up to the Fuster Standard can access an intelligent map that displays all certified new housing developments on the Costa Blanca and Costa Calida, with a planned roll-out across Spain. Professional support is also included, with the Fuster & Associates team in place to advise on tax and legal matters.

Our goal is to reduce potential risks both to agents selling Spanish properties and to those buying them. We are looking ahead to a safer buying environment in 2020 through our partnership with AIPP, creating a roadmap for agents and their clients to avoid the pitfalls of the past and work towards a brighter future.”

David Fuster, Founding Partner, Fuster & Associates

Having worked in the Spanish property sector for over 20 years, Fuster & Associates support clients in a wide range of property-related matters. This includes helping over 200 families to reclaim deposits lost to developers who went bust in the early 2010s.

For more information please contact Fuster & Associates on +34 965 271 505 or visit www.fuster-associates.com

Spanish lawyers Fuster & Associates issue warning over reclaiming lost deposits, as October deadline looms

Spanish lawyers Fuster & Associates issue warning over reclaiming lost deposits, as October deadline looms

Spain
  • Deadline for reclaiming lost off-plan property deposits is 7 October 2020
  • Fuster & Associatees has helped over 200 people claim lost deposits
  • New Fuster Standard quality assurance mark encourages safer buying

Expert Spanish property lawyers Fuster & Associates have issued a warning to all those who lost deposits to property companies that went bust in Spain and have yet to try and claim the money back. The company has warned that those who don’t take action in the next six months will miss their chance to reclaim any of their lost funds. That’s because the deadline for requesting the return of funds given to a property developer is 7 October 2020.

Fuster & Associates has already helped more than 200 people recover the deposits they put down on Spanish properties in the early 2010s and subsequently lost due to developers going bust. To date, the firm has a 100% success rate for such cases.

On 7 October 2015, the Spanish Supreme Court took action in favour of those buyers, in a ruling that assigned a share of the responsibility to Spain’s banks and that gave the would-be buyers five years to take action. The court asserted that those banks that had failed to ensure that guarantees were in place to return payments in the event of a breach were liable to pay out in certain circumstances.

“Buyers with non-delivered homes who signed contracts between 7 October 2005 and 7 October 2015 have until 7 October 2020 to make a claim. Those who signed contracts later must also take the new regulatory regime that came into force on 1 January 2016 into account.”

David Fuster, Founding Partner, Fuster & Associates

That regime requires real estate developers to guarantee the amounts paid by buyers from the moment the building licence is obtained, rather than from the signing of the private purchase contract, as was previously the case. The change means that the buyer must ensure that the developer has been granted a building permit before they hand over any funds. If they don’t, there will be no guarantee or surety insurance that they will be able to reclaim any of their funds should the developer go bust.

Buyers looking to avoid such issues now have a solution in the Fuster Standard. This market-leading ‘Qualified Approval Process’ sets industry benchmarks for quality, assurance and reliability within the Spanish property market. It proves to buyers that all the necessary legal paperwork is in place in relation to the approved property. Buyers can therefore purchase with confidence, safe in the knowledge that all the correct steps have been taken.

“The lost deposits scandal had a far-reaching impact when it came to buyer confidence in the Spanish property market. Families lost their entire life savings and the extensive coverage of the situation caused many would-be buyers to lose faith in the new-build market. By introducing the Fuster Standard, we’re enabling families to buy safely, with minimal risk.”

David Fuster, Founding Partner, Fuster & Associates

For more information please contact Fuster & Associates on +34 965 271 505 or visit www.fuster-associates.com

Buying in the face of Brexit – Fuster & Associates provides essential advice for second home buyers

Buying in the face of Brexit – Fuster & Associates provides essential advice for second home buyers

Spain
  • New Fuster Standard provides assurance over legality of property sales
  • Buyers snapping up properties during Brexit transition period
  • High-quality homes and high-quality legal advice key to happy purchases

The certainty brought about by the Conservatives’ majority election win in December has given many British home buyers and investors the confidence to proceed with purchasing a new property. This has stimulated the market both at home and abroad. Spain is already feeling the impact, with sales to British buyers surging by 125% over the course of December 2019 and January 2020, according to Taylor Wimpey España.

