Author Archives: akinloch

Investment in Mallorca. 2018 analysed

A second report by our secret surveyor

Mallorca and the Balearics have a property market renowned for long term strength and stable growth. In this article, we argue, much against the mainstream and how 2018 represents one of the worst years for Mallorca property investors and what that might mean for the future.Q

Market Share

Out of the 18 Spanish regions, 15 had a larger share of the property market (Nº of transactions ) in 2004 than in 2018. The property crash took its toll on most regions and what this suggests is that many have yet to recover. However, Mallorca, Basque Country and Navarra have a larger market than back in the pre-crash period. This has reinforced the conception that Mallorca is one of the strongest markets in Spain, but nevertheless, growth levels may be greater in other regions.

Less Transactions

Investment trends in the Balearics show there were 5% less property transactions in 2018 than in 2017. This is specifically significant due to the fact that only the Balearics and Canary Islands where the ones to decrease in Spain.

Historic Anomaly

Spain’s market in the 2017-2018 period grew by 11%. Balearics decreased by 5%. This is a historical anomaly. The property market in the Mediterranean islands has always been growing at a higher rate than in inland Spain. In fact, the last time that this wasn’t the case was 10 years ago during the 2008-09 period and 2007-2008 years. In all the other most recent years, Spain’s average growth has always been smaller than Mallorca’s.

Why Decrease is specifically important

Analysts might be quick to point out is that the 2007-2009 period (the last time this anomaly occurred), it was the turning point to what happened to be the worst property crash in decades. It would make sense for the Balearics to be one of the first regions to feel a property bubble exploding as it is a region where there are high levels of foreign investment and where there is a strong luxury market. Both of these markets will be more reluctant to invest if there is uncertainty regarding the future of the economy.

Will there be a recession?

Macroeconomic tensions are escalating: Brexit, yellow vests, Trump… Moreover, there are many economic indicators which suggest that the economy is not as strong as it were a few years ago: GDP growth in countries such as France, Germany, Italy and UK are the lowest they’ve been in recent years. Recession may occur. However, this does not mean it will be as brutal as the previous one.

It is important to note that when the previous crash occurred, the Balearics was one of the regions least affected in Spain, especially at the high end.

Looking back over the last 30 years, Long term capital values have shown exponential growth.

The Balearics has proportionally the biggest luxury market in Spain. Luxury markets have always remained more stable than less expensive markets.

Demand is diversified: the Balearics has a strong international market which helps diversify risk. Even if an international economy fails, another generally steps in to help dampen such a fall.

All data is taken from the official Ministerio de Fomento 2019 document. Find the methodology in: https://apps.fomento.gob.es/BoletinOnline2/?nivel=2&orden=35000000

Brexit

A report written by John Kinloch for Sotheby’s Mallorca here

PRICE VARIATIONS IN THE BALEARICS

Article by the Secret Surveyor.

Knowing whether the price of the average property is going to increase or decrease is key for investors looking at the property market. We are going to lay out some predictions and show a general overview of the trend of property market prices in the Balearics.

GENERAL STATS ABOUT THE PRICE OF THE AVERAGE PROPERTY IN THE BALEARICS:

  • 3rd most expensive region in Spain with an average price of m2 of 2272 only behind Madrid and Basque Country.
  • 3rd region which has grown the most since 2015
  • At one of the highest points it has ever been

Only real case of growth since 2004

When analysing the price of property in the Balearics it is interesting to note that official valuations are much higher than they were at the pre-recession phase. As opposed to the rest of Spain, the Balearics average price of $/m2 is 23% higher than what it was in 2004. This is the only real case of significant price growth in a large region in Spain. The only other regions which shows a similar trend are Galicia, Extremadura and Cataluña all with growth under 10%.    

It is in fact in one of the highest points it has ever been. Current price of property is only behind years 2007 and 2008.

There is growth but it is slowing down.

The Balearics show strong growth in the last 3 years. Price’s have gone up significantly: since 2015 they have risen by 13% making it the 3rd region with biggest growth in that space of time.

