Spain's commercial property market saw a welcome increase in investment levels last year and many analysts are taking it as a positive sign that the country’s economic woes may be turning a corner.
Research from Savills revealed that the total investments volumes topped €2bn, which represents a 10% year on year rise.
One caveat is that 50% of the total was the result of three major transactions, namely the sale of Torre Picasso, Canalejas complex and Banco Santander's headquarters in Madrid.
Head of capital markets at Savills Spain, Luis Espadas, commented: “Activity from foreign investors has been limited over the last 12 months but there are international buyers on the sidelines, such as opportunistic investors from the US, monitoring Spain’s market indicators and economy waiting for the right time to invest.”
Although Savills reported that the majority of commercial investors in Spain continued to come from inside the country, accounting for 61% of the total transaction volume, overseas interest is now beginning to see a marked rise.
“Latin American investors certainly boosted the Spanish investment volume in 2012,” Mr Espadas continued.
“We expect to see continued interest from across the Atlantic partly due to cultural and language similarities but also because they believe the market presents good investment opportunities.”
Office and retail assets have been the main drivers behind the commercial sector increases, accounting for a combined 79% of activity in 2012. Latin American investors made up 22% of total investment volume, a significant increase from 0.5% in 2011.
With unemployment figures still at record highs and the major banks continuing to be burdened by ‘bad’ property assets that they are having difficulty offloading, the future for the Spanish property market is still up in the air.
If you are looking to send money online UK to Spain, think carefully about how you will be sending money there. Foreign currency exchange rates quoted by banks are almost always worse than the exchange rates available through specialist currency dealers.