Iberian countries top list of favourite retirement destinations for UK-based sun seekers

Iberian countries top list of favourite retirement destinations for UK-based sun seekers

Portugal Spain United Kingdom , ,
  • 26% of Brits plan to retire to Spain (MGM Advantage)
  • Las Palmas, Mallorca, is cheapest Spanish city for cost of living (Numbeo)
  • Portugal’s Algarve is best destination to retire to (Retire Overseas Index)

The world is a vast and exciting place. From the mysteries of the Far East to the natural beauty of New Zealand and the endless variety of India, it is a planet that is ripe for exploration. But when it comes to retirement, it is those destinations much closer to home that regularly top Brits’ list of desirable locations, with Iberian countries proving the most attractive.

According to Silver Travel Advisor, 80% of the UK’s wealth is held by the over 50s. They are wealthier than ever before and expect to live longer: the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs puts life expectancy for UK residents at 80.45 years. That’s plenty of time to soak up the sun after cashing that final pay cheque!

Retiring to Spain

A poll by MGM Advantage found that 26% of Brits planned to retire to Spain. While it seems unlikely that a full quarter of those in their golden years will decamp to the Costas (figures from Brits Abroad show that it is closer to one in ten Brits who lives overseas), Spain is certainly a hugely popular destination with British retirees. Some 761,000 UK British citizens live in Spain, according to Brits Abroad, accounting for 13.8% of the total number of Brits residing overseas.

Martin Dell, Director of leading Spanish property portal Kyero.com, explains the country’s continuing attraction in the eyes of British retirees,

“Retirees these days have more funds behind them to explore the world with, but a considerable number look no further than Spain when it comes to where they want to live during their golden years. When you consider Spain’s advantages, it’s easy to see why.

“There’s the great weather, healthy cuisine, delicious wine, pristine golf courses and beautiful beaches, for a start. Spain also has a rich history, with plenty of cultural attractions and inspiring architecture for those who move there with discovery in mind. The cost of living is also a factor, as well as the cost of property. Those on a fixed income can get more for their money in Spain.”

Even Spain’s infrastructure ticks the right boxes when it comes to retiring. According to the International Living Global Retirement Index 2016, Spain was the top country in the infrastructure category thanks to its excellent internet coverage, modern roads and extensive public transportation system. The country also has a high number of doctors in proportion to its population, according to OECD Health Statistics 2015, with healthcare offered freely and universally.

New pension freedoms mean that retirees can approach their years of leisure with far more flexibility. This is having an impact on the plans of those currently looking at retiring overseas. When it comes to property, the average UK home costs £200,251 based on Nationwide’s figures. That’s roughly €255,142 – enough for a five bedroom, three bathroom villa with pool close to the beach, marina and four golf courses in the pretty Spanish town of Villamartin.

Clearly size matters when it comes to a retirement property. The UK is home to the smallest properties in Europe according to a Cambridge University study, which found that 79% of residences were either near acceptable size or below it. A five bedroom villa in Spain, with plenty of room for the family to come and enjoy holidays in, offers far more value for money that one could expect from an English property that cost the same amount.

Nor is it just mainland Spain that retirees love. Las Palmas, in Mallorca, is the cheapest Spanish city on the Numbeo Europe: Cost of Living Index 2016. Like mainland Spain, Mallorca enjoys quick and easy connections to the UK, which makes it ideal for retirees who want to live overseas but also maintain regular contact with their friends and family back home.

Mallorca is home to some stunning properties and leading Spanish homebuilder Taylor Wimpey España has plenty to offer on the island, from key ready apartments and townhouses at Costa Beach – Port Vell from €240,000, to spectacular seafront houses on the clifftops of Cala Magrana Mar – Porto Cristo, priced from €640,000.

Retiring to Portugal

One position after Las Palmas on the Numbeo Europe: Cost of Living Index 2016 is Braga, in Portugal, closely followed by Coimbra, Aveiro, Porto and Lisbon. Portugal is another favourite with retirees from the UK, thanks to its excellent value for money, fabulous weather, friendly people and laid back way of life.

Portugal also has a good infrastructure when it comes to healthcare, internet coverage and flight connections with the UK, all of which are influential factors when it comes to UK residents seeking out a sun-drenched retirement spot.

According to the Retire Overseas Index 2015, Portugal’s Algarve is the best place in the world to retire to. It is the second year in a row that the region has taken the top spot, with its low cost of living, affordable property cost and established expat community all highlighted as distinct draws. The Retire Overseas Index also notes that it is, surprisingly, possible to live in the Algarve and only speak English.

Portugal also made it into the top ten of International Living’s Annual Global Retirement Index again in 2016, thanks to its “near flawless weather, abundance of golf and water sports, and superb fresh food.”

