Expatica news

Holiday house boomhits hotel bookings

20 August 2004

MADRID – The boom in holiday homes bought by foreigners is already having an effect on the package holiday market to Spain, according to a new report.

This year it is expected some 56,000 properties will be purchased by foreigners, a figure that should rise to 80,000 per 2008, says a study by Barcelona business college IESE.

Although the number of tourists rose 4.1 percent to 47.6 million in the first seven months of the year, hotels in general are not reaping the benefits, said consultant Pau Morata.

The big growth in low-cost flights had fuelled the number of visits people are making to holiday homes, which has hit particularly hard hotel bookings in the Alicante area, in the Balearics and in Catalonia.

The danger for the Spanish hotel trade is that more of these homes are being let out by their owners to other foreign holidaymakers, said Morata.

In the main holiday towns, an average of more than 80,000 holiday homes had been bought each year between 2000 and 2002 by both foreign and Spanish buyers – equivalent to more than 15 percent of all new housing in Spain, says the report.

This year, the Spanish are due to buy 60,000 of these holiday homes and foreigners 56,000.

But by 2008, the positions are expected to be reversed with foreigners buying 80,000 of the 151,000 coming on to the market.

Over the five-year period, 2004 – 2008, that would mean more than 300,000 houses being purchased by foreigners.

The biggest seekers of holiday homes in Spain are residents of the Madrid, Catalonia and Andalucía regions. While most foreign buyers are currently British and German, the report predicts growth in both the Norwegian and Swedish markets.

IESE says the type of property being built now is more likely to fit in with foreign tastes, with a tendency to more houses in well-equipped districts and less “front line” beach properties.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news