While for most Costa del Sol home buyers the dream of a Spanish place in the sun comes true, some unfortunate homeowners were caught in a terrible trap during the boom years, when they purchased homes that were illegally built thanks to corrupt planning officers and unscrupulous developers. Now Mijas Town Hall is warning illegal homeowners not to fall for yet another scam involving Spanish property.
It seems some companies and industry professionals have been charging as much as EUR 15,000 for home legalisation documentation that should only have cost between EUR 800 to EUR 2,000 at the most.
Eligible home owners desperate after years of waiting to finally legalise their homes are being ripped off by “abusive” prices, as Mijas Town Hall officials called it. Manual Navarro, a town planning councillor said these practices were an outrage.
Spain has long been trying to stamp out corrupt practices within the property market and a variety of new laws and measures have already made it much safer to buy a property in Marbella or elsewhere at the Costa del Sol.
Meanwhile, Mijas Town Hall officials have made it perfectly clear taking excessive financial advantage of eligible homeowners trying to legalise their homes will not be tolerated.
The latest official figures show that the Spanish housing market is finally improving, albeit at a slow pace. Last year home sales rose by 3.6% on a national level, compared to the previous year, with some 361,631 homes being sold throughout 2012. The final quarter saw buyers rush to complete their purchases before the 50% tax incentive on VAT for new homes ran out.
However, Spain’s Economy Minister Luis de Guindos has already outlined the government’s desire to cut taxes again in 2014. Speaking to Reuters recently, he said a lowering of taxes would boost growth in the country, but at the same time the country’s sovereign debt situation had to still to be addressed on an EU-wide level. With the housing market being such an important economic factor for Spain, there is little doubt various tax incentives for home buyers will be announced in the near future to boost sales once more.
Partly due to more foreign cash buyers investing in Spain and partly due to Spanish lenders not making enough finance available while the country’s banking sector is still restructuring, mortgage lending was down by 32.7% last year compared to 2011.
While eligible owners of illegally built homes are now beginning the long, slow return to normality and start to regularise their properties, potential new buyers still proceed with caution, but on the whole they’ll find the home buying process at the Costa del Sol much improved.
Property prices in Mijas Costa have also become very affordable, with small villas costing around EUR 250,000 to EUR 275,000 and apartments starting at EUR 130,000.
At the opposite end of the scale, a luxury 3-bed, 3-bath penthouse in Marbella West will cost from EUR 1,750,000, promising lucky buyers luxurious living within a short walk of Puerto Banus and fantastic 360 degree views.
Properties in Marbella East are considerably more affordable; here apartments cost from around EUR 150,000 to EUR 225,000 on average. Close to the port of Cabopino, a ground floor apartment with sea views, 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, 65 sq. metres of floor space and a furniture package included in the deal can be bought for EUR 150,000, while a 2-bed, 2-bath town house in Marbella East can cost as little as EUR 399,000, even when it’s beautifully situated overlooking Cabopino’s sandy beach and boasting lovely gardens great amenities and access to a communal swimming pool.
For Marbella properties located in the heart of the city and close to the main beach, potential buyers have to dig a lot deeper into their pockets. Costing from EUR 695,000 upwards, 3-bed, 2-bath duplex apartments within a 50 metre walk of the beach and views of the La Concha Mountain are perhaps a little more than most buyers would like to spend, but they are a great long-term investment, as the holiday lettings income from property in such prestigious surroundings is amazing during the summer months.