Thursday, March 27, 2008

Spain - Can it Get Much Worse?

I know most people reading this blog will not have a lot of sympathy for estate agents, and those who know Spanish estate agents will probably have even less time for them. In our day-to-day running of the site we obviously have to deal with more than our fair share of them and, to be fair to them, they are a much maligned bunch. 90% of agents are decent, law abiding citizens who wish for nothing more than to make sure that their clients get the property they require and in return they expect to make a living from it. Fair enough, isn't that what the most of us want?

The problem for estate agents has been that, it being a largely unregulated industry, there is a magnetic attraction for the Arfur Daley's and Del Boy Trotter's of this world and it therefore meets with its share of calamity.

In any case, we know a lot of overseas agents and you can take our word for it, most of them are very decent people. Consequently we have a level of empathy when we see headlines like "Half of Spanish Agents Shut their Doors in 2007". A report in today's Financial Times isn't likely to fill those trying to sell a property in Spain with much joy either.

The end of the piece says: "Spain’s tourist hotspots have been hardest hit. According to a report by Aguirre Newman, the property consultants, residential estate developments in some parts of the Mediterranean coast now take an average of four years to sell, compared with a few days at the height of the property boom four years ago. About half of the new apartments on the Costa del Sol are sitting unsold, it says."

That's really gotta hurt.

On a lighter note. Here at the website we have a lot of Google alerts set up for various different topics in which we are interested. One of them is obviously Spanish Property. At one stage yesterday two alerts arrived in at the same time showing how two different organisations can have polar opposite opinions on the meaning of recent news:

Spain’s property market headed for a fall
Financial Times - London,England,UK
By Mark Mulligan in Madrid Spain’s residential property market is heading for a hard landing, as tightening credit conditions exacerbate problems of ...

Investors in Spain 'cannot lose out'
Holiday Lettings - Oxford,England,UK
Mr Walker added that Spain offers property investors a mix of accessibility and value for money. Although the strong euro will increase initial costs for ...

Whatever else you'll say about Estate agents, they're a great lot to keep the best side out.


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