Retirees looking for a laid back, beach-based lifestyle will feel right at home in the Algarve. For those on a budget, a simple studio apartment just a few minute walk from the marina, beach and shops in Vilamoura can be bagged for €75,000 including furniture. At the other end of the spectrum, buyers with €4.9 million to spend can pick up an impressive five bedroom villa with pool and sea views in the popular Quinta do Lago golf resort.

Chris White, a British expat who runs boutique estate agency Ideal Homes Portugal, explains the enduring appeal of the Algarve when it comes to retirement,

“The Algarve is a beautiful region that has a wealth of attractions when it comes to attracting retirees. The cost of living here is incredibly low compared to much of Europe and it’s possible to eat and drink extremely well on a limited budget. A morning coffee and pastry costs just €1.50, while a full meal with wine at lunchtime can be had for €12-15. Then of course there’s the 300 plus days of sunshine per year, the great healthcare system, world-class golf courses, countless castles to explore… the Algarve really does have everything you could wish for from an idyllic retirement destination.”

No wonder then that when it comes to retirement the lure of Iberia is too strong for many Brits to resist!

For more information please contact:

Kyero.com: www.kyero.com

Taylor Wimpey España: +44 08000 121 020 or www.taylorwimpeyspain.com. Those residing outside of the UK should call 0034 971 70 69 72.

Ideal Homes: 0800 133 7644, +351 289 513 434, www.idealhomesinternational.co.uk or www.idealhomesportugal.com

It’s time to go mad for buy-to-lets in Madrid!

It’s time to go mad for buy-to-lets in Madrid!

Spain
  • Madrid property prices down 18.35% in a single year (Kyero.com)
  • Rents up by 6.3% (Fotocasa)
  • Madrid is most liquid market of Spain’s big cities (Tinsa)

Leading Spanish property portal Kyero.com, which lists more than 200,000 homes from 3,000 estate agents, has highlighted Madrid as one of Spain’s most exciting property markets for overseas property buyers.

Martin Dell, Kyero.com’s Director, explains,

“We’re seeing a really unique situation in Madrid right now, with a range of factors combining to make the city a particularly exciting prospect for those looking to purchase a holiday home that’s also an investment. Not only can they benefit from owning a second home for their own use in this vibrant and exciting city, but the prospects for renting it out are excellent.”

Madrid’s property market has been on its own particular rollercoaster ride of late. In 2015, Knight Frank’s Prime Global Cities Index placed Spain’s capital second in Europe for luxury home price growth. Tinsa went on to report in late 2015 that Madrid had the most liquid market of Spain’s five largest cities, with the average property taking just 6.1 months to sell (by way of comparison, it was 14.3 months in Valencia).

However, according to the latest Madrid market report from data.kyero.com, home values in Madrid are down 18.35% on the same time last year, having fallen to a median price of €445,000 in February 2016.

The fall in prices means that Madrid’s property market is offering a great deal more for the money than it was a year ago, and for buyers paying in sterling the ongoing strength of the pound against the euro paints an even more positive picture.

At the same time as prices have fallen in Madrid, rents have been on the rise, increasing by 6.3% in the year to November 2015, according to Fotocasa , and positioning Madrid as the second most expensive place to rent in the country.

Lowered prices and higher rents are a great combination for those looking for a holiday home that they can also rent out and Madrid is offering the perfect storm of these factors, making now the ideal time to purchase a buy-to-let.

Low prices also mean the potential for capital growth, a situation which David Beckham enjoyed when he sold his Madrid mansion in 2015, making a £1 million profit in the eight years since he bought it.

While Becks might have sold up and moved on, those buying property in Madrid still have the chance to rub shoulders with plenty of other celebrities, including clusters of Real Madrid players who have adopted the La Finca and La Moraleja areas of the city as their home turf. Research from Promora has shown that owning a modern and spacious home is top of the priority list so far as Real Madrid players are concerned, followed by a quiet and private location, a house with top security measures and space for a home gym.

Professional footballers’ budgets may be a little higher than for most of those buying a second home, but the wealth of property available in Madrid certainly provides plenty of choice, regardless of how much a buyer has available to spend. At least, it does for those buyers who are prepared to act fast and take advantage of the city’s lowered prices, before they start to rise again!

For further details on properties to buy and rent in Madrid and other parts of Spain, visit www.kyero.com. For the latest data on the state of the Spanish property market, visit https://data.kyero.com.

