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FACT OR FICTION?


MORTGAGE ABROAD IS NO EASIER TODAY THAN IT WAS A YEAR AGO”


“GETTING A


It wasn’t so long ago – in the immediate wake of the credit crunch – that the chances of getting fi nance for an overseas purchase were extremely slim. Here we assess if the general availability of mortgages in some of our favourite destinations has improved – or not


WORDS ZOE DARE HALL PICTURES THINKSTOCK T


he 100 per cent mortgage is back in Spain – a fact that may make you wonder if the last two years have happened.


Have the speculative investors returned? Are the banks back on track again? Is the downturn on the up? No, far from it, of course. Estate agents dealing with the upper end of the market in Spain say about half of their buyers are buying outright with cash. The rest need only small mortgages, which are easier to obtain. But for the average person seeking a fairly high loan to value (LTV) for a resale property, fi nding a decent deal is still the sticking point. “You normally need a 30 per cent deposit now and you will have to pay your buying costs separately, which are about 11 per cent of the purchase price. In the past, these would have been added to the mortgage,” comments Peter Birkett from Propertyrepossessionsspain.com. But if you are in the market for a repossession, then Spanish banks will be all ears. “When you go to a bank asking for a mortgage now, they’ll show you a wide range of properties on their books at the same time,” says Robert Evans from Basico Homes. “The best way to attract buyers are


low prices and easy mortgages – particularly on the Spanish coast, where they are dependent on UK buyers,” adds Evans. “It’s still quite diffi cult to get a mortgage if you are buying a property from a private vendor. But if you want to buy a repossession, 100 per cent mortgages exist again.” Evans also thinks Spanish banks are more fl exible than British banks. “They are less concerned about analysing the customer’s viability. It’s a property sold, after all, and that means reducing their stock of property,” he says. They will also negotiate the terms of the mortgage if you take out a credit card or home insurance with them. But Spanish banks are more punishing than English ones if you miss a payment, as many cash-strapped British owners in Spain have discovered. Beware of low bank valuations – possibly far less than the asking price


46 A PLACE IN THE SUN APRIL 2011


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