THE BLOG

31
Mar

Why Brexit could be bad for expat homeowners in Spain

Spain was the top European property destination for British buyers in 2015 – but Brexit could throw a spanner in the works.

Over the last two years, Spain has maintained its historic reputation as the top Mediterranean destination for Brits buying abroad but that could be about to change if Britain votes to leave the European Union.

Property purchases in Spain rose by around 90 percent in 2015 according to foreign exchange provider UKForex. Overall, it was the most popular country for Brits buying in Europe in 2015, thanks to a strong pound, still low property prices and great mortgage deals for foreign buyers.

But Alex Edwards, UKForex Head of Dealing, warns that the threat of Brexit paints the possibility of a drastically different future. Here are his five reasons why Brexit could affect decisions to buy or sell Spanish property.

– A lower exchange rate

If Brexit looks more and more likely in the run up to June, then the pound could continue to drop against the euro. This could make Spain, as well as other European destinations, a far less attractive proposition- the exchange rate is a key consideration for many buying Spanish properties. A falling pound could negatively affect British consumers buying overseas properties and more generally those funding a life abroad with GBP, whether that be a holiday or longer-term retirement.

– Securing a mortgage

If Brexit happens, EU banks might make it more difficult for Brits to get mortgages.  This could be through limiting the amount they are willing to lend or by increasing the deposit amount required.  It would be smart to investigate your mortgage options thoroughly, or, if selling, ask your prospective buyers to double-check theirs.

– Accessing healthcare

Most Brits rely on their European Health Insurance Card when holidaying or moving to Europe. This system might change should the UK leave the EU. If healthcare becomes suddenly more expensive or harder to access, it could be a deal breaker for overseas buyers looking in Spain, particularly retirees.

– Changes to investment protection and taxes

A lot of changes regarding tax and investment rules are on the cards should Brexit happen. It is difficult at this stage to know whether this might be good or bad for UK consumers, but non-EU residents might have to pay more in capital-gains tax, which could potentially reduce British interest in Spanish property.

– Rises in university fees

At the moment, British students studying in the EU pay the same tuition fees as locals. This could well change if Brexit goes through and might impact British demand for Spanish properties close to university towns, making it harder to sell your property.

Ultimately, no one knows whether Brexit will happen, or exactly how key EU agreements will be renegotiated with Britain if it does, but Edwards advises that protecting your property transaction against currency risk is the smart route to take in an uncertain market.

Source: The Local

Photo: Shutterstock

29
Mar

Why tenants should insure the accommodation they rent ?

Very few tenants are insuring the housing they are occupying but they should do so mainly for three reasons: in case of damage, for civil liability reasons and to count on a lawyer in the event of a conflict.

 

At the beginning of rentals, tenants are recommended to think: “as the property and the furniture belong to the owner, I am responsible for it” or better yet, they should tell themselves that there is a compulsory insurance for rented properties, similar to car insurance covering in the event of a disaster.

 

Even if the owner must always have a good insurance policy for the property, furniture and personal effects included in rent, the tenant must also insure its own risks, which are divided into three categories:

  • Property damage
  • Civil Responsibility for his acts
  • Defense and legal claim

Translation from Enalquiler

22
Mar

Taxation and other costs when buying a property in Spain

WHEN YOU BUY A PROPERTY

There are legal fees and taxes to pay on the transfer of a property.

There are fees which need to be paid to the Public Notary and the Land Registry.

The tax to be paid depends on which type of property is being bought and where is located (since the different Spanish Autonomous regions can legislate differently on the applicable tax rates):

On the purchase of new properties:

– VAT (Value Added Tax), at a fixed rate of 10% of the declared value of the property.

– J.D. (Stamp Duties). This tax is in addition to above VAT above and is calculated at a rate of:

  • 1,5% for properties located in the Valencian & Andalusian Communities.
  • 2% of the declared value for properties located in Murcia Community.

On resales:

I.T.P. (Transfer Tax) at a rate of:

– 8% of the declared value of the property for properties located in Murcia.

– 8% of the declared value of the property for properties located in Andalucia and with a price of up to 400.000 euros. Higher values are taxed at a higher rate.

– 10% of the declared value of the property for properties located in the Valencian Community.

Note: A good rule of thumb to calculate your budget when buying a property is to allow a 15% on top of the asked price. This will cover all taxes and costs you must pay –even solicitor fees-.

 

WHEN YOU HAVE BECOME THE OWNER

As a non-resident owner of a property in Spain you must be aware that you will be obliged to pay certain taxes in this country. These taxes are due in any case, irrespective of whether the property is used intensively or only occasionally or even if it is kept empty.

Income Tax (I.R.P.F.)

This tax is around 0.15% of the value of the property, and is paid annually, corresponding to the former natural calendar year. So if your property has a cadastral value of 100,000 Euros, then the payable amount would be about 150 Euros each year.