 

Spain becomes the new EU buy-to-let hotspot in wake of surging demand for rental property

Spain becomes the new EU buy-to-let hotspot in wake of surging demand for rental property

Spain
  • Spanish rental sector doubles in size in 5 years (National Statistics Institute)
  • Yields of up to 7.6% available for long-term lets (Idealista)
  • Strong demand from both Spanish nationals and foreign residents (Kyero)

In Spain, as in many other countries, home ownership has historically been seen as preferable to renting a property, due to the security and investment that ownership provides. However, the economic events of the past decade have brought about a shift in the Spanish long-term rentals market, with increasing numbers of people opting to rent either as a lifestyle choice or due to an inability to get onto the housing ladder.

Martin Dell, Director of Kyero.com, the portal which lists property sales, holiday rentals and long-term rentals, explains,

“The past few years have seen a significant increase in the number of people in Spain looking to rent property on a long-term basis. Kyero’s long-term rentals site has experienced strong demand, from Spanish nationals and from foreign residents, while our sales site has received interest from investors looking to build up buy-to-let portfolios while property prices remain low.”

The promise of improving yields has prompted many investors to turn to Spain as the next buy-to-let destination of choice. Figures from Idealista reveal that yields have increased from 4.7% a year ago, to 5.3% currently. Popular tourist areas, such as Las Palmas de Gran Canaria offered returns of up to 6%. A modern, one bedroom apartment with sea view can be rented out for €700 per month, while a spacious three bedroom townhouse with sweeping views of the bay and port costs from as little as €145,000.

Nor is it just tourist areas that offer strong returns. The highest yielding area, according to the Idealista figures, is the Catalonian regional capital of Lleida, where returns have reached 7.6%. A two bedroom, three bathroom, high spec apartment with balcony there can be picked up for €207,800.

The news that Spanish rents rose for the first time in seven years in Q1 2015 is further piquing the interest of buy-to-let investors with their eye on solid returns. According to Fotocasa, the average price of rental accommodation rose by 2.8% during the first quarter of this year, to €6.96 per square metre per month.

Added to all of this is the surge in demand from tenants, with the size of the rental sector more than doubling from 7% just over five years ago to 16.6% in 2014, according to figures from the National Statistics Institute’s Continuous Household Survey.

While more than half of rented homes house foreign tenants, Spanish nationals are increasingly looking to rent due to the flexibility that doing so provides. Following nearly a decade of high unemployment, the Profile of the Tenant in 2014 study has revealed that labour mobility is the main reason that many opt to rent a property rather than purchase one.

The same study provides an interesting insight into the average tenant, who is aged between 35 and 44 years old, married and with a university education. They are professional tenants with families, looking to rent due to the freedom that this provides for employment purposes (22%), the ability to rent in a city other than where they ultimately intend to settle (16%) and the possibility of accessing homes that they could not afford to buy (15%).

This last point is particularly interesting to buy-to-let investors, as it emphasises the increasing focus of tenants on high spec properties with luxury features. Whether it is proximity to a beach, a stunning roof terrace or fabulous sea views, a property with something extra special will certainly attract heightened demand from potential tenants.

With rental yields in the UK and other popular buy-to-let destinations beginning to be squeezed due to rising property prices, the combination of healthy yields, soaring demand and low purchase prices might just see Spain emerge as Europe’s next buy-to-let hotspot.

For further details on properties to rent and buy across Spain, visit www.kyero.com.

No need to feel blue – Spain flagged up as having world’s cleanest beaches

No need to feel blue – Spain flagged up as having world’s cleanest beaches

Spain ,
  • Spain’s beaches awarded record-breaking 577 Blue Flags (FEE)
  • Galicia leads the way, with 131 Blue Flags and holiday rentals from €730 per week (Kyero)
  • Frontline Mallorca townhouses with infinity pool from €560k (Taylor Wimpey España)

Every year countries across the world eagerly await the awarding of Blue Flags to their beaches. The Blue Flag is an internationally recognised eco-label that identifies a beach as clean, safe and committed to sustainability, based on strict criteria addressing water quality, environmental education and information, environmental management, and safety and other services.

This year, Spain has once more been awarded more Blue Flags than any other country in the world – 577 in total, up from 573 in 2014. Spain values its reputation as having the world’s best beaches and has topped the league table from the Foundation for Environmental Education (the body that awards the Blue Flags) since it was first launched in 1987.

Spain has well over a hundred more Blue Flags than its next nearest rival (Turkey, which has 436 Blue Flag beaches). Galicia was the region with the highest number, earning an impressive 131 Blue Flags.

Martin Dell, Director of leading property portal Kyero.com, which offers property sales, holiday rentals and long-term rentals across Spain, comments,

“Galicia is a popular area with tourists looking to see Spain at its best. The beaches there are simply stunning, with the meandering Atlantic coastline creating some wonderful settings. Many have an almost Caribbean air to them, with long stretches of white sand backed by thickly forested slopes. Others offer rocky outcroppings that look like they have stood there since the dawn of time. The variety is exquisite.”

