This week a client who lives in the UK asked me if he can pay in sterling the purchase price of a house he is buying in Spain. The truth is that this is not an impediment. On the day of the signature of the purchase deed, the Notary will request evidence that the payment has been made i.e. a copy of the cheque. The purchase deed will also reflect the fact that the price has been paid in sterling and will show its equivalent amount in euros, which at the end of the day will be the one used for tax purposes and for the calculation of the transfer tax.
This is a scenario that is more and more often these days. Many Brits have bought properties in Spain and they are now willing to sell them. At the same time, other Brits who are currently cash privileged are still interested in buying in Spain and very often the transaction involves UK nationals on both sides. In this type of transactions, the parties might be interested in securing the deal in sterling in order to avoid currency fluctuations so this is something that I am seeing with enough frequency.
Food for thought if you are planning to buy in Spain and do not need a mortgage.
Photograph by Yusputra/dreamstime.com
Well, it appears that Santander has changed its mind and will not be selling its portfolio of properties for a discounted price as it was unable to find suitable buyers. It appears that some of the offers were made by foreign investors who were pushing for discounts of up to 60% on the properties.
I think is a pity. This could have been the beginning of a new trend with affordable property prices.
At the same time, another Spanish Bank, BBVA, has said this week that property prices are expected to fall a further 10% in the next 2 years.
Any positive stories, anyone?
More news next week.
Photograph by Heinz Teh Chee Siong/Dreamstime.com
This week let me talk about the new branding at the firm where I worked: DWF LLP.
For those who don’t know the firm, DWF LLP is a top 40 law firm with offices in Birmingham, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Newcastle and Preston. The firm has grown considerably in recent years and such growth requires a proper branding.
The firm has now chosen a navigator concept, see above, to reflect how the firm combines excellent commercial guidance with a straightforward approachable style. The firm looked into the best possible way to interpret this concept and came with this icon. It is inspired by the degree symbol and provides a visual link between the navigator concept and the circular “d” in our existing logo. It also reflects the added value of looking at things from every angle, taking a 360-degree approach and maintaining a clear focus in everything we do.
I don’t know what you think but I like the icon. It is innovative and it gives a clear message.
By the way, there has been some follow up to what I explained last week in my post. Santander’s initiative has now created some panick in the property market. There are some rumours that a massive discount in prices could force others to either match the prices or not get the properties sold. This could be quite bad for developers or other banks who cannot exceed certain margins in their properties. Things are moving quickly. Watch this space for more information.
I am a usual reader of the news bulletin from Idealista.com. I like it because it comes every Friday with a summary of the most relevants news in respect of the property market. The interesting thing about this news bulletin is that it does not have any alliances and you can easily see a story talking about the improvement of the property market in Spain together with another story which is less optimistic about the same point.
This week I have noted with interest that Santander Bank has decided to get rid of all its stock of properties by the end of the year, even if it implies making some losses. It appears that Santander has organised a bid and is planning to give the properties for sale to one of the major players in the Real Estate market. Companies such as Knight Frank, Aguirre Newman and Richard Ellis will probably bid for getting the portfolio.
I am interested to see the prices of the properties. The current trend is that properties put for sale by banks are usually more expensive than those sold by developers. However, it must be said that at the same time they usually come with better mortgage offers. If Santander wants to get rid of the around 29,000 properties it has, then it better start crashing the prices because it is very quiet out there. Furthermore, it also better start softening its current mortgage criteria. Otherwise, with the current mortgage criteria which is tough across most of the Spanish banks, most of the interested purchasers will fail to get a mortgage.
Hopefully, other banks will follow this trend and this will help to reduce the current stock of properties which is affecting the recovery of the market. For those who are considering to buy a property from a bank do not forget to instruct an independent lawyer to check the legals. The fact that the property belongs to a bank does not necessarily mean that it has all the papers in place.
To summarise, great idea. This is exactly what Spain needs: bold initiatives to awake a dormant market from its letargy. But, will it work?