Local tax on real estate (I.B.I.)

This is a direct tax based on the value of the house. It is known as LOCAL RATES, COUNCIL TAX or IBI (and SUMA BILL in the Alicante Area). All these names refer to the same thing. Each Town Council determines the percentage to be applied to the cadaster value of the property. Every year the value of the tax is increased by applying the percentage given by the Government in the Nation Budget act. This is also a yearly tax and there is the possibility – strongly recommended – of setting up a direct debit.

Source: mamsolicitors

21
Mar

7 tips for decorating a small bathroom

From the most modest to the most luxurious home, all agree to share that special and essential room: the bathroom. A useful space where, if you the favor of square meters, it is possible to convert it into the center of the principal hedonism based on a meticulous decoration. But when space is precisely what is lacking, this may seem more difficult. These are 7 effective ideas to decorate your small but beautiful bathroom.

  1. Use mirrors

The simplest solution for all small spaces is add accessories that multiply the square meters while adding style to the decoration in general. We refer especially to one: the mirror. And what would be a bathroom without one? In this way, by using them intelligently; for example if you use a mirror as a wall lining and put another one in the sink area; the light will bounce from one corner to the other. Therefore the lighting will be corrected and the space will be optimized.

  1. Choose the adequate colors

Topping the list of decoration, the colors are the first decision you have to take before going ahead with the process. In this sense, the golden rule goes for choosing colors that bring light and could create the feeling of expansion of the space. In other words: choose white and cold colors is highly recommended. But decorate with this palette of colors the bathroom could be too bland. In this way, you can add small doses of other neutral and cold colors: green, blue or yellow, for example.

  1. Install a shower instead of a tub

When the idea is to save square meters, it is necessary to rethink the décor of the bathroom and sacrifice some elements that may squander what we need most: space. This is precisely the logic that applies to the choice between a shower and a tub. The question does not arise if your bathroom is very small. However, if your bathroom has a decent size, you can afford to install a small tub. In any case, it is advisable to opt for a shower with a contemporary design.

  1. Create visual games with the decoration

After choosing your shower, it is time to decide what type of covering is the most suitable to paved the wall and the flooring: ceramic, marble, tiles, mosaic etc. The menu of options is wide so find the alternative that best suites your space. Of course, whatever your choice, make sure that it is extremely moisture resistant materials, in particular the one you will install in the shower. Then, create a perspective effect playing with the positioning of the tiles. The aim is to obtain a sensation of depth and an extension of the perspective of the bathroom.

  1. Install a vanity

Confined spaces appreciate better than any other furniture to help them to keep in order. Therefore, furniture and shelves are another essential in all bathrooms, even the smallest. An alternative way to save space, or rather, to use it, is to install the furniture under the sink unit. Finally, try to choose a design that contrast aesthetically with the tone that you have given to the room.

  1. Use DIY furniture

The key to keep everything it its place, is to have a couple of practical furniture in many case, that do not have to occupy large spaces or respond to ostentatious designs. On the contrary, simplicity and discretion are required in a small room. To make furniture yourself, for example a towel holder, take few wooded branches and link them so as to create a scale. Thus, you have a simple but nice towel holder that you can place next to the shower to hang your towels. 

  1. Save space

 The space under the sink is a very profitable point and, without hesitation, you should take advantage. As mentioned above, you can place a vanity with a decent size, and incidentally use your design to add a touch of style to your bathroom. But you can also reuse DIY (Do It Yourself) technique to design tailor-made furniture and maintain all your accessories. Such designs provide visual lightness, free space and also help to create in your bathroom a pleasant atmosphere.

 Translation from Homify

18
Mar

Les différents impôts et taxes dont vous devrez vous acquitter après avoir conclu un achat de bien immobilier en Espagne

Achat de logements par des étrangers en Espagne : Les différents impôts et taxes dont vous devrez vous acquitter après avoir conclu un achat de bien immobilier.

Après avoir passé les diverses étapes avant de devenir propriétaire d’un bien immobilier en Espagne, vous avez encore des obligations vis-à-vis des autorités espagnoles. En effet, il existe une multitude de taxes et impôts dont vous devrez vous acquitter afin d’être en règles par rapport à la fiscalité Espagnole. Quelles sont ces différentes charges ? Voici une liste non exhaustive de ces multiples charges.

Payer les impôts de transmissions de bien, indispensables après l’acquisition du bien immobilier

Quand vous aurez fini de finaliser les accords d’appropriation d’un logement et que ces dits accords ont été finalisés, le paiement de certaines taxes, notamment celui les impôts de transmissions de bien est nécessaire. Ce type d’impôt s’élève entre 8 et 10% du prix de vente du bien en question lorsque celui ci n’est pas neuf. Si il s’agit d’un bien immobilier neuf, le futur propriétaire devra payer la TVA locale, appelée IVA.