Those looking to explore the coastline of Galicia can do so from the comfort of a country retreat from just €730 per week. Just five minutes from the nearest beach, the three bedroom, two bathroom house in Bueu comes with pleasant terrace, barbecue area and charming enclosed porch and offers the ideal base for travellers keen to discover just how Galicia managed to earn so many Blue Flags in its own right.

Marc Pritchard, Sales and Marketing Director of prestigious Spanish homebuilder Taylor Wimpey España, is keen to point out that it is not just mainland Spain which features wonderful beaches,

“The Balearic Islands benefit from some beautiful beaches, particularly Mallorca, which is known the world over for its sheltered coves and gentle, aquamarine waters. Diving, snorkelling and all manner of water-based fun can be had around the island, thanks to tranquil tides and the Mediterranean climate.”

Those searching for a second home that is perfect for exploring Mallorca’s beaches to the full will love Taylor Wimpey España’s exclusive development of seven townhouses at Cala Magrana Mar. The three bedroom properties enjoy a frontline position, complete with carefully designed terraces and gardens that are perfect for making the most of the temperate climate. The site also benefits from lush communal grounds and a stunning infinity pool. Prices start at €560,000.

Countries looking to challenge Spain’s top spot as home to the best beaches in the world clearly have a long way to go, but the Beach Clean-Up Manual recently released by Blue Flag International with the support of Corona International is a good starting point. For now though, Spain can relax and enjoy having retained its Blue Flag crown for another year.

For more information please contact:

Kyero: www.kyero.com

Taylor Wimpey España: +44 08000 121 020 or www.taylorwimpeyspain.com. Those residing outside of the UK should call 0034 971 70 69 72.

Brand New Spanish Property Market Confidence Index reveals divisions in the market

Brand New Spanish Property Market Confidence Index reveals divisions in the market

Spain
  • 71% of agents feel more confident in Spanish property market than 1 year ago (Kyero.com)
  • 30% of English-speaking agents see stronger sterling as most significant shift in market
  • Almeria, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria and Murcia highlighted as inspiring confidence

The new Spanish Property Market Confidence Index (SPMCI) from leading Spanish property portal Kyero.com has identified some interesting trends in the Spanish market. The survey, covering some 160 English-speaking and 216 Spanish-speaking estate agents across Spain, reveals that on a national level 71% of agents in Spain felt more confident about Spanish property in Q1 2015 than they did compared to a year earlier. Only 4% felt less confident than a year ago.

Interestingly, English-speaking agents were more bullish about the state of the market than their Spanish counterparts. Martin Dell, Director of Kyero.com, which lists more than 200,000 homes from 3,000 estate agents, comments,

“The strength of sterling has played a key role in the confidence divide that we are seeing currently between English-speaking and Spanish-speaking real estate agents in Spain. Some 30% of English-speaking respondents have highlighted stronger sterling as the most significant change over the past 12 months.

“For Spanish-speaking agents, increased marketing tops the table of significant changes, with 26% of respondents flagging this up as the biggest change.”

The findings reveal the stark difference that currency exchange fluctuations can have on similar businesses in the same country, just due to the language that their staff speak. While English-speaking agents in Spain have been able to enjoy more confidence in the market thanks to the pound’s movements, their Spanish peers have been working flat-out on their marketing activity in order to achieve the same goal.

Interestingly, both sets of respondents reported similar figures when it came to buyer confidence, with 20% of English-speaking agents feeling that improved buyer confidence had been the most significant change over the past 12 months, compared with 21% of Spanish-speaking agents.

Four geographical areas stood out as inspiring the most confidence in agents. The first of these was Almeria where a three bedroom, two bathroom villa just minutes from the beach can be picked up for around €175,000. For a lower cost option, a four bedroom, two bathroom cortijo in need of a little TLC, but with extensive land, can be had for as little as €79,000.

Fuerteventura, the second largest of the Canary Islands, also stood out as inspiring above-average confidence in agents. Property there offers excellent value. A two bedroom, two bathroom apartment in Corralejo, for example, can be purchased for just €77,000. The property enjoys a popular town centre location, with beach access just a few minutes away.

Nearby Gran Canaria was also highlighted by respondents. The sun-kissed island offers a variety of properties ideal as both second homes and main residences, as well as some exciting ready-made business opportunities. This stunning site with three villas, pool and existing tourist licence is available for €890,000.

Back on the mainland, Murcia was the fourth area to inspire above-average confidence among agents. A two bedroom apartment with pool in Murcia (city) can be picked up for as little as €69,000. Only the regions of Granada and Tarragona recorded no improvement in confidence since 2014.

