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A Tale Of Two Cities

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I always enjoy APITS (A Place In The Sun) live as I get to meet the viewers and lots of buyers. At the exhibitions I host a meet and greet section where I get to meet not only the viewers but also lots of genuine buyers which is an invaluable insight into the current mood of the market. The show we put on in Birmingham threw up one very common theme; from the hundreds of people I spoke to, one thing seems to be clear, the people of Birmingham seem intent buying in Spain. In fact around 80% of the people I spoke to had designs on a move to Spain. Of course the other favorites of Florida, Italy, Portugal and France all had their share of suitors but the numbers were dwarfed by the sheer demand for good old sunny Spain.

Jonnie Irwin in discussion

Amongst a coupe of other things, which I’ll expand on later, I put this down to the perceived value it is offering. Even with currency fluctuations (don’t get me started on Brexit), property on the mainland still represents a huge discount compared to 2006/7 prices and is proving hard to resist.

The overseas property market feels familiar to days gone by, in that everyone is talking about the big 5 countries with buyers seeing little need to venture to emerging markets as the old favorites offer value. 

Of course there’s another good reason that Malaga airport arrivals hall might start sounding like the set of Peaky Blinders and that is its sheer convenience. Birmingham has an airport sat in the hub of 3 motorways with one that goes past its front door. Better still, there’s a train station where passengers can alight to catch one of a choice of 10 direct budget flights to Malaga on most days of the week - even in November. It’s almost too easy to get there.

Fast forward a couple of weeks and we were up in Glasgow at the APITS for more of the same.

Only it wasn’t. The people of what was formerly known as The Empire’s second city clearly have designs on more year round sun and are setting their sights further afield. About three quarters of the people I met there told me they wanted to buy either in Tenerife or Lanzarote. This I’ve struggled to fathom. With a cooler climate at home, perhaps the lure of guaranteed sun, all year round, is too much to resist but again it’s probably as much to do with access.

At the last count there were 8 direct flights to Malaga next week from Glasgow with 13 on offer to Tenerife at similar prices. Basically there’s a better choice of flights that also take you further, to pretty much guaranteed winter-sun. This is something that any buyer should consider when choosing a destination for a property in which they’re looking to buy. If not on the same day, there should be at least 2, preferably 3 flight carriers that operate the route you intend to take throughout the year - reliance on just one or 2 means that you are exposed if those routes disappear as we’ve seen with Thompson. Do your homework - a quick search on flight booking sites will give you a good picture of flights and prices throughout the calendar year which should have a large bearing on how easy it will be for you to get to there and back.