Corona 2020 – forecast for the Costa del Sol Property Market?
This is our forecast for the Costa del Sol Property Market 2020.
By Christofer Fogelberg, Partner Agent StartGroup
In the current situation of general quarantine and crisis in great parts of the world many of our customers ask themselves what will happen.
What happens now on the Costa del Sol Property Market?
In recent weeks I have read a number of different forecasts from several sources. From the major Spanish economic journals like the Economist.com, Expansion.es, the Swedish DI, and the Norwegian E24. I found all types of opinions from economists to experts in the real estate industry and the banking world. And of course from local real estate agents on the Costa del Sol. They’ve forecasted different scenarios with everything from disaster to business as usual. Probably depending on what suits them best.
One thing is certain: No one knows.
But I will give you my picture that I have right now, but of course warn you that it is my personal opinion that is taken from the micro perspective “real estate sales on Costa del Sol” and based on my 19 years of experience in the industry. I think many people miss out on the micro-perspective in their analyses; journalists often use statistics for the whole of Spain. But they miss the special situation we have on the Costa del Sol.
A large part of the market on the Costa del Sol consists of foreigners who invest and / or buy a second home. It does not happen in other parts of Spain, such as Extremadura, La Rioja or Navarra. Therefore, I thinks it’s wrong to use statistics for the whole of Spain to try to predict the future here. The reason is that we are influenced by so many nationalities with lots of different currencies. I have seen many analyses that emphasise on the differences with the recent crisis, most concerning the situation of the banks and that this crisis did not arise from the mortgage sector like the 2008 crisis. That is true, but I think it is more interesting to see what similarities exist and, above all, what perspectives you as an individual can benefit from.
From my own point of view I can say that the last crisis paved the way for our company, thanks to the declining prices. Many of our customers from eg. Scandinavia had a very strong currency against the Euro. I will use the Swedish currency SEK as an example as this article was originally written for the Swedish Magazine (www.svenskamagasinet.nu) but as it stands right now both the British Pound and Norwegian krone could have been exemplified.
In 2012 we sold discounted properties to Swedes who then got an exchange rate of 8.18; 100,000 Euros cost SEK 818,000. At the beginning of May 2020, 100,000 Euros costs around SEK 1,070,000. That is, the currency was cheap in 2012, but expensive for Swedes in 2020. We can also predict that prices will undoubtedly go down this year. Demand will be low and mainly based on Spanish buyers. It takes some time for the market to find its bottom level before it goes up again and no one knows when it will turn. But personally, I think the recovery can go much faster this time around, as interest is still great. So the time to find “bargains” can be short. Our company has still sold homes during quarantine time – without being able to show them physically!
As it is expensive for Swedish buyers, it is undoubtedly a golden opportunity for Swedes who want to sell their property. They get a lot more SEK per Euro! Those who are quick to adjust prices are those who will sell quickly. If you wait too long, the rest of the market will also adjust prices and it will be too late, as all prices have dropped. Prices will and are going down. This is bad news for those who have bought a property in the last two years and now want to sell. The currency rate doesn’t help them that much.
But those who bought, for example, September 2017 had an exchange rate of 9.50 and now you get 10.70. So on the currency they make a profit of SEK 120,000 per 100,000 Euros, about 11%. This means, in simplified terms, that they can go down up to 11% in price without “losing” money. This option is not available to other European sellers who always dealt in Euros, so it is a benefit that has to be calculated in each specific case.
StartGroup has good contact with currency traders that will give a better rate than the banks and do all transfers for free! Contact us for more info!
Every crisis presents opportunities! Our long term investors have been asking for our Corona 2020 forecast Costa del Sol Property Market. Even since the beginning of this crisis. As always, keep it simple!
If you are an investor, my tip is to have close contact with a well-established real estate agent in the area you are interested in. They will have a large network and often the “bargains” that come in don’t even get out onto the open market but are sold directly to buyers on the agents investor list.
What will happen to all the Estate Agents?
I think that, like the previous crisis, there will be a much needed cleansing. It is not normal to have so many “Agents” who do not even speak Spanish, and don’t respect laws nor regulations. On April 28th, the magazine El Economista.es published a forecast that up to 15,000 real estate agencies will go bankrupt this year, resulting in up to 35,000 unemployed realtors in Spain, about 25% of the total! On the Costa del Sol there will also be a Darwinistic cleansing where only the best survive. However, think that it can be positive for customers.