However, in 2018 there is a significant change: in comparison to 2017 there is only a 3% increase. Opposite to the 2015-2018 period, during this year growth is below the average in Spain. In the last quarter of 2018 change was of only 0,4%, significantly below the average in Spain and one of the lowest quarterly growths in recent years.


Why Balearics has been so strong

Inland Spain was significantly more affected by the property crash than the Balearics:

  • Foreign Investment. Balearics wasn’t as dependent on local market and hence demand for property didn’t fall as much as in other regions.
  • Luxury market: known to be much more stable in recessions, the Balearics has one of the biggest luxury markets in Spain.

Will prices keep going up?


Balearics have historically been a very strong growing market yet growth seems to be slowing down. In fact what makes the Balearics a strong market is in fact slowing down the growth.


The Balearics are a strong stable market as mentioned due to the size of the luxury market and due to foreign investment.


Two key exogenous factors have caused these pillars to cause stagnation:

a) Macroeconomic tensions: Brexit, yellow vests, Trump, Putin… 2018 has been a year full of uncertainty and political tension. 2019’s prediction is uncertain for everyone. Brexit exemplifies how this affects the property market. British citizens (historically one of the strongest buyers in the market) do not know whether there will be any changes in tax payments, regulation or even their rights as EU citizens if they buy a property in Spain. This undoubtedly has caused, and will cause, property markets to stagnate.

b) Local legislation uncertainty. The Balearic government, and specially the Palma Town hall, has created and changed laws regarding property during their whole legislation. The mayor of Palma is in fact being taken to court regarding a controversial law regarding property rentals. As with foreign buyers, uncertainty is causing many buyers to not buy in Palma and the Balearics.

Will prices keep going up? The market is stagnated. There are however positive signs: Brexit deal looms and there are going to be regional elections at the beginning of 2019 in the Balearics. It would be impossible to give a realistic prediction yet the mere fact that part of the uncertainty will be taken out of the equation will most definitely help the property market.

All data is taken from the official Ministerio de Fomento 2019 document. Find the methodology in: https://apps.fomento.gob.es/BoletinOnline2/?nivel=2&orden=35000000

Keyro 2018 annual property summary and 2019 predictions

The Balearics is shown as having the best growth, reaching 90% of the pre-crash values.

Strong price growth in the last 12 months has been seen in Catalonia (9.1%), the Balearics (7%), La Rioja (6.7%), Cantabria (5.7%) and Castile Y León (5.7%).

Keyro expects to see a continuation of the current trend for growth in mainland regions with easy access to the coast. They consider the islands and coasts to be expensive.

Full article link below.

https://join.kyero.com/en/market-reports/house-price-index-annual-summary-and-predictions?utm_campaign=Agent%20Comms%202nd%20Jan%202019&utm_medium=email&_hsenc=p2ANqtz–8lFzheI-9S2a7IMW842_VjdqoNIW5AeQYERW0TqXvNQuLS1XqcZuYpKBrwEexJhwLQBksTcRnEOp4WrJPTHbnGQcPiw&utm_content=68692203&utm_source=hs_email&hsCtaTracking=a484f630-1fb7-49be-982f-8d87a047f602%7C4a77fb3c-09a6-461a-8d61-d56c01e7332a

Italians outnumber Brit Purchasers for the first time in 2018

Foreign investment in the Baleares continues to increase according to the “Consejo general de Notariado“. Average sale prices has risen to 2,790€ pm2 compared to the national average of 1,687€ pm2.

The latest figures show the Italian market is now stronger that British.

For the first 6 months of 2018, Germans continue to lead, amounting to 23% of all foreign purchases. The second strongest was Italian with 15%, closely follwed by the British, Swedish, French and Swiss.

Interestingly, it appears the majority of purchases appears to have been made by Italian businessmen/women who chose to reside on the islands.

Improved air links with Italy have helped to boost Italian residency, along with poor economic opportunities at home.

