Few British buyers have concerns about being taken for a ride when buying a property in Spain, according to recent research that shows there could be 4.4 million likely to buy if the processes were “hassle-free”.
Spain’s strong consumer protection laws and added safeguards by its property industry have helped allay the concerns of would be buyers, according to the latest survey on overseas buying by Barclays Bank. The survey showed a massive 92 per cent of families considering buying overseas were not worried about being taken for a ride and paying too much, despite media coverage of money laundering scams in the Cost del Sol, lack of building licences in Costa Almeria and the infamous Valencia ‘land grab’ law that the EC has forced Spain to repeal. Suzanne Clay, Head of European Business Development at Barclays commented: “The trend towards owning property abroad shows no sign of abating and could go through the roof if people were more confident of a hassle-free purchase.”
Spanish developers have to provide guarantees that all buyers’ deposits for offplan homes are refunded if they do not take delivery and that all defects are insured for 10 years, according to the latest consumer protection laws and decrees. Additionally, leading brokers like PropertyInSpain.Net provide a free legal surety from independent Spanish solicitors that developers own the land, what charges are on it, they have planning permission and a building licence from the planning authority. Spokesman for PropertyInSpain.Net,
Terry Walker said: “We introduced Legal Surety a year ago and most buyers have taken it up by checking for themselves with the named solicitors that everything is fully legal before they commit any reservation or deposits. We have dropped 20 developments where no building licences were granted after the expected date was passed. “As we work with the property divisions of Spanish banks, we also check if banks have invested directly into the development and that’s an additional safeguard for UK and northern European buyers.
Our new Libertad tax break buying means there is no need for black money deals to reduce capital gain tax when re-selling as all taxes are accounted for with maximum allowances for Libertad buyers.” The number of Brits who own property abroad is set to double to a massive 4.4 million, according to the research by Barclays – and Spain remains the favourite destination.
Five per cent of people surveyed (the equivalent of 2.2 million people in the UK, according to Barclays figures) said they would definitely buy a property abroad in the future. This would double the number of Britons owning property abroad, bringing the overall total to 4.4 million.
The results of the Barclays survey showed that the most popular countries for Brits planning to buy abroad were:
1. Spain (inc Balearics and Canary Islands) 30 per cent
2. USA 15 per cent
3. France 14 per cent
4. Italy 10 per cent
5. South Africa 6 per cent
6. Dubai 5 per cent
7. Portugal 5 per cent
8. Bulgaria 3 per cent
9. Croatia 2 per cent
10. Morocco 1 per cent