Murcia tipped to become a property hot spot

Murcia is attracting property investors with a theme park, airport and largest shopping mall in Europe

A Paramount theme park, a new continental airport and the biggest shopping mall in Europe are set to combine with other local factors to make Murcia in Spain a property hot spot, it is claimed.

The CasaCalida Property Group believes that savvy property investors will take advantage of current low prices to buy property now and be able to rent it out if they wish.

According to Steve Long, chief executive officer of CasaCalida, enquiries about properties in Murcia have increased since it was confirmed as the location for Paramount’s new Theme Park.

‘I have been telling people for years that Murcia is the best place in Spain if not Europe to invest in property. I certainly put my money where my mouth is and in 2003 to 2006 along with investor partners we invested over €14 Million of our own cash on land banks suitable for future sector approved development projects,’ he said.

He points out that Murcia can already boast it has the biggest shopping mall in Europe, it can also boast it has Spain’s third continental airport opening this summer. Madrid has confirmed that after its own airport and Barcelona, Murcia’s new Corvera airport will be its next most important in the country and will receive flights direct from continents outside of Europe as well as from within.

‘Unlike many provinces such as Andalusia and Valencia for example, Murcia province benefits from being in control of its own destiny due to the fact it is not part of a greater autonomy and is self governed,’ said Long.

‘This fact is sure to be one of the major factors taken into consideration by the due diligence and feasibility companies working for Viacom the owners of Paramount Pictures in the US when deciding on Murcia over all the fierce competition,’ he added.

He also pointed out that planning regulations in place for a decade have ensured that Murcia will never be overbuilt with most planning applications not even making it past the first of many hoops needed to successfully obtain building licenses.

‘CasaCalida Property Group knows firsthand that full approval can take up to eight years and in most cases the average from concept to construction is five years. With added restrictions in place on new build projects nationally from central government in Madrid the approved projects in hand will soon be a rare commodity,’ explained Long.

‘Investors thinking they can work the old Spanish way and simply turn up with funds to build, make a few false promises of employment and local infrastructure improvements are going to be very disappointed and mistaken,’ he added.

He believes that there will be a high demand for holiday accommodation. The area is already popular with tourists thanks to its high profile golf courses and beaches and the new theme park is expected to attract between three and five million people when it opens in 2015.

‘There are simply not enough suitably built properties to meet the anticipated demand. Approved and licensed projects even if they could receive the funding needed are not sufficient to make up the shortfall either. This is good news for anyone with foresight wishing to buy now taking advantage of the distress and 100% finance deals available from the banks and developers,’ said Long.

He warns prospective buyers to be wary of special deals.

‘There are hundreds of agents offering ridiculous deals with no money down which is actually not legal in Spain as the law says you must pay your own buying taxes. Of course any agent who has been around for a few years can manufacture a deal by simply overpricing the offer and pay part of the hiked commission they demand back into the deal to appear to be no money down. Not clever or ethical but some agents and so called investment specialists are hoodwinking their own client base this way,’ he explained.

CasaCalida said it is working directly with the president of the Real Estate and Constructors association in Murcia which has over 200 members.

‘We work with the banks who finance these developers and with the developers themselves to sell property transparently and without added commissions and introduction fees,’ added Long.

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