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Euro property bargains up for grabs in Spain

British buyers are leading the pack when it comes to snapping up properties in Spain encouraged by a weak euro and a property market at rock bottom.

Euro property bargains up for grabs in Spain
The euro is the weakest it has been against the pound in eight years, meaning huge savings.

Spain tops the wish-list for potential second home-owners living in Britain proving that  neither the economic crisis nor the planning corruption scandals of recent years have put them off.

House sales went up for the first time in 2014 since the construction bubble burst with foreign buyers accounting for almost one in every five houses sold in Spain last year, an increase of over 19 percent from the year before.

Official statistics from Spain published last month record that French purchasers made up 10.48 percent of the market, German buyers accounted for 6.45 percent of sales and Belgians 6.19 percent.

By far the biggest percentage of buyers were the Brits at 18.6 percent and it’s no wonder.

Spain has now overtaken France as the destination of choice for holiday homes for British buyers of a second home, a survey published by Rightmove Oversees in January revealed.  

Some 37 percent of Brits looking to buy abroad said they would choose Spain with only 23 percent opting for a property in France.

With the euro at an eight year low against the pound, estate agents in Spain are already seeing a rush from British buyers eager to snap up a bargain.

These three bedroom town houses on the Brisa de Alenda golf course are be sold from €145,000

"We're seeing British buyers eyeing up cut-price properties across Spain in high numbers right now, as they can get so much more for their money than they could a few years ago," Martin Dell, the director of leading Spanish property portal Kyero.com told The Local.

"But what's interesting is the number of buyers looking to snap up properties with heftier price tags too."

For example, this new build three bedroom villa with pool in Benijofar, Valencia, which is on the market for €335,000 would cost a British buyer £250,000 at the current exchange rate, while back in 2009 it would have cost £310,000.

"With the exchange rate looking so favourable, it really is a case of the more you spend, the more you save at the moment," observed Marc Pritchard, Sales and Marketing Director of Taylor Wimpey España.

"There are some incredible bargains on the market at the moment, particularly in popular areas like the Costa Blanca," he said.

In Alicante, for example,  this a two-bedroom apartment in the newly constructed La Recoleta III development is going for just €142,000, not bad for a holiday pad just a few metres from the beach.

PHOTO GALLERY: The highs and lows of the Spanish property market. What can you get for your money? 

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MOVING TO SPAIN

How to find temporary accommodation in Spain when you first arrive

One of the most common questions people moving to Spain ask is where they can rent temporary accommodation while looking for somewhere more permanent. This can be particularly tricky, but we've found some of the best places to look.

How to find temporary accommodation in Spain when you first arrive

So you’ve sorted out your visas, you’ve done all your packing and have either sold or moved out of your home, but when you arrive in Spain you’re not exactly sure where you’re going to stay.  

Of course, it’s not the best idea to sign a contract ahead of time for a more permanent place before you’ve actually seen it in person. Photos don’t always accurately represent what the house or apartment looks like in reality and you won’t really be able to get a feel for the neighbourhood without being there. 

On top of this, rental scams are rife in some places in Spain, particularly in the bigger more popular cities like Barcelona. Often people will place an ad (which usually looks too good to be true) and get you to wire over a deposit to secure it in advance, but here’s the catch – the place doesn’t usually exist.

This is why it’s important to never hand over money to secure a place to live in Spain before you’ve actually seen it in person and you can get the keys as soon as you sign the contract.

But, finding a place to live in a new country can be difficult and it can take time, so while you look for somewhere, you’re going to need temporary accommodation for a couple of months. This can be tricky too because often temporary accommodation is geared towards tourists and you’ll be paying tourist prices too.

While Idealista and Fotocasa are two of the most popular sites to look for accommodation in Spain, when you only want somewhere for a couple of months, there’s no point looking there, as most places will have yearly contracts.

Keep in mind with short-term rentals for a couple of months, you’re going to be paying higher than the average monthly rent, however, for this, the apartments are usually fully furnished, including kitchen utensils, wi-fi already connected and offer you the flexibility of shorter contracts.

Short-term rental agencies

Specialised short-term rental agencies are the best way to go, which will allow you to sign contacts for less than the typical one year. These types of agencies are usually found in Spain’s big cities that are popular with foreigners, such as Madrid and Barcelona.

Trying searching in Spanish too by typing alquiler de temporada or alquiler temporal plus the name of the city or town you’re looking in. This way you may be able to find places that offer better value. 

Barcelona

In Barcelona, check out aTemporal an agency that started up precisely to fix the problem of trying to find accommodation in-between tourist accommodation and long-term rentals. They rent out apartments for anywhere from 32 days to 11 months.

ShBarcelona is another agency that specialises in these types of rentals and have properties all over the city.

READ ALSO – Moving to Barcelona: A guide to the best neighbourhoods to live in

Madrid

In Madrid, try DFLAT, which was created by two professionals from the Instituto de Empresa University after discovering the difficulties professionals and foreigners found when looking for an apartment in Madrid. Sh also has a good branch in Madrid.  

Valencia

In Valencia, Dasha Living Space has both short and long-term fully furnished flats available and  Valenvi Flats also offers rentals for between three and six months.

READ ALSO – Moving to Valencia: A guide to the best neighbourhoods to live in

Airbnb

While the nightly rate of Airbnb apartments is typically too expensive to rent for a couple of months, you may be able to find some deals. Often when you input dates for a month into Airbnb, you’ll find that several places have a monthly discount offered. Also, some owners will do a deal for a couple of months. If it’s winter for example and they know they’re not going to get many tourists anyway, they may be willing to negotiate.

Vrbo

Like Airbnb, the properties on Vrbo are rented out directly by the owners. While the site is also mainly focused on tourists, some owners may negotiate outside of the tourist season.

Housesitting

If you’re willing to try something a little bit different, then housesitting could be the way to go. This is where you live in somebody’s house for free, in exchange for looking after their pets and their property.

Often people only need someone for a few days, but sometimes you’ll see house sits available for a month or longer. This is perhaps a better option for those who are flexible on where they might want to live and are trying out a few different places. It’s also better for those wanting to live in smaller towns or villages rather than the bigger cities, as there are fewer postings for these popular locations. Trusted Housesitters and Mind My House are good options. 

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