Les taxes et impôts divers à payer à la fiscalité Espagnole

Il y a d’abord l’impôt foncier annuel ou « IBI » en Espagne. Les charges communautaires doivent également être payées (salaire du concierge, entretiens divers ….). A part cela, il y a les diverses assurances que vous devrez avoir : un immeuble communautaire ou individuel devant être automatiquement assuré. Pour les résidents, comme pour les non résidents espagnols, il est obligatoire de s’acquitter de l’impôt sur le revenu. Enfin, il y a les Impôt sur les plus-values de capitaux et rétentions, cet impôt est différent pour les résidents et les non résidents car, en effet, celui-ci est fixé à 21% pour ces derniers (depuis 2012).

Que vous soyez donc le récent propriétaire d’une villa, d’une maison ou d’un appartement en Espagnole, vous serez amené à régler les questions de fiscalité sur vos biens immobiliers, afin de pouvoir jouir pleinement de votre propriété.

Source: CITransaction

 

16
Mar

In Spain, housing sales increased by 26,6% in January 2016

According to the notaries, in Spain, a total of 27.568 sales transactions have been recorded in January 2016.

The number of housing sales has increased by 26,6% in January compared to the same month last year, reaching 27.568 transactions, although the variation had climbed to 28% if we consider the adjusted series of seasonal effects, according to the statistics prepared by the General Council of Notaries, in Spain.

The annual growth of the number of sales was due to three factors: the expansion of apartment sales (+27,7%), the increase of individual houses (+22,6%) and the sale of other real properties (+22%).

The sale of second-hand apartment rose by 32,8%, however, the sale of new apartment only increased by 3,8%.

The square meter of the housing purchased in January in terms of average price was 1.303 euros. This represents an annual increase of 2% due to evolution of the price per square meter of the apartments and of the individual houses (+4,5). For the apartment, the price per square for second hand housing was 1.405 euros (+2,1%) and new housing was 1.732 euros (+1,2%).

However, the sale of the others real properties has been estimated at 6.590 transactions the first month of the 2016, representing an annual growth of 22%. Of all transactions, 38,6% represented lands. The average price per square meter of these transactions reached 243 euros (+34,6% annual).

The sector recorded an annual increase of new loans of 12,5%. The average amount of mortgage loan has reached 154.076 euros, with an annual growth of 5,1%.

Mortgage loans to purchase a real property have risen to 29,8% annually in January.

Regarding the capital, the average amount of mortgage loans to purchase a property stood at 133.796 euros in January 2016, 1,3% higher than in January 2015. In case of use of mortgage, the amount decreased by 3,1% compared to the same month in 2015, reaching 124.829 euros.

However, the number of mortgage loans for construction has risen to 6,4% in January, up to 310 credits, with an average amount of 351.904 euros (+3,1%).

The percentage of purchases of homes with mortgage financing stood at 43,1% in January and the percentage of the value of the mortgaged property was 76,1%.

 

Translation from Lavanguardia

 

14
Mar

Barcelona could gain 8% more of tourist accommodations

Barcelona could increase by 8% the number of tourist accommodation; to be more exact by 11.705; this means that it could reach up to 153.758 tourist lodging, But the new tourist accommodations will have to be located in peripheral areas or in developing areas.

The special urban plan of tourist accommodation (PEUAT) which aims to reduce the tourist impact, ensures that the more remote areas of the center – Sant Andreu and parts of Sants, Les Corts, Sarrià, Gràcia, Horta, Nou Barris y Sant Marti – where there is no saturation, could obtain 4.025 places for tourists. With regard to developing areas – La Marina del Prat Vermell, La Sagrera y el 22@ – could add 7.680 more.

In the center – Ciutat Vella, Poble Sec, the Vila de Gracia and parts of the Eixample y Sant Anotni – it will not be possible to open tourist accommodation even if the persons that have a license stop their activities. This is the area with the highest concentration of tourist accommodation with 50% of hotel rooms, 60% of lodgings and 80% of hostels.

 The area surrounding the center – the upper area of Gràcia and parts of Eixample, Sants, Les Corts, Sant Gervasi, the Guinardo and Sant Marti – if an establishment close down, it will be possible to open another establishment with the same number of places for tourists, in order to maintain the existing offer.

The plan also provides that tourist beds must be located in buildings exclusively for tourist use and that are located in the street of at least 8 meters wide.

As for the tourist flats, the number will be maintained, however, if a tourist flat; located in a congested area; stops using the license, it will be possible to open another one.

Translation from: 20Minutos 

10
Mar

What are the benefits of using a property management company?