However, expert Spanish property lawyers Fuster & Associates report that many buyers are still seeking advice on what to focus on when buying in the face of Brexit, indicating that there is more potential to unlock when it comes to the Spanish market.

There’s no doubt that the resolution of the Brexit uncertainty and the UK’s subsequent departure from the EU has kick-started the British appetite for property overseas once more. We’re seen that here in Spain and it’s been mirrored in a number of other European holiday destinations. Many questions still remain though, with those buying during the transition period keen to do so in a manner that will protect their long-term interests.”

David Fuster, Founding Partner, Fuster & Associates

Fuster & Associates advises focusing keenly on both quality properties and quality lawyers, to ensure that all bases are covered. In order to help buyers do this in Spain, the company has launched the Fuster Standard. This new ‘Qualified Approval Process’ sets industry benchmarks for quality, assurance and reliability within the Spanish property market. Buyers can rest assured that a Fuster Standard property meets all the legal requirements for sale, so that they can buy the home in question with the confidence that there will be no unexpected issues during the purchase process.

The Fuster Standard is available for all new housing developments in the Costa Blanca and Costa Cálida that meet all relevant legal requirements. The company’s property team inspect the credentials of each property, ensuring that all the paperwork is in good legal order, before approving it as meeting the Fuster Standard.

This seal of approval benefits those selling the property as well as those buying it. It gives buyers the confidence to move forward with the purchase process, thus benefitting both the agent selling the home and the buyer.

The Spanish property market has performed strongly in recent years. In 2020, we expect to see plenty of interest from British buyers looking to snap up homes before the Brexit transition period ends. Those buying properties that have achieved the Fuster Standard can rest easy in the knowledge that they will not be thrown any legal curve balls during the purchase process.”

David Fuster, Founding Partner, Fuster & Associates

For more information please contact Fuster & Associates on +34 965 271 505 or visit www.fuster-associates.com

New Fuster Standard opens up Spanish property market to UK estate agents

New Fuster Standard opens up Spanish property market to UK estate agents

Spain
  • 10% standard commission on Spanish property sales available to UK agencies (Fuster & Associates)
  • Fuster Standard guarantees all legal requirements for sale have been met
  • Spanish market has potential to shore up struggling UK property businesses

The past few years haven’t been the easiest for UK estate agencies, which have been struggling with the long-term impact of the uncertainty caused by Brexit, as well as the fact that real wages are still lower than they were in 2008. While the UK has now officially left the EU, the move is too late to help the 143 high street estate agency closures that PwC and the Local Data Company report took place during the first half of 2019.

Nor is it only property companies with physical premises that have been feeling the strain. Emoov went into administration at the end of 2018 and online lettings agency Upad threw the towel in in October 2019, reflecting the squeeze in the online property market as well as the offline one.

Those estate agencies and branches that remain need to do all they can to court new business. Now, a new service from expert Spanish property lawyers Fuster & Associates is opening up the Spanish property market to UK-based agencies seeking to grow their income.

The Fuster Standard is a quality assurance mark that guarantees that all the necessary legal work relating to a property has been completed in advance. It means that agencies can sell the property with confidence, knowing that their customers won’t face any undue delays or complications during the purchase process.

This reassurance is critical for UK agencies not used to selling properties overseas. Fuster & Associates appreciate that venturing into a new market can a big step to take, so the firm is there to provide comprehensive legal support and advice based on its two decades of experience. And, as David Fuster explains, the potential rewards make tapping into the Spanish market an exciting option for UK property agencies.

Britons account for around 15% of foreigners buying property in Spain, out of a total of 63,100 buyers last year, so it makes a lot of sense for British estate agencies to be meeting their property purchase needs. The standard commission here in Spain is 10%. With an average property value of €235,000 in the southern province of Alicante in Q3 2019, that’s €23,500 per property that UK estate agents have the potential to earn. The Fuster Standard allows them to do so with confidence.”

