How would you sum up 2015 in your region?
It has been a good year for the Costa Brava real estate market. With property prices at a 7/8 year low , a weak Euro attracting buyers from outside the Eurozone and increased activity from national buyers, we have seen a good level of sales activity in the region this year. I think it’s fair to say that the market hasn’t perhaps picked up to quite the level that people had predicted towards the back end of 2014, but in general sales trading has increased substantially on previous years. Furthermore, in 2015 we have seen some of the largest residential sales transactions completed in the region for many years. The overall upturn in sales activity and demand prompted us to open an office in Begur in the Spring and this has had a very positive effect on the business.
Who are the key buyers and where?
The most active buyers in the Costa Brava residential market this year have been northern European, in particular the British and French, though we have seen a significant rise in the number of American and Spanish clients as well. The greatest volume of Lucas Fox sales activity has focused on the central area of the Costa Brava, predominantly around the Begur/Palafrugell area of the coast, including Begur town, Aiguablava, Llafranc, Tamariu and Calella de Palafrugell.
What types of property are proving most popular and why?
For international buyers detached sea view villas with private pool remain the most sought-after properties. For national buyers, townhouses and apartments in communal developments tend to be those in greatest demand. National buyers tend to be much more specific about where they are looking to buy whilst international buyers are less sensitive to any particular location.
Have you noticed any significant nationality trends? And why?
I think the most noticeable has been the increase in demand from national buyers, most of whom are looking to enter the lower end of the market (with budgets of between from 400k – 600k). Demand from American buyers has also been substantially up on previous years.
What is the outlook for 2016….?
The outlook for 2016 is looking good. We expect the market to attract ever greater numbers of international buyers as property prices remain low and the Spanish economy continues its recovery. We are also likely to see even greater numbers of national buyers returning to the market so, overall, demand will continue to rise.