A competent property manager can add significant value to your investment, which is why many seasoned real estate investors will tell you that a good management company is worth their weight in gold.  Here are a few ways that a good property manager earns their keep:

Higher Quality Tenants

Think of tenant screening as the moat and draw bridge around your castle. It is certainly possible to get a bad tenant out of your home once they are in, but it is a real hassle and you are so much better off never accepting them in the first place. A thorough screening process results in reliable tenants that:

  • Pay on time
  • Rent longer
  • Put less wear and tear on the unit
  • Generally cause less problems

An experienced property management has seen thousands of applications and knows how to quickly dig for the real facts about candidates and analyze that information for warning signs. By allowing a management company to handle the screening, you will also be shielding yourself from rental scams directed at owners, and discrimination lawsuits resulting from an inconsistent screening process. This kind of experience takes time, and insomuch as it means avoiding bad tenants, scams and lawsuits it is arguably one of the most significant benefits a property management company will provide.

Lower maintenance and repair costs

Good maintenance and repairs keep tenants happy and preserve the value of your investment, which make them a very important part of land lording. By hiring a management firm you gain access to both their in-house maintenance staff, as well as their network of licensed, bonded and insured contractors who have already been vetted for good pricing and quality work. This can translate into significant savings compared to going through the yellow pages and hiring a handyman yourself. Not only is the firm able to get volume discounts on the work, they also know the contractors and understand maintenance issues such that they are capable of intelligently supervising the work.

Increase the value of the investment

Preventative maintenance is achieved through putting systems in place that catch and deal with maintenance and repair issues early on, before they grow into larger more costly problems. This requires a written maintenance check program, detailed maintenance documentation and regular maintenance visits. The management firm can also offer you suggestions and feedback on upgrades and modifications, both how they will affect the rent you can charge, as well as their impact on maintenance and insurance.

Personal benefits for owners

  • Less stress – Avoid having to deal with middle of the night emergencies, chasing down rent, evicting people from your property, tenants who wreck your property, rental scams, lousy vendors, piles of paperwork.
  • More freedom – Live and invest wherever you want with the constraint of needing to be near your properties. Additionally you can live and travel without the requirement of always being available in the event that your tenants have a need you have to tend to. Once you have found a good management company, it doesn’t matter if you live in the same state. Some landlords live in other countries and simply collect their check every month without ever seeing the property.
  • Free up more of your time – Time is money, and for many investors, their time can be more profitably spent in areas other than servicing their properties. When you focus on asset management you’re working ON your business, when you manage your own properties you work IN it. Additionally you have more time to spend with family or friends doing things you enjoy.

A final thought

Of course, this is an ideal scenario.  These results can only be expected if a management company is competent, trustworthy and a good fit for your property.  A poor choice of a management company can produce many headaches of its own.

Source: Property Management Articles

 

08
Mar

New collaboration between Ruby Slippers and Nadlan Spain

Great news, Ruby Slippers has teamed up with Nadlan Spain to provide property management assistance for their short and mid term rentals. We look forward to our new collaboration.

Nadlan Spain is a family runned company with over 30 years experience in investments and real estate development in Israel. For the last 3 years the company has expanded their services to assist Israeli investors to invest in Barcelona Property. The team is composed out of top Israeli and Spanish consultants; that as a team gives the investor the complete package to make the best and most profitable real estate investments.

LogoNadlanSpain-Strip

07
Mar

What is the value of a rental flat?

Are you thinking of buying the apartment you rent? Or sell your rented apartment? Here you will find the tools to know the value of your property.

You are the owner of an apartment that you have rented to someone else and you think that the time has come to sell it.

To determinate the value of your property from the annual rental rate that is given in the rental agreement, you can use a simple but reliable indicator: the PER of the property. As we explained in another article, PER is the acronym for Price Earning Ratio, the relation between the income and the price.

The PER of a property can be achieved by dividing the price of the property by the annual rental income generated. The opposite of this indicator, which is the relationship between the annual rental income and the price of the property, is the gross profitability of the property.

There are well-established reference for PER associated with situations of overvaluation, undervaluation or reasonable valuation, which can be used to evaluate your property. These values have been obtained from the review of historical series of the evolution of the housing market, all around the world. Here is a summary:

Capture d’écran 2016-03-07 à 13.04.37

In the last 25 years, the average PER of housing in Spain had reached its minimum value in 1998, when it dropped from 15 its maximum value in 2008, during the housing bubble, when it stood at 35.

By multiplying the annual rental income of you contract by the PER, you can easily obtain reference prices associated with different scenario.

For example, if you have a flat for rent with a monthly income of 750€, this income is equivalent to an annual income of 9.000€. If you multiply that by the values of the table above,  this table can be composed:

Capture d’écran 2016-03-07 à 13.04.48

Now you have a clearer idea of the value of a property. Note that the value is a subjective concept. As you can see in the table, the perceived value is different if you are a buyer or if you are a seller. Once you have done this exercise you can think about the price.

Translation from Enalquiler