For further details on the Spanish Property Market Confidence Index 2015, Spanish property market trends and to view properties available for sale across Spain, visit www.kyero.com.

Book that summer break, but don’t forget to pack your politics!

Book that summer break, but don’t forget to pack your politics!

Spain
  • Labour voters prefer Greek sunshine – Conservatives head to Ibiza (Holiday Hypermarket)
  • Spanish islands set for bumper season (Kyero.com)
  • UKIP voters least likely to holiday in UK (Holiday Hypermarket)

With the dust of the General Election beginning to settle, the UK’s citizens can once more begin to focus on the detail of everyday life and now is the perfect time to book that summer break in the sunshine. But it seems that we can’t quite leave the politics behind just yet, as a recent survey from Holiday Hypermarket has discovered.

The survey of more than 2,000 holidaymakers found a direct link between political preference and holiday destination. Labour voters (17.8%) showed a fondness for breaks in Greece, while UKIP followers were keen to head to Egypt. Oddly, UKIP voters were also the least likely to holiday in the UK.

So with a Conservative government in power, where will we be headed this summer? Ibiza and the Canary Islands, according to the survey. Ibiza is well known as a popular holiday destination with the Cameron household and it seems that the Canaries are also a hit with the party’s supporters.

Both Ibiza and the Canaries enjoy a wealth of good quality rental accommodation. Martin Dell, Director of Kyero.com, which offers property sales, holiday rentals and long-term rentals, explains,

“Ibiza and the Canary Islands are ideal for UK holidaymakers wanting a break in the sun. Easily reachable by plane and with fantastic weather and stunning beaches, both have a lot to offer. Ibiza has a reputation as a popular clubbing destination, but also features some of the most tranquil and beautiful spots in the Mediterranean, making it ideal for families as well as younger groups of friends – it’s a very versatile island.”

Those looking to splash the cash can enjoy a four bedroom, three bathroom villa with pool in Ibiza city for a cool €12,000 per week, while those on a more limited budget can still enjoy a second line apartment just 50-70 km from the sea at Santa Eulalia Del Rio from €800 per week.

The Canary Islands also provide holidaymakers with a whole host of options. Tenerife offers some very affordable options, with a two bedroom apartment with terrace and shared pool available for just €350 per week, while Lanzarote has a plethora of one bedroom apartments with communal pool from €140 per week.

“The link between political allegiance and holiday destination is fascinating,” concludes Kyero’s Martin Dell. “With a Conservative majority government in place in the UK, it looks like the Spanish islands are in for a bumper season this summer!”

For further details on properties to rent and buy across Spain, visit www.kyero.com.

Spain and Portugal vie for the top spot as golf season gets into full swing

Spain and Portugal vie for the top spot as golf season gets into full swing

Portugal Spain , ,
  • European Mediterranean countries offer 1,400 golf facilities (European Golf Association)
  • Golf courses command price premium second only to waterfront sites (KPMG)
  • Golf holiday sales up by more than 20% just 2 years (IAGTO)

With the dust settling on another fantastic Masters, golf season is in full swing once more. The PGA tour will see five tournaments take place in May, followed by another five in June and six in July.

When it comes to golfing in Europe, the courses of Spain and Portugal have long enjoyed a friendly rivalry, with both countries vying for the crown of Europe’s best golf destination.

Spain’s credentials lie not only in its fantastic courses, but also in the excellent value for money that it offers to golfers. The recent Avios Airmiles Value Tracker, which calculates the best value destinations around the world, saw Palma de Mallorca and Alicante take two of the top three spots (with Gibraltar in at number two) for value for money golfing destinations.

Portugal made fourth place on the list thanks to the Algarve’s courses, with Lisbon ranking sixth (after Tenerife took the fifth spot). Spain grabbed one further entry in the top ten, with Malaga being ranked number nine.

While Spain may have cornered the value for money market in the Avios rankings, Portugal has just romped home to victory after being named the world’s best golf destination at the 2015 World Golf Awards.

While the two countries continue to vie for the top spot, both are benefitting hugely from the money that comes with golf tourism. Martin Dell, director of leading Spanish property portal, Kyero.com, which lists more than 200,000 homes from 3,000 estate agents, comments,

“Golfers are certainly not shy about spending when they travel abroad to play. Restaurants, shops and spas all do well when located near to a successful golf resort. Golf properties are also incredibly popular, with many commanding a price premium, particularly if they are part of an integrated golf resort development.”

According to figures from the European Golf Association, there are some 1,400 golf facilities in European Mediterranean countries, 170 of which have been considered as part of coastal integrated golf resorts by KPMG’s Golf Resorts in the European Mediterranean Region report. The report includes Portugal, as while it does not technically belong to the European Mediterranean region, its golfing credentials are too significant to ignore.

