The long-awaited tunnel on the A7/N340 at San Pedro de Alcántara is finally open to the public. Costing nearly €85 million, three times the original estimate, work on the 1km tunnel began in 2007 and with the stop/start construction has taken five long years, just scraping into the final budgets before the country’s austerity measures really started to bite.
Yet it’s not quite complete, as there is still work on the development of the mostly pedestrianised 90,000 square metre open area above the tunnel. Will this boost the San Pedro and Estepona property market? Surely no one expects prices in Spain to rise anytime soon? Yet those in the know are already experiencing the Tunnel Effect. Continue reading →
Most people when buying property in Spain never think of extreme weather conditions and in particular flooding. However, sometimes the unexpected can happen.
Mr. B, who was about to purchase an apartment in Spain, was made aware that a tornado had hit the town of Alcaucín, causing flooding to the underground car park of the development, with the water level up to 15 feet high.
The developer sent him a structural report in Spanish, but it was very brief. Upon visiting the site, he noticed that further damage had been caused. It became quite clear that the damage was a lot more serious than the developer had initially stated. Continue reading →
February’s monthly lunch of the award-winning Marbella Business Institute (MBI) took the form of a discussion on the future of local property and its values.
The intention was to benefit from the experience and knowledge of members of MBI. As it has been in existence for more than 30 years, its investor and entrepreneur business members have seen the Costa del Sol survive through at least three recessions and their subsequent booms. Continue reading →
A property has a generic value that most people will guess at, an experienced real estate agent will estimate and a trained professional – in this case a chartered surveyor – will be able to calculate more accurately without being influenced by the possibility of a selling fee or the emotion associated with property ownership.
There are tried and tested methods used by property professions to value every kind of property from retail units and warehousing to factories, office complexes and recreational facilities – not to mention homes ranging from the smallest studio to the largest mansion. Continue reading →
We all have an opinion about the value of a property, especially when it’s ours, and that’s the problem! It’s the value that a prudent, knowledgeable buyer will put on it that’s important.
Homeowners, mixing emotion and ego (and sometime desperation) plus the money they have spent on it, into the equation, will famously tend to overvalue their property. An agent may go along with this to get the listing, but reality strikes when the buyers list what can be bought elsewhere and the bank won’t give a big enough mortgage at that price. Continue reading →
By Campbell D. Ferguson, FRICS
Survey Spain – RICS Chartered Surveyors in Spain
Many local professionals have joined the popular LinkedIn ‘Marbella Real Estate Opportunities’ group. They have raised potentially vexed issues such as the economy, the effect that banks’ virtual freezing of finance has on the property market, the potential promised by Marbella’s new marina, the city’s PGOU (Plan General de Ordenación Urbana) or urban planning law, new projects and the Mediterranean corridor’s appeal to buyers and investors, etc… Continue reading →
Sometimes the easiest way to explain the exact function of a Chartered Surveyor is to describe the variety of surveys on which their expertise is considered vital. As you will be able to see, their knowledge can be requested by a number of different parties, depending on the situation.
The following four categories will typically occupy the majority of the surveyor’s working week.
These are carried out on behalf of a bank or other mortgage lender. These surveys, though paid for by the borrower, are really for the benefit of the lender, since they are undertaken to ensure that the lender’s money is safe. A mortgage survey in Spain, unless it is carried out on behalf of a UK or Gibraltarian bank, has to be carried out by a tasador acting on behalf of one of the Sociedades de Tasación approved by the Bank of Spain. These companies have to place a substantial ‘bond’ with the Central Bank, which would appear to be a kind of indemnity fund where lenders can be compensated in case of gross error by the tasadores. This central control can lead to the Sociedades being used to influence the market, such as the recent example where they appeared to have received instructions to undervalue in an attempt to reduce mortgage lending and slow the rise in values. So their valuations deliberately may not accurately reflect the price that the property could command on the market. Continue reading →