Lockdown easing sets up Spanish market for foreign bounceback

The Spanish Costas are looking forward to a surge in foreign property-buyers following the country’s easing of border restrictions, said Spot Blue International Property in June, adding that lockdown has produced a backlog of enquiries from Europe and the UK, with the latter group benefiting from a strengthening pound and no requirement to show proof of vaccination in Spain.

As of June 7th Spain is allowing all vaccinated foreign travellers, including from non-European Union and Schengen Zone countries, to enter the country for non-essential purposes without the need to quarantine (this excludes countries with high levels of Covid-19). Alongside that, nationals from a list of 10 non-EU countries, including the UK, are exempt from needing to show proof of being vaccinated.

In another positive development, Spain is one of eight countries to have rolled out the European Union’s Digital Covid Certificate, which allows bearers to pass without the need to quarantine or present a negative coronavirus test, ahead of schedule. As of July 1st, this ‘coronavirus passport’ will be rolled out across the whole of the EU.

“This is encouraging news for holidaymakers wanting to visit Spain but also property-hunters keen to get on and start viewing properties,” said Julian Walker, director at Spot Blue International Property. “Our web traffic and enquiries throughout lockdown show pent up demand, so we’re preparing for a busy market in coming months.

“Buyers from Europe, especially Germany, Holland and Belgium, are expected to bite into the UK’s dominant share of the market compared to previous years, largely due to the UK still having Spain on its amber list. Spain recognises this and earlier this month the government there launched an €8million campaign targeting German tourists.”

In UK buyers’ favour is the strengthening pound, which has rebounded to levels against the euro not seen since before the start of the pandemic in March 2020. The UK’s successful vaccination programme, currently the most advanced in Europe, combined with the anticipated uplift from lockdown easing in the retail and leisure sectors helped to fuel a five per cent rise against the EU’s single currency in the first quarter of the year.

“UK buyers keen to take advantage of the current stronger pound and secure a property before the market really heats up again could always consider virtual viewings,” added Mr Walker. “It’s becoming the norm for developers and switched on agents to offer virtual viewings via a 3D platform or offering to do live video tours. At the very least, serious buyers can use this technology to eliminate properties from their wish-list and streamline the whole process for when they do fly out to do viewings.”

Spain’s Costa del Sol is well placed to benefit from a post-lockdown bounceback, being amongst Spain’s most international destinations. Away from the well-trodden Benahavís-Estepona-Marbella ‘Golden Triangle’, where prime properties can reach into the multi-millions of euros, the Mijas Costa is another sought-after area, ideally located between Fuengirola and Marbella districts. Highlights include the beach resort of La Cala de Mijas, the leafy Riviera Sol residential community, plentiful quality golf courses and leisure activities, and a magnificent seafront promenade.

Mijas Costa is home to some of the Costa del Sol’s most exciting new-build projects, including a stunning apartment complex overlooking the Calanova golf club, where Spot Blue International Property is offering one, two, three and four-bedroom apartments, including penthouses and units with gardens and terraces. Due for completion this year, this architecturally inspiring complex is one-of-a-kind, with panoramic views and modern amenities that include a spa and wellness centre, gym, indoor and outdoor pools, gastro bar, children’s entertainment and cinema room.

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