Spain's property crash
- There has been a lot of press coverage recently regarding the fall of property values in Spain. This coverage and the stories associated with it are not representative of Spain as a whole, but are specific to certain areas, mainly the southern and eastern Costas.
Reasons for the problems
There are some districts in southern Spain, primarily around Murcia and Alicante, where large scale holiday complex developments have far outstripped buyer demand and property prices have slumped as a result. If you are from the UK you will know who some of these developers are, they advertise their complexes continuously on TV.
Additionally there are also some Autonomous Communities (self governing regions of Spain) where compulsory purchase orders have been applied to properties or privately owned plots of land. This has been done illegally (it has already been taken to the EU court) and is the result of crooked councils using a bi-law that allows land to be acquired (purportedly) for low cost housing.
To the best of our knowledge, neither of the above apply anywhere in northern Spain and certainly not in Galicia.
House prices in Galicia continue to increase and every effort is made to encourage buyers (including foreigners) to purchase the older casas and fincas that represent part of the region's heritage. Indeed it is sometimes possible to get grants and financial assistance for the rebuilding or refurbishment of these buildings.
What you should of course be aware of is the differences in the conveyance process of property purchase in Spain to the UK, USA, Canada, Australia etc. You should ALWAYS employ an English speaking solicitor and NEVER rely solely on the actuary. His/her job is not to safe guard your interests, but to rubber stamp a legal agreement, even if it does not say what you think it does. Avoid any estate agent, realtor or property finder who tells you otherwise.