Author: Chris McCarthy

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Author: Chris McCarthy - total articles: 10

Is anyone buying property in Spain? Yes of course they are, thousands of them, and here’s why…

Buying a property in Spain?

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I have to admit to having huge admiration for those people who have been buying property in Spain with VIVA, not just today, or in fact now every day this year, but all the way back to the day – now nearly 5 years ago – when there was a run on the Northern Rock bank in the UK.

Yes, it seems scarcely credible that by the time this summer is out, it will be 5 whole years since then, and it will also be 4 years since the collapse of Lehmans which precipitated the entire worldwide credit crunch along with everything that has followed.

In many ways, because of all the recent talk of the Greek Crisis and a Spanish bank bailout, it all seems like it was just yesterday. It just seems never ending really. It goes on, and on, and on…

Yet a couple of years back, whilst at the epicentre of the crisis, we would have had to admit there were some days in a row, within VIVA, when there wasn’t a single Buyer / Vendor Sale being handled by us. However, we certainly never went a whole week – on zero – not within that entire time.

Some brave individuals – bless their souls – always had the faith, commitment, desire, interest, financial nous or just plain dream fulfilment and intention to actually buy a property in Spain, and went through with it.

That of course is why VIVA is still here, still selling homes, and now back to doing so every single day. How else would we ourselves have survived and now thrived to where we stand today…?

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Author:Chris McCarthy 29/06/2012 [0] Comments 
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So, Warren Buffett is investing billions in real estate, now there’s a man who knows his onions…!

Warren Buffett

Warren Buffett - AP Photo/Dennis Cook

I think everyone knows that Mr. Buffett is the world renowned business ‘go-to guru’ – the daddy of them all, when it comes to investment. When it comes to staying ahead of the markets, or in a pithy phrase cutting to the bone and getting right to the heart of the matter in a mere sentence, he’s without compare. His quotes on investment and the timing of same are simply legion, found and used in business presentations, textbooks and articles around the globe.

One of my personal favourites has always been the one that says: “We simply attempt to be fearful when others are greedy and to be greedy only when others are fearful”, which I found very interesting to recall, when reading reports that Mr. Buffett is investing $3.85 billion in betting heavily on a US housing market recovery.

This investment is hugely encouraging not just for agents and developers in the USA, but I believe internationally also, in markets that mirror much of the US such as Spain…

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Author:Chris McCarthy 26/06/2012 [0] Comments 
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The England Football Squad to train and stay at La Cala Resort this month

England Squad Football Team Euro 2012

England Squad Football Team Euro 2012

As recently reported in both The Times and on the BBC website – by journalists who were able to see paperwork on an agenda handed to new England boss Roy Hodgson, during his appointment as manager by the FA last week – it’s now been revealed that the entire England Squad and their entourage will be spending their first week together with Hodgson at the helm at VIVA’s long-time HOT favourite, La Cala Resort.

Ray Lewington & Roy Hodgson

England coach Ray Lewington & England manager Roy Hodgson

This will bring exceptional exposure for the Costa del Sol, since wherever the England team goes, a whole circus of Press, TV and other media are sure to follow. It couldn’t be better and along with Michelle Obama’s visit to the Coast in 2010, plus a host of other good news stories, it will give us all a shot in the arm and a much-needed confidence boost.

England Under-21 Squad

The England Under-21 Squad during their 5-day training camp at La Cala Resort in 2011

It’s a stunning yet well deserved coup for La Cala Resort and their entire management team. Not only the largest golf resort in Europe – with its three renowned courses, David Leadbetter Golf Academy, Hotel, Spa and of course Football Training Academy – its choice by England is a reflection of the sheer presence, standard and range of its simply outstanding facilities. And it’s evidence that the Resort’s careful and exceptional development plan, particularly over the last 15 years, is now paying off in huge dividends.

La Cala Resort

La Cala Resort's careful and exceptional development plan is now paying off in huge dividends.

Indeed La Cala Resort is recognised as the perfect model and example to any future project in terms of offering true value and real delivery of promise for property owners, hotel guests, visiting golfers… and now of course the England squad in its entirety.

When the England players report for their 4-day La Cala Resort training camp on 21 May, it’ll be the first time Roy Hodgson actually gets to meet his team.

Well done La Cala Resort! You have a special place on the Costa del Sol map, and congratulations on being chosen by team England as the outstanding resort of choice for their European Nations Championship preparations.

Author:Chris McCarthy 08/05/2012 [0] Comments 
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Demand starts to eat up supply as half of new-builds sold in Málaga in 2011

Law of supply and demandWidely reported and commented on across the Spanish and other media such as internet forums this past week, has been the confirmation by the Málaga Association of Builders & Developers (ACP) that more than 10,000 new-build units have been sold during 2011, out of what was reported to be an unsold stock in the Málaga province of some 20,000 units.

What we all have felt in the market is that of course tides turn, and when it comes to the law of supply and demand, well if you don’t build any new projects then eventually – as in the early to mid 90s – there comes again a shortage and a real demand, and off we go to a new cycle.

You might say that this is still a way off. But not really. Lead times in construction tend to be 3-5 years from initiation of a project to completion. Think about that… no new product coming to the market for 5 years. At VIVA, we have already seen double digit growth in 2011 and we’re seeing a fabulous start to the year in property sales every day.

What does happen in prime areas such as Marbella and the Costa del Sol in just five years’ time, when all our stock will have been long ago sold and everyone then competes for properties coming to the market?