Properties on these resorts are highly prized, many of them as second homes for keen golfers who use them frequently throughout the year. Marc Pritchard, Sales and Marketing Director of prestigious Spanish homebuilder Taylor Wimpey España, comments,

“Our golf properties are always incredibly popular and the panoramic sea and golf views at resorts like Avalon, near Marbella, really do take some beating. Spain’s excellent value as a golfing destination extends to its golf resort market as well – a two bedroom, luxury apartment in Avalon, which is located in the prestigious Los Arqueros golf course, costs from just €305,000, which is fantastic value for a property of this calibre.”

According to the 2014 IAGTO Golf Tourism Report, global golf holiday sales grew by in excess of 20% between 2011 and 2013. Based on feedback from IAGTO member operators, Spain was ranked the number one top golf destination globally, followed closely by Portugal in second place. Both of these countries offer a wide choice of residential golf properties and the KPMG report highlights the growing shift from purely hotel based golf resorts to those offering residential accommodation options as well.

Interestingly, KPMG identify the fact that many of those who choose to live in a golf resort property do not necessarily play golf themselves. Instead, they are attracted by the beauty and serenity of the surroundings, the golfing lifestyle and the prestige that comes with owning a luxury pad beside a course. Chris White, founding director of boutique estate agency Ideal Homes Portugal, comments,

“We have certainly found that many of those considering purchasing a golf property don’t actually play, though some plan to take it up in the future as part of their retirement. The golf resort homes available means that buyers looking for a stunning, landscaped environment have their pick of some of the best properties that Portugal has to offer. In Lisbon, a four bedroom home on the Quinta do Peru golf estate (which made European Golf Magazine’s top ten golf courses league table) can be picked up for €590,000, while in the Algarve a three bedroom villa on the Vale da Pinta course costs just €439,000.”

For those who enjoy a regular round on the fairway, a golf resort property offers the perfect way to pursue their hobby from the comfort of their own home, either as a fulltime residence or as a second home for use with family and friends. According to the KPMG Golf Resorts in the European Mediterranean Region report, “numerous studies have indicated that golf courses come second only to waterfront sites as the most desirable location for a housing community.” Given the plethora of such sites available in both Spain and Portugal, no wonder the two countries are neck and neck in their quest to provide Europe’s best golfing experience.

For more information please contact:

Kyero.com: www.kyero.com

Taylor Wimpey España: +44 8000 121 020 or www.taylorwimpeyspain.com. Those residing outside of the UK should call 0034 971 70 69 72.

Ideal Homes Portugal: +44 800 133 7644 or +351 289 513 434 or www.idealhomesportugal.com

Homes fit for a princess

Homes fit for a princess

Portugal Spain Turkey United Kingdom , , ,
  • Speculation rife that Royal princess is due to arrive on 25 April
  • Palatial Surrey homes available from £3.5 million (Barton Wyatt)
  • Overseas buyers seek sea views and Jacuzzis from €1.75 million (Ideal Homes Portugal)

With speculation rife that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting the arrival of a little princess on 25 April, despite the official party line being that the new baby’s gender is unknown, the world is watching and waiting for the patter of tiny Royal feet at some point this month.

The new princess (or prince, if the rumours and the bookies turn out to be wrong) will reside with her parents and older brother Prince George in the ten bedroom Anmer Hall, close to the Queen’s residence at Sandringham in Norfolk.

The luxury homes of the British Royal family are part of the country’s heritage, but you don’t have to be blue blooded in order to live in sumptuous surroundings. In Surrey, which is home to some of the most exclusive properties that England has to offer, £3.5 million is sufficient to purchase an eight bedroom, four bathroom Ascot house, from Surrey’s leading estate agency Barton Wyatt. The tastefully restored, unique Victorian home boasts a cinema, pool and gym, as well as a large sunny garden for making the most of the British summertime.

On the nearby Wentworth Estate, a brand new Georgian style five bedroom, five reception room home set in an acre of grounds costs a cool £4.6 million. Arranged over three storeys, the house is perfect for a family looking to house their little princes and princesses in style. For those with a nanny in tow, the Wentworth Estate offers a fantastic contemporary home with annex, for £4.95 million. The six bedroom detached home is ideal for those looking to accommodate a nanny on site, while the extensive gardens and ‘secret clearing’ in the woodland would be fantastic for older children.