Property Works quoted in SpanishPropertyInsight.com regarding surprise drop in registered sales in the Balearics

SPI article by Mark Stucklin

https://www.spanishpropertyinsight.com/2018/08/15/supply-shortage-to-blame-balearic-home-sales-decline/

 

 

 

 

Home sales in the Balearics fell by an annualised 27% in May and 18% in June, whilst most other local market popular with foreign buyers continued to grow, according to recent figures from the National Institute of Statistics (INE). How to explain the Balearic decline in sales? Is it just a blip, or the start of a trend? I asked some property professionals on the front line of the Balearic property market for their view of the market today.

It helps to know that the housing market in the Balearics has been growing strongly since bottoming out in 2013 (chart above), and has been one of the hottest markets in recent years both in terms of sales and house price growth, after suffering a far milder crisis than most other parts of Spain. Homes sales in the Balearics have increased steadily since bottoming out in 2013 at just below 8,000 per year, to finish 2017 at 15,516, so an almost 100% increase in four years – one of the biggest increases in all of Spain (exceeded only by the small province of Alava in the Basque Region, up 120% in the same period). Of all the regions relevant to foreign buyers, and especially upmarket buyers, the Balearics have enjoyed the longest and strongest recovery in property sales since the market turned around, and obviously that trend can’t continue for ever. It was inevitable that at some point home sales in the Balearics would start to cool down, especially considering the housing supply restrictions that affect islands with a shortage of building land.

If you look at the year-on-year change in monthly sales over the last 12 months (next chart) you can see that Balearic home sales have increased by more than 10% in seven of the last twelve months, and only fallen in four of them, though you could argue the negative months look a bit like the first signs of a new trend. That said, the decline in March was in part due to Easter falling in March this year, which reduced the number of working days that month. I would not attach much importance to the decline in December or March, but that still doesn’t help explain a 27% decline in May, and the 18% decline in June.

Industry Insiders comment from the front line

Alastair Kinloch, RICS surveyor and head of Property Works in Mallorca
“The word on the ground is that the only premium properties that are shifting easily at the moment are those I would class as “development opportunities”. Buyers still want value, even if they are paying millions. Prices seem high, and perhaps too much inflation in asking prices has occurred in the last couple of years, with vendors getting greedy. An example: During a recent valuation in Bendinat, Calvia, I argued the value was around 4m€. The owner thought 5m€ was closer. I reminded him he paid 2.5m€ in 2012. Even at 4m€, there was a significant profit. Lots of properties have not sold. Competitive pricing seems to be the only way to sell (unless you get lucky!). Fingers crossed it is blip and nothing more.”

Marc Pritchard, Sales & Marketing Director of Taylor Wimpey “While recent figures for the Balearic Islands show a decrease in sales, this isn’t reflective of the full picture when it comes to the islands’ property market. Much of the declining sales rate is actually attributable to a significant shortage of available properties at affordable prices on the islands. Demand is still strong, with Taylor Wimpey España’s Mallorca reservations up by 25% year to date compared to 2017, in stark contrast to the reported drop in sales. Those building in the Balearics right now are seeing the full picture of the property market ‘on the ground.’ Buyers are seeking high quality homes at decent prices – and they’re looking to new build properties to deliver what they otherwise can’t find for sale in their chosen locations. The decline in sales therefore doesn’t so much reflect a lack of confidence in the market, merely a lack of supply.”

Lone Schaefer, Kelosa Selected Properties in Ibiza “I am surprised by the figures showing a decline in sale. It is probably more about the apartments market. People sometimes bought several apartments at once to rent them out to tourists. Since the authorities have taken action against illegal letting – and apartments are generally not granted a license, this market has declined. But in our market for large villas and country estates I have not noticed any decline. So personally I think it’s probably a blend of factors including a shortage of home that people want or can afford, the holiday-rental restrictions turning off some buyers, with some segments completely unaffected.”

Balearic government aims to phase out Green house emissions by 2050

A bold move by the Balearic islands’ government to phase out greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 is being considered in a new green manifesto, which includes banning diesel cars and changing all street lighting to LEDs.

Other plans include

  • buildings with roof spans of more than 1,000 square metres – car parks, hospitals, supermarkets and sports stadiums will host electricity generating solar panels.
  • Coal plants will be phased out by 2035,
  • All car hire fleets on the islands will be electrified.