David Fuster, Founding Partner, Fuster & Associates

Estate agencies selling Fuster Standard homes don’t have to invest anything or change their organisational structure in any way. The guarantee has been designed to minimise all risk to the property agent by ensuring that the property itself is legally ready for sale.

Agents use a dedicated Fuster Standard platform that facilitates their access to the Spanish market, allowing them to see and sell the main developments of the Costa Blanca and Costa Cálida. The free platform also provides access to a network of certified agents, without the UK agent in question having to invest in any additional infrastructure or run any risks.

For more information please contact Fuster & Associates on +34 965 271 505 or visit www.fuster-associates.com

50% of Costa Blanca property sold to overseas buyers with even more expected in 2017

50% of Costa Blanca property sold to overseas buyers with even more expected in 2017

Spain
  • 50.21% of sales in Alicante region to foreign buyers during Q2 2016 (Ministry of Development)
  • Rise in Costa Blanca sales to foreigners from resale properties (Fuster & Associates)
  • Legal specialists Fuster & Associates unveil brand new Costa Blanca Property Market Report

The sun kissed Costa Blanca has long been a firm favourite with both domestic and foreign buyers looking to purchase that dream second home. However, the most recent statistics to be released by Spain’s Ministry of Development confirm that it is the significant rise in sales to overseas buyers that is re-establishing the region’s property market.

As Figure 1 above reveals, the percentage of foreign buyers in the province of Alicante has increased dramatically from 25% to over 50% since the beginning of 2011, with no sign of slowing down. In Q2 2016, over 50.21% of sales in the region of Alicante were to foreign buyers. And it is one type of property in particular that seems to be welcoming the most attention.

Spanish legal specialists Fuster & Associates, who provide both legal and tax services to international clients on the Mediterranean coast, believe that the rise in sales to foreigners in this region has been made almost entirely on resale property. After the Spanish property crash of 2007, house prices dropped dramatically and subsequently for the next five or six years there were just resale properties on the market.

David Fuster, Founder of Fuster & Associates, from his office on the Costa Blanca explains further,

“It wasn’t until approximately 2013, when the Spanish banks had resold the majority of properties built pre-crisis, that developers could start competing in the market once more. Sales of off-plan properties are now increasing, but at a much slower in comparison to resales.

“Legally, the key difference between the two is that with a resale you do not pay anything until you complete on the property, there is no risk. In contrast, off-plan properties require a higher level of precaution as buyers make payments in stages while the property is being built and must ensure those payments are guaranteed 100%.

“The bargains available to buyers remain in the resale sector where prices are considerably lower. However, with market growth set on a positive trajectory once more, we would expect this disparity to equalise in the next couple of years.”

These in-depth market findings can be found in Fuster & Associates’ newly unveiled Costa Blanca Property Market Report. The first in a series of free to obtain market reports, Fuster & Associates are committed to providing a detailed insight into specific regions in Spain, designed to aid prospective buyers. To download your own copy of the report, please visit http://fuster-associates.com/lp/costa-blanca-property-report/?src=newsletter.

To find out more about Fuster & Associates and the services they offer, please visit http://fuster-associates.com/

Fuster & Associates launch legal seminars for ripped-off Brits wanting to reclaim Spanish property deposits

Fuster & Associates launch legal seminars for ripped-off Brits wanting to reclaim Spanish property deposits

Spain
  • Spanish legal experts Fuster & Associates open in the UK to help Brits recover off plan deposits
  • ‘No Win, No Fee Off-Plan Deposit Reclaim’ seminars to be held in Cambridge, London, Birmingham & Manchester
  • If it wasn’t for them I have no doubt we’d still have not received the amount we have’ (Gillian Shackshaft, client of Fuster & Associates)

After the crash of 2008, many Brits who had put down a deposit for their dream Spanish property suddenly found themselves with no house and no help. And it wasn’t until December 2015, some 8 years later, that an element of hope was restored when the Spanish High Court ruled that Spain’s banks were liable to refund deposits placed on unfinished properties that were paid from their accounts.

