Gema Peñalosa – El Mundo [original article]

The interest of foreign housing investors in Spain and its level of demand remains intact despite the pandemic. The doubts that the coronavirus crisis could have generated at the beginning in the promoters of the Valencian Community were quickly cleared before the “notable” confidence of foreign demand, a group that has not stopped buying and requesting information. Foreign residential tourism has not lost muscle. Rather the complete opposite.

Community customers -mainly from the Costa Blanca- therefore remain loyal to the real estate offer and the promoters have consolidated their sales. This is attested by the latest report of the Association of Real Estate Developers of the Province of Alicante (Provia), to which EL MUNDO has had access, where data is also collected from the entire Valencian Community, where 78% of overnight stays by foreign tourism It is a second residence.

The dossier reflects that not only sales and reserves have been maintained, but interest in buying has increased. The good health of this business model is reflected in an indisputable thermometer: there is neither oversupply nor have prices had to be corrected. “We have been very surprised by the important level of sales that have occurred in the German and Dutch markets,” says the general secretary of the promoters in Alicante and Valencia, Jesualdo Ros. There have been more than a few clients who have empowered a Spanish lawyer to deed the home in their name from their countries of origin or have used the digital platforms that the builders have provided.

«The interest to buy on the Costa Blanca has grown, it has not decreased at all. Many sales have been closed although, logically, not with the same intensity as last year at this time, when 22,164 homes were counted before a notary. But as soon as things get back to normal, this trend will be back to the old one ”, predicts Ros. The conversation he had a few days ago with a Swedish client is, perhaps, the most graphic example that private foreign tourism continues to be greased: “’ Between passing the coronavirus in Sweden or passing it here, I stay here’, he told me fully. conviction”.

The weight of foreign tourism of the second residence rests on British, French, Nordic, Belgian, and Russian citizens who understand, as Ros explains, that the Valencian Community is a “reliable and guaranteed destination, an attraction that is complemented by good connectivity and a powerful healthcare system. ”

From the Alibuing real estate, integrated into Provia, and one of the main ones in the Valencian Community, they support Ros’s argument. They do it with data, that of a development in the Argüelles neighborhood of Madrid where in recent weeks 43% of the projected homes have been sold and with another in Benidorm of 196 properties, which has consolidated the marketing of 30% of the houses projected during the validity of the state of alarm. Broadly speaking, the report shows that the accumulated expenditure of foreign tourists who choose private accommodation accounts for 60% of all spending in the Valencian Community, reaching a total of 5,725 million euros. “The weight and economic impact that this model has in the Valencian Community is enormous, as the figures reflect,” Ros adds.

The General Director of Alibuilding, José Izquierdo, is positioned in the same line as Ros. His company’s experience during the coronavirus crisis has been the same: that interest and purchases have not waned.

“Investment in housing by foreign clients has not collapsed. After the pandemic, other aspects such as location, more pleasant climates, hospitality, or gastronomy have begun to be valued”. In this equation drawn up by Izquierdo also fits the “confidence” that, as he explains, has resulted in the closure of important operations. 50% of the operations they have carried out have transformed reserves into purchases. “We have facilitated being able to sign through technological platforms with legal signature recognition and thus have avoided displacement. In this way, when they can travel to Spain in July, they will come to enjoy their homes”. The impact of the foreign tourist with a second residence, he recognizes, is very important.

One of the fundamental pillars that have made foreign tourists who want a second home in Spain continue to be interested in the country in times of a pandemic has undoubtedly been the ability of developers to adapt to the situation through new technologies since many contacts and virtual visits have been made through the internet. “If they could not come to visit us, then we have taken him,” concludes Izquierdo. Virtual contact has been his best weapon.