But it is not just the UK that is attracting buyers of luxury homes, as Chris White, founding director of boutique estate agency Ideal Homes Portugal, comments,

“Many British families are taking advantage of the current excellent exchange rate to purchase a palatial second home overseas and Portugal is one of Europe’s best destinations when it comes to luxury homes that don’t cost the earth. A south facing seven bedroom villa with sea views and pool, with under-floor heating, Jacuzzi and tennis court will set you back just €1.75 million, which really is incredible value.”

Martin Dell, director of leading Spanish property portal, Kyero.com, which lists more than 200,000 homes from 3,000 estate agents, has noticed that prestigious Spanish homes are also attracting the interest of buyers from the UK. He comments,

“Both high end city apartments and luxury coastal villas are piquing the interest of international buyers right now. Spain has a lot to offer those looking for peace and serenity in luxurious surroundings. For €1.2 million you can pick up a five bedroom, four bathroom villa with pool on the coast near Barcelona. Terraces and a summer veranda enjoy stunning sea views, while the basement provides a gym and home cinema for those rare days when the Spanish weather doesn’t oblige.”

For buyers who want to preserve the environment for the future, as well as provide the perfect home for their family in the present, Istanbul offers some fantastic eco homes, such as Oceanic Bay View from prime property agency Universal 21. An exquisite family home spread across three floors on the outskirts of Istanbul, the detached villa with pool combines eco friendly building materials with features such as reclaimed rainwater and solar power. Contemporary features such as earthquake resistance, ergonomic design and a smart house system complete this stunning dwelling.

Whether it’s a palace at home or abroad that your family needs, the right home is out there, just waiting for your little princes and princesses to make it their own.

For more information please contact:

Barton Wyatt: 01344 843000 or www.bartonwyatt.co.uk

Ideal Homes Portugal: +44 800 133 7644 or +351 289 513 434 or www.idealhomesportugal.com

Kyero.com: www.kyero.com

Universal 21: 0203 287 8700 or www.universal21.com

British buyers look to Green Spain to build the holiday homes of their dreams

British buyers look to Green Spain to build the holiday homes of their dreams

Spain
  • 42% of enquiries in Cantabria for land parcels, 67% from Brits (Kyero.com)
  • Buy and build often a cheaper option than resale property (Just Landed)
  • 25% of Cantabria enquiries for sub €50k plots (Kyero)

The northern Spanish coastal region of Cantabria is known for its lush vegetation, archaeological sites, fierce local rowing competitions and the quality of its beef, which has earned certain kinds of native cattle a European Union “Meats of Cantabria” Protected Geographic Denomination. It’s a pretty region that makes up part of “Green Spain,” which runs between the Bay of Biscay and the Cantabrian Mountains.

Cantabria is also known for being home to the port city of Santander and to Spain’s third largest livestock market, but other than that the area has little to draw visitors away from the arguably greater attractions of the beaches of southern Spain or the lure of cities such as Barcelona and Madrid. One might therefore be forgiven for thinking that homebuyers would overlook Cantabria, but new data from leading Spanish property portal Kyero.com has revealed that the region is enjoying a significant amount of interest from British land buyers.

The Kyero Enquiry Report for Q1 2015 has shown that of those searching for property in Cantabria, 42% were searching solely for land, while 67% of enquiries were from Brits. The national average figure for those looking for land was just 7%.

Martin Dell, Director of Kyero.com, which lists more than 200,000 homes from 3,000 estate agents, comments,

“The level of interest shown in Cantabria highlights an interesting trend. Price is certainly an influential factor on purchases in the region – 25% of enquiries are for land or properties that cost less than €50k and another 17% are for those costing between €50k and €100k. Buying parcels of land in this way can be a really cost effective way of owning your dream second home in Spain – you buy the land, then build the house that you have always wanted.”

Of course, Spanish red tape can make the process a little more complicated than simply buying and building, but with the right checks before purchase and the right contacts for the design and construction parts of the process, buyers can end up with a home worth far more than they invested. As Just Landed observes,

“It’s still possible in many areas to buy a plot of land and build a bigger and better home for less than the cost of a resale property.”

“Always check that the land is designated as a finca urbana,” advises Martin Dell, “And work in partnership with the local town hall to obtain the approval and certificate that you need to build. Don’t expect the wheels of bureaucracy to move fast, but persevere and the results could be extremely rewarding. Work with a lawyer before making your purchase and ask him or her to investigate any conditions or regulations placed upon the land that you are considering purchasing. A little outlay in time and expense at the start of the process could be well worth it in the long run.”

As well as control over the design, building your own home provides control over the materials used and over eco friendly factors such as solar energy and rainwater harvesting. This can be particularly important for buyers looking to build their own retirement property, as investment in such components at the design and build stage can lead to significant reductions in energy bills once the home is completed.