Francina Armengol, the president of the Balearics’ socialist-green government, said  “It has to be this way if the law is to be more than a mere statement of intent.”

Joan Groizard, the islands’ director-general for climate change said the move put them on a path to confrontation with Madrid, and his government was studying the legal implications very carefully. There is a live debate about what regions can and can’t do, and this requires careful consideration.

He states “We can’t ratify the Paris agreement on our own but we can take a decision to adhere to it. Climate change is already having a big impact on our islands and hopefully our actions can have a knock-on effect elsewhere.”

The Balearics government says that if its climate plan is blocked, it will refuse to upgrade its Alcúdia coal plant in Majorca in time to meet a 2020 deadline for new EU emissions limits.

“If we sit on our hands and do nothing then on 1 January 2020, the plant will not be able to work, because it will be in breach of the EU legislation,” he said. “We are hoping it won’t go that far. But we do have pockets of sovereignty – or power – that we’re planning to use if we need to.”

Your own flatpack house for 30,000€ built in 6-7 hours?

 

New homeowners are looking for inexpensive, unique, greener, and smarter homes that are durable and energy-efficient at the same time. Prefabricated homes are one solution.

Architect Renato Vidal from Italy has designed a miniature home which he claims can be built in 6-7 hours. It is built in a factory, doesn’t need concrete foundations and can also be upgraded to run off grid.  It is claimed to earthquake resistant

The foldable design was created by Italian architect, Renato Vidal   All basic models include a fitted bathroom, kitchen connections and technical installations

The best bit is that the homes can be folded up and transported when you get bored with the location.

Too good to be true? Perhaps, as the 30,000€ quoted is for just 27m2, below the minimum permitted size of a habitable property in Spain.  The larger 2/3 bed models are much more practical and appear to be priced at about 60,000€.  Land costs, site purchase and fees would have to be added to the equation.

Prefab homes are the homes of the future. The exceptional convenience, cutting-edge architecture and eco-efficiency are everything that a homeowner would love to invest in, especially in these changing times.

https://www.madihome.com/

 

 

Palma town council to ban holiday rentals in apartment blocks

We understand Palma town council is close to banning holiday rentals in apartment blocks.

Long term rentals will not be affected, nor detached or semi-detached dwellings and always when a specific tourist rental licence is granted.

The Gobern Balear, will also empower other local authorities across the islands to prohibit apartment rentals if considered necessary.

The legislation has come about via an unlikely alliance between the left and right wing parties as a result of skyrocketing long term rents, overcrowding and a strain on local infrastructure.

There has also been opposition from the hoteliers, who see holiday rentals as unregulated and unfair competition.     Similarly, block residents have been complaining about the general poor behaviour of holidaymakers.

We understand the exact details of the new law have yet to approved, including the prosecution process.

Other measures being studied include a limitation on the number of holiday rental properties an individual may exploit.

long term property rental prices have soared in the last 12 months with an average increase of 6% pa.

Mark Stucklin at Spanish Property Insight discusses British demand on property in Spain

Great article by Mark Stucklin see www.spanishpropertyinsight.com

What impact has Brexit had on British demand for property in Spain?

What impact has Brexit had on British demand for property in Spain in the five months since the referendum? The latest official figures show a substantial fall in British purchases, and a survey I recently carried out suggests a big overall drop in British buyer activity, especially in the top two destinations of the Costa del Sol and Costa Blanca.

The latest official figures from the Spanish Association of Land Registrars shows that British home purchases inscribed in the Land Registry fell by 16% (yoy) in the third quarter, the first decline in years (see chart below). The Brexit effect is clear, and I expect the Q4 figures to be even worse.

spanish property sales

To get a better idea of the impact in the five months since the British voted to leave the EU I’ve carried out a survey of property professionals in different parts of Spain including estate agents, buying agents, lawyers, mortgage brokers and surveyors, working in Barcelona, the Costa Brava, Costa Blanca, Valencia, Costa del Sol, and the Balearics, answering questions about the market between July and October. I got 22 responses back in October and November answering questions on British buyer interest, sales, budgets, concerns, and vendor behaviour.

