In Spain there are 3.3 million second homes and demand for holiday homes has risen 3 percent per year over the last 10 years. The number of foreigners buying holiday homes in Spain is expected to overtake the number of Spanish buyers by 2008. Due to the dramatic rise in property prices in the UK, many Brits find they can now afford to buy what was once considered the priviledge of the rich.
It is hard to imagine that only two hours away from the uncertain British climate and hectic pace of life, lie blue skies, sunshine and a relaxing lifestyle. Owning a holiday home in Spain has never been easier, and with a choice of daily flights from all over the UK and Ireland, popping over for a long weekend is quicker than commuting round the M25! You don’t even need to pack a suitcase – owing your own holiday home means you can leave clothes, towels, cozzies and toiletries there ready for your arrival.
The majority of foreigners buying holiday homes in Spain choose the coastal areas of the popular Costas – mainly the Costa Blanca, Costa del Sol and more recently the Costa Calida. However, there are those who prefer the mountains, or a rural retreat in the countryside. For those people, there are still bargains to be had – but usually at a price. Although you can still get a picturesque finca hideaway with thousands of square metres of land, stunning scenery and natural lakes, you may not have running water or electricity. Many people can live with fresh water wells and generators – but it’s not for everyone.
Another point to consider here is that the property may only be used for short periods of time throughout the year, and rural country houses will need more maintenance and security than a coastal urbanisation or town houses.
Others prefer a ‘city pad’ opting for Barcelona in the north, Madrid in the centre, or Seville, Granada, Alicante or Valencia. Wherever you decide to buy your holiday home in Spain, seeking qualified legal advice will prevent you being next special feature on TV’s ‘Holiday Homes from Hell’.
What may be suitable for you, may not be for holidaymakers. If you need to cover a mortgage, or have bought purely for investment and want to rent out the property for the majority of the year, put serious consideration into the location. Would you pay to take your family to an isolated country villa where you have to spend two weeks using an outside ‘loo’ and pumping water from a well half a mile down the road? Well, you might, but you can bet your bottom dollar that most people won’t.
When buying to rent in Spain, location is the most important consideration when comes to holiday letting. Distance from the beach and nearest airport, shops and local entertainment are paramount. Successful letting depends on a variety of factors – including the style, standard of the property and facilities, and the availability of a pool, which are all key factors that will influence the success of your holiday letting business. Generally speaking, the better equipped a property; the more likely it is to be rented out.
Internet holiday hunters expect to pay less than when they are booking through a high street company. Obviously, a town apartment in an inland area is unlikely to generate the same level of interest as a seaside villa with a private pool in a top holiday spot!
There are an abundance of 2 bed apartments available for holiday rentals, in fact many owners are having to reduce their rental prices to compete. Our advice for those buying to rent would be to go as high up the ladder as you can afford to ensure that the property is rented most of the year round. Three bedroom villas with private pools in a good location are the most popular with holiday makers. On average, a 3 bed villa with a pool will generate around £800 – £900 pw in July and August, £650 – £700 in June and September and between £200 – £550 at other times.
Long term rentals are a different proposition. Location, such as ‘front line beach’ is not as important. Long term renters are looking more for the conveniences of living, as opposed to holiday-ing. Many people like to spend a few months looking around for property to buy, but long term rentals are in short supply as most owners opt for the higher weekly holiday prices. However, renting long term can be the source of a regular ‘year round’ income, and should not be dismissed by those buying to rent as a poor source of income. This type of property is normally purchased by investors, or for those buying to rent with no intention of using it themselves.
Spain is still one of the top tourist destinations, and with the right property owners can expect to fill at least 60% of the year with holiday bookings. Those with properties close to golf or leisure complex’s may book up to 40 weeks of the year, and of course renting long term guarantees a year round income.