The attractions of building your own home are being felt across Spain, with the number of building licence applications for new housing increasing by 38.9% in January 2015 according to the Ministry of Development. Applications to reform or restore homes were also up, by 10.6%.

When it comes to British buyers, the key to Cantabria’s popularity may well lie in its ferry link to the UK. Regular sailings from Santander to Plymouth and to Portsmouth provide an economical way to transport people, vehicles and goods between the two countries, with ferries taking around 24 hours to complete a single journey. Even pets can be taken along, with the right documentation.

250 km of coastal scenery and delicious, hearty peasant food add to Cantabria’s charms, though the weather isn’t quite as delightful as that in the Costa del Sol. Still, easy access to the UK and a cost effective way to own a dream holiday home seems to be a winning combination for many British buyers. For those of an active nature, the region offers some of the best surfing conditions in Spain, with both beach breaks and reef breaks present, as well as rockier areas for a wide variety of surfing fun.

The neighbouring Basque Country provides another surfer’s paradise, with Mundaka Beach hosting the World Championships in October each year. Windsurfers and kitesurfers also love the area, with both the Basque Country and Cantabria offering beautiful beach after beautiful beach.

The southern Costas may not have too much to worry about in terms of their overall visitor numbers, but one can’t help feeling that those snubbing Torremolinos in favour of settling in the peaceful countryside of Cantabria have discovered a way to enjoy Spain that they would really rather remained a secret.

To view properties across Spain available for sale and to keep up to date with the latest in Spanish property trends, visit www.kyero.com.

Spanish mortgage market heats up, with ‘unprecedented’ opportunities for overseas buyers

Spanish mortgage market heats up, with ‘unprecedented’ opportunities for overseas buyers

Spain
  • New mortgages up 1.6% in 2014 (Spanish National Statistics Institute)
  • Variable rate mortgages trump fixed rates in Spain, with more than 2% difference (Mortgage Direct)
  • Leading portal Kyero.com now lists upwards of 200k properties

New mortgages for Spanish homes rose by 1.6% in volume in 2014, according to data from the Spanish National Statistics Institute, as the market heats up nicely in the wake of an influx of capital from overseas buyers looking to pick up a holiday home at rock bottom price. Both domestic and non-resident buyers are benefitting, as Mortgage Direct’s Kevin Monger observes,

“The market is definitely heating up. Banks are very keen to lend, so inevitably they have become more flexible and are offering better conditions. The conditions we can offer our non-resident clients are now quite similar to those we can offer to Spanish residents/nationals, which is unprecedented in our experience.”

This eagerness to lend – and to clear distressed properties from their books – has seen one bank offering 100% mortgages for new properties, with an additional cashback option of up to 13%. Variable rate mortgages are de rigueur in Spain, with over 95% of customers opting for them, according to Mortgage Direct. While fixed rate mortgages are popular in countries such as the UK, in Spain they remain largely uncompetitive with variable rate options, which tend to offer rates of at least 2% lower.

With overseas buyers included in those able to benefit from mortgages available in Spain, the options facing would-be holiday home owners have improved dramatically over the past year. Martin Dell, Director of leading Spanish property portal, Kyero.com, which now lists more than 200,000 homes from 3,000 estate agents, comments,

“As well as the traditional British market, Spain is also attracting buyers from an increasing number of French speaking countries, as well as further afield. It is a perennially popular country, offering an excellent cuisine, welcoming climate and some of Europe’s most delightful architecture. Second home owners look to Spain for everything from exquisite city apartments in the finest locations to luxury island villas with unrivalled sea views.”

Many buyers are specific in their mortgage requirements, as Kevin Monger points out,

“We do notice that a lot of clients from France and French-speakers from Belgium and Switzerland ask about fixed rates and interest rate caps. Fixed rate mortgages are more prevalent in these countries compared to Spain.”

However, just because they are technically available to foreign buyers doesn’t necessarily mean that those buyers are in for an easy time when it comes to obtaining a Spanish mortgage. Many mortgages for non-residents are complex and time-consuming to apply for and their conditions may change over the lifetime of the mortgage.

“Be sure to consider a range of borrowing options before you commit to buy,” suggests Kyero’s Martin Dell. “Think through the advantages of obtaining a mortgage in your own country as well as those of a mortgage here in Spain. Fixed rate mortgages in Spain, for example, are less attractive for many overseas buyers than they are for Spanish nationals. They are also less attractive than variable rate mortgages, so borrowers need to consider their interest rates carefully and ensure that they shop around for the right mortgage product. Once that part is sorted out, all they need to do is shop around on Kyero for the perfect holiday home in the Spanish sunshine!”

To view properties across Spain available for sale and to keep up to date with the latest in Spanish property trends, visit www.kyero.com.