And how well might today’s buyer feel at that time.

Author:Chris McCarthy 27/01/2012 [0] Comments 
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It's official! Property prices are now more than 30% below peak

It's official!Well, this was the official news recently released by Tinsa which provides an index as to property prices and other real estate information across Spain. But really, we ourselves could have told you exactly the same thing more than a year ago.

The problem with the ‘official’ version of facts is the time lag that it takes to get them out into the market, as in fact, we would say that completed sale prices today – against asking prices at peak – are more likely near 40% down from that peak, and we often see certain types of properties selling for 50% below peak today.

What is important, however, is the true picture of when the bottom of the market has been reached. That point, or moment in time, when our buyers all have a certainty that prices will not fall any further. Well, we won’t guarantee that this is a fact across all markets, and we can only talk about certain prime areas of the Costa del Sol, but we certainly believe that in the case of all the properties we are completing sales on at present, these prices will not go lower; we know that we are at the bottom of the market.

Though you probably won’t read that ‘officially’ for a while yet, when you do read it, in our view prices will have already started to begin their eventual rise.

If you are buying, there has never before been a moment or a market like it. But it is incredibly important that you buy the right property, for the right reasons and at that all-important right price.

Author:Chris McCarthy 27/01/2012 [0] Comments 
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Two ways of looking at Knight Frank's Global House Price Index

Bottom of the marketAn article in the Daily Mail reports on how Spain comes out 45th in a league table of 51 countries in relation to their house price falls. Now is this a bad thing?

Not at all! In fact, if you read the article to the end, they state the obvious, that the turmoil in property prices faced particularly by the likes of Ireland (51st) and Spain, is actually a confirmation that these housing markets are over the worst.

We have never been ones to bury our head in the sand at VIVA. If it’s bad we face up to it, and we don’t talk the market up either, because it’s not our role. We simply help buyers acquire the right home at the right price, whatever the prevailing market conditions. But I have to say, it’s ohhh… so nice to be able to point to a whole variety of indicators that demonstrate we are at the bottom of our own crisis, that we are facing recovery and, well, an end to a pretty tough past six years really.

So, don’t shoot us for being happy about that.

Author:Chris McCarthy 24/01/2012 [0] Comments 
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Diana Morales' Marbella Real Estate Market Report 2011

Diana Morales' Marbella Real Estate Report 2011

For more than 20 years, chairman and president of DM Properties, Diana Morales, has been a keen observer of the changes taking place in Spain in general and Marbella in particular, especially within the property sector.

Every year we eagerly anticipate reading Diana Morales’ annual Marbella Real Estate Market Report.

This year it seemed to come to us a bit later than usual, I guess because Diana was watching the market carefully and no doubt checking how the land was lying before fully committing to her Report.

We have even waited a few weeks ourselves, for the whole ‘eurozone crisis’ to settle itself back down, before presenting her Report to our own blog and website visitors.

Regardless as ever, whenever it comes, Diana’s Report is always an excellent piece of work and, as every year, we have no hesitation in providing a link to it.

While DM Properties and VIVA of course operate in the same geographical area, our respective markets are, however, quite different

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Author:Chris McCarthy 28/11/2011 [0] Comments 
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Bank Guarantee Petition and the Spanish Property Roadshow 2011

Beatriz Corredor

Spanish Secretary of State for Housing, Beatriz Corredor

A few months back, I engaged in some private mail with a poster called ‘Roots’ on the Spanish Property Insight forum. Roots has, along with another poster called ‘Keith110’, long been campaigning to bring to account the Spanish government, the Bank of Spain and any number of lawyers, estate agents, developers and well just everyone connected to the issues concerning abusive practice and abject failures, in relation to many Bank Guarantees given to British buyers that have not been honoured.

It is an enormous and disgraceful tragedy that people such as Roots and Keith110 have had to now dedicate so much of their personal time and lives to seek redress and action on the part of the Spanish government and in fact the whole real estate industry, over something that I’m sure started out for them as an exciting adventure into buying a home in Spain…

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Author:Chris McCarthy 16/11/2011 [0] Comments 
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The bottom of the Costa del Sol property market is now... and that's official. Well, as soon as they figure it out it will be!

Bottom of the marketBased on an analysis of our own business trends and my personal instincts – both of which have been tested in the Costa del Sol property market for some 22 years now – I can finally answer the oft-asked question, and state with certainty – probably long before you’ll hear it elsewhere – that we have now finally reached the ‘bottom of the market’ for Costa del Sol real estate.

How can I do this ahead of official government statistics or our economic guru journalists? Well, here are the facts of the matter…

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Author:Chris McCarthy 11/11/2011 [2] Comments 
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Quality of life index survey: Spain versus the UK

Quality of life index: overall score Here is an interesting link, a detailed uSwitch survey has analysed 10 major European nations with a quality of life index based on a whole series of factors from incomes, retirement, healthcare, education, food, energy prices et al.

Shocking, but perhaps not surprising to many, the UK comes bottom of the pile, even below neighbours Ireland who have been suffering badly these past few years. The UK is in the last place, yes 10th; however Spain is narrowly 2nd to first place France. Although of all the countries where people would choose to live, then Spain features far and away as the highest and most favourable place to be, with double the preferences of France… Continue Reading

Author:Chris McCarthy 24/10/2011 [0] Comments 
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