Despite variations between regions and price segments, the overall picture was one of a big decline in British buyer interest in the months leading up to, and just after the referendum. However, there are also some signs that British buyer interest might now have stabilised at a lower level, helped by a bit of a recovery in the pound, though it is still too early to tell.

The following table summarise the impact of Brexit on British demand in the first few months after the referendum in most of the foreign buyer destinations in Spain, based on the experience of the professionals surveyed. The results are subject to individual bias but the overall picture is clear.

AREA BRITISH MARKET INITIAL REACTION OVERALL IMPACT
All Spain Initial spike in enquiries then 30% fall Big decline
Costa Brava Initial spike then big fall in some cases No change to big decline
Barcelona 20% increase Moderate increase
Costa Blanca / Valencian Declines of up to 80%, typically 50% to 60% down Big decline
Murcia Slight increase in enquiries No change
Costa del Sol Declines of up to 80%, but typically 20% to 30% down Moderate to big decline
Balearics Declines of up to 35% Moderate to big decline

Other market observations that came out of the survey were as follows:

  • Agents reported agreed sales falling through in every region as a result of Brexit, but in areas like Barcelona buyers from other nationalities stepped in quickly to take the place of British clients who backed out of sales.
  • In almost all cases the main reasons given for the decline in British buyers were 1) the decline in the pound and 2) the uncertainty generated by Brexit. That said, the weaker pound was the main reason. Had the pound gone up after Brexit, is it is likely that British demand would also have gone up.
  • Many Britons have put their plans to buy a home on Spain on hold for the time being, but those who have not are now looking with lower budgets in Euro. It seems budgets have been hit hardest in the middle market, whilst some professionals working in upper market segments of the of the Costa del Sol, Balearics, and Catalonia, reported no change or even a slight increase in the Euro budgets of British clients. This could be because wealthy clients have more diversified sources of finance available to them.
  • In most areas the Brexit effect was limited to the British market, but some professionals also reported noticing a spill over into other markets, as buyers from other nationalities decided to adopt a wait and see approach, or try and take advantage of the situation to make lower offers.
  • British vendors are now more flexible on price in most areas, so buyers have an opportunity to negotiate a better price with British vendors, all thanks to Brexit.

I have also noticed that some Spanish property companies have decided to drastically scale back or even stop marketing in the UK, which is just another reflection of the Brexit impact.

How much will British demand shrink? It all depends on where the pound goes from here, but I’m bracing myself for a 50% decline or more if the pound doesn’t recover. How do I get that figure? Look at where sales were the last time the pound was this weak, as illustrated by the following chart.

spanish property british demand brexitEven if British demand falls 50% it would still be the biggest national segment in the foreign market. But a decline of that magnitude would certainly be felt by the rest of the market, putting pressure on vendors and prices in middle market areas of the Costa Blanca and Costa del Sol.

Will British demand ever return to the level it reached at the end of 2015, when it was still a long way below the boom-time level? I imagine so because Brexit has not changed fundamental preferences, just circumstances. But who know how long it will take. As one agent on the Costa del Sol said to me “you can forget about the British market for at least a year.”

Thanks to the following professionals for their help with this survey:

NAME Company
Kevin Monger Mortgages Direct
Karen Storms Lucas Fox
Alfredo Millá Soneil
Tom Maidment Lucas Fox
Louisa Grundon PCI Pals
Eloi Ruart HFP Management
Gordon Turnbull Blue Med
Pia Arrieta Diana Morales
Chris Clover Panorama
Adam Neale Terra Meridiana
Desmond O’Connor Consultant
Barbara Wood The Property Finders
Catriona Hogan Your Viva
Oscar Ernstsen Villas & Fincas
Ailse MacFarlane Land Corp International
Campbell Ferguson Survey Spain
Alex Reyners Neverland Properties
Alastair Kinloch Property Works
Pedro Pons Pons Anglada
Conor Wilde Found Valencia
Daniel Talavera The Spanish Brick
Martin Rowen Marow Chartered Surveyors