Having now won over 100 cases, Spanish legal specialists Fuster & Associates provide international clients with a No Win, No Fee Off-Plan Deposit Reclaim service, managing their claim throughout the process. With 65 claim cases currently awaiting a verdict, it seems that Brits were among those most affected by the crash and are still determined to reclaim the money subsequently lost.

In order to provide a more personal service and hold face-to-face meetings with those wanting to recover their off-plan deposits, Fuster & Associates have opened in the UK. The experienced company are also preparing to host a selection of exclusive seminars that will allow Brits to meet the team of expert lawyers and ask any questions they have regarding the reclaim process.

Founder David Fuster explains more,

“With the majority of our clients based here in the UK, it was important for us to be able to offer advice and guidance in person throughout the legal procedure. Holding seminars in Cambridge, London, Birmingham and Manchester will provide people with the opportunity to ask any questions they may have about the service after having waited over 8 years for the chance to recover their lost funds.”

One couple who Fuster & Associates have successfully helped reclaim their deposit money are incredibly grateful and are now hoping to put the whole ordeal behind them. Gillian Shackshaft and her husband first bought their Spanish off-plan property in 2006 on their dream development in the Almeria region located in southern Spain.

Unfortunately their plans began to unravel quickly and in December 2006 their contract allowed them to claim back the deposit previously paid as the builders of the development were in breach of contract. However, after seeking the help of Fuster & Associates they discovered that they could only recover a portion of the deposit that was covered by the bank guarantee.

It was then that the long legal process began, with the expertise of Fuster & Associates, to reclaim the rest of their initial deposit. The stress of the experience caused Gillian’s husband to suffer a heart attack in 2009 and she is thankful to Fuster & Associates for their patience and understanding during this time.

She comments,

“It has taken 10 years to get all our money back and throughout this whole, long process they have been there with us, if it wasn’t for them I’d have no doubt we would still have not received the amount we have. I have to say a special thank you to Jose at Fuster & Associates who has been very patient with me as it’s been a stressful and extremely worrying period.

“I would definitely recommend Fuster & Associates to family, to friends and to anyone who is unfortunate enough to find themselves in the situation that we were in.”

To find out more about Fuster & Associates, their services and seminars they offer, please visit http://fuster-associates.com/lp/off-plan-reclaim/ or call directly on 01223 635 158.

Spanish Law specialist David Fuster offers advice on all things property

Spanish Law specialist David Fuster offers advice on all things property

Spain
  • ‘The most common mistake buyers can make is to not seek legal advice about the purchase process before signing a contract’ (Fuster&Associates)
  • ‘A ‘healthy’ community will always keep the value of your property’ (Fuster&Associates)
  • ‘It’s now more important than ever to make sure a building license has been granted before making any payments for off-plan properties’ (Fuster&Associates)

The Spanish property market is enjoying yet another successful month after eight consecutive quarters of price growth. This is an indisputable positive trend and one which is making property in Spain an attractive investment once again.

With an increasing number of buyers returning to Spain, Fuster & Associates are on hand to provide legal and tax services to international clients with their sights set on the Mediterranean coast. With offices in Alicante, Cadiz and Murcia, they have successfully helped over 15,000 international clients, ensuring a constant level of customer satisfaction through their collective expertise and commitment.

We caught up with Founder David Fuster as he gave an insight into the current market;

Have you noticed an increase in overseas buyers returning to Spanish property?

“As a region, the Costa Blanca was hit extremely hard when the Spanish property bubble burst in 2007 and prices fell further than in many other areas of Spain. Second home buyers seemed to disappear and the large amount of stock built during the boom created an over-supply problem. However, fast forward to 2016 and the situation has changed dramatically; the coast now looks in good shape once again with the number of new-build developments multiplying and prices having already increased significantly from their recent lows.”

