Unsold houses get new lease of life

By Daphne Hilarides

THE real estate crisis has left 3,000 empty homes without owners in Roquetas de Mar, with many housing complexes having been abandoned finished or otherwise.

The latest solution the promoters have reached is to rent them out to tourists.

The vacation company Pierre & Vacances has decided to market 160 homes in this way in Playa Serena Sur.

According to loca daily “IDEAL”, the process was fairly simple; the promoter refunded the money the few buyers had given them as a down payment and quickly reached an agreement with the French company.  Pierre & Vacances usually builds its own complexes; however, the real estate crisis is giving them the opportunity to expand without having to build. The company also gives its clients to possibility of buying a home, reserving certain dates throughout the year and renting it the rest of the time to other tourists. Part of the rent obtained goes to the owners.

According to the complex director, Federico Lopez, the idea seems to be working. They registered an occupation level of 76 per cent in July and 90 per cent in August last year. “It went better than we had expected,” Lopez explained.

The French company has also begun to work this way in Mojacar, adding a second housing complex with 114 apartments. Each one of these complexes creates six year-long direct jobs and between five and 25 indirect jobs depending on the season.

The product they are offering is a concept that is somewhere between a hotel and an aparthotel. Pierre & Vacances is encouraging French tourists to visit Roquetas, a nationality that hasn’t visited the area much due to the lack of flights from France. Last year 15 per cent of the occupancy came from France, a number which the company expects to at least double this year.

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