Experts list real estate reasons to be cheerful

A PROPERTY valuation company has listed eight factors it believes give reason to be positive about the market in Spain in 2015.

The Sociedad de Tasacion (ST), one of Spain’s largest independent appraisal firms, says there is plenty to be cheerful about this year.

Price stability and the likelihood of pent-up buyers’ demand are their first two factors. With figures showing a significant slowdown in the drop in real estate value last year, ST predicts no surprises with no major increase or decrease in prices. And with prices levelling, they expect buyers to start spending.

The company also points to a rise in consumer spending at the end of 2014, record numbers of tourists, and a likely continuing decrease in unemployment as three more examples of growing confidence in the economic outlook. These should, they argue, translate into good news for the property market.

ST mentions better housing affordability as their sixth positive point, with the gap between house prices and average income shrinking to a more manageable level. However, they add the ratio remains higher than in other countries.

The behaviour of the banks, some may say for a change, gives the seventh reason to look on the bright side. Competition for share of the mortgage market sees the big lenders launching products with increasingly encouraging rates.

Finally, ST looks to small-scale, buy-to-let investors as a sign of better things to come. Poor returns on investments in the financial markets have seen increasing numbers of people turn to property, and they cite a big shift in the share of the property market in the hands of buy-to-let landlords, from 16 per cent previously to 28 per cent.

Overall, the society is looking to a lessening of the ‘caution effect’ as predictions of economic recovery grow more confident, and people in Spain start to feel more certain, and more able to spend.

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