Are any areas in particular proving popular with overseas buyers?

“The Mediterranean Coast has been one of the principal beneficiaries of the upturn in sales and the Costa Blanca South is now buoyant, with sales also recovering on the Costa Blanca North. Costa del Sol (Málaga) has also recovered.”

What will prospective buyers need, before they start their overseas property search?

“Before they start their overseas property search, buyers need to know what their rights are and what will be needed from them during the sales process. They need to know about all costs and taxes related to the property purchase as well as social security rights, personal tax implications, education rights (if they have children) and employment rights.”

What is the most important question to ask when viewing an overseas property?

“I would ask about the community charge; maintenance costs must be considered especially when buying within resorts. Also I would ask about the property developer and their portfolio. Even if you are buying a resale property, you will be able to access more information about the quality of the developer’s work.”

What are the warning signs to avoid when viewing property overseas?

1. The conditions of the community – When buying a property within a community, even more important than the condition of the property itself is the condition of the communal areas. A “healthy” community will always keep the value of your property while an “unhealthy” community could decrease the value of your property significantly.

2. Off-plan properties: Always ask for the background of the developer and view the show house. Would you buy a car from a manufacturer that has never made one?

3. Don’t be rushed into the buying process. Be alert! For example, when the developer won’t even hold the property as reserved for one day, take that as a warning sign.”

What is the most common mistake buyers make?

“From a legal perspective, the most common mistake buyers can make is to not seek legal advice about the purchase process before signing a contract. Even though is a very fast moving market it is important to know the legal implications before signing any document.

“From a property perspective, I think often the most common mistakes are;

  1. Buying on impulse. ‘Falling in love’ with a property and buying it without assessing the pros and cons, simply because it was a great day.
  2. Not knowing the area. Many buyers of second homes know nobody in the area except for the seller of the property or the estate agent.
  3. Forgetting about the community charge. Maintenance costs that must be considered even though buyers may not be there for most of the year.
  4. Going somewhere too remote. During the pre-crash years, it became fashionable to purchase second homes far away from established urban areas. They were promoted as places close to the airport and were sold at reasonable prices in comparison to what was being sold on the Spanish Costas. Taking a plane and renting a car for a few days might seem entertaining on paper but could soon become tiresome after the third trip. Many people stop using a second home when getting there becomes a hassle.”

Once prospective buyers have found their dream property, what is the next step in the buying process?

“Once you have found the property you want to buy, I would recommend appointing a solicitor to represent you in the conveyancing process, letting him/her know the conditions you have agreed e.g. property, price, completion date. A solicitor will them liaise with all the different parties involved (agents, vendors, developers). As it is a very fast paced market, our clients normally grant power of attorney as soon as they have decided on a property. We, then, can sign all legal documents on their behalf.”

Approximately how long will the buying process take to complete?

“The process of buying a resale property takes between 4-6 weeks, and off-plan property depends on the stage of the construction; it could be between 6-12 months.”

Is there any new legislation to consider for buyers set on Spain?

“Years of depression in the Spanish property market ended in a recent landmark judgment, with the Spanish Supreme Court ruling that Banks are responsible, together with property developers, to refund any amounts provided by homebuyers in cases where these amounts were not then guaranteed. As a result of possible banking lobby pressures the law has changed, cutting buyers rights and making banks only responsible for those payments when a building license is in place. It is now more important than ever to make sure a building license has been granted before making any payments for off-plan properties.”

What advice would you give to those starting their overseas property search now?

“From a legal perspective, do your homework before starting the search – what is involved in preparing for the purchase, completing and after the purchase – so that when you find the property you like you just have to make that final decision. From a property perspective, get to know the area first by doing some research. Think about the type of property, the location, price per square metre. Research first to ensure it is the best choice for you.”

To find out more about Fuster & Associates and the services they offer, please visit http://fuster-associates.com/