Spain Bounces Back After Years Of Recession

After six years in the economic wilderness, Spain is accelerating to outpace growth across the Eurozone.

In fact, the economy is growing so fast, the UK and USA may be left be left standing.

This is in contract to the downturn when a quarter of Spaniards were out of work, building companies went to the wall and the price of homes plummeted by 50%.

Now, the government has officially posted seven quarters in a row of positive economic growth.

Where national pride was at rock bottom and the government took a bail out to help make ends meet, the economy is now surging ahead and new life has been breathed into the property market.

Firm favourite with British expats

British expats are the top foreign home buyers in Spain, and the Pound goes a long way despite the economic resurgence as the euro has dropped to around 1.4 to the Pound. At the start of the downturn, a euro was worth 80 pence or more, while now it’s nearer 70 pence.

Now, a home worth 140,000 euros is worth £100,000, but the Pound buys a lot more because that house price is somewhere between 30% and 50% what it was worth at the start of the downturn.

Around 1 in 8 homes are sold to expats – and after the British come the French, Germans, Belgians, Swedes and Russians

The Balearic Islands saw the lowest price drops during the downturn and are now seeing the fastest increases.

House prices bouncing back

“These islands are hugely popular with tourists and are among the top destinations for expats so this is really no surprise,” said Alejandra Vanoli, managing director of Mallorca Sotheby’s International Realty.

He explained that the small Mallorcan town of Calvia alone has nearly 20,000 expat residents from more than 100 countries, to show what a popular cosmopolitan destination the islands have become.

Elsewhere, Glynn Evans, managing director of the Ibiza Sotheby’s International Realty office said: “Ibiza is a beautiful Island becoming discovered by discerning investors and money is pouring in. The island is about luxury – exciting restaurants, supercars and powerboat championships, and several new five-star hotels. I am certain the best is yet to come.”

In April, the Spanish central bank officially announced falling property prices had bottomed out and were stabilising in most areas and even bouncing back in others.

Nevertheless, the market still has a considerable amount of ground to make up on the peak of 2008.

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