SPAIN needs another golf course development like Bourton-on-the-Water, needs another tea shop. The country is positively congested with these reminders of Spain’s boom years and many of those who have already bought are less than happy. Angry British golfers have complained of broken contracts, substandard homes and lack of promised amenities.
The Spanish government has been edging along a political tightrope as UK buyers put the brakes on their aspirational holiday home purchases. In a country whose property industry accounts for well over 10 per cent of its gross domestic product, the decline in the housing market has had grave repercussions for tourism and the economy. Steady reports of agents and developers going bust, migrant workers being laid off and major developments being postponed indicate that it’s not just foreign buyers feeling the bracing effect of Spain’s property slump. With some agents offering dramatic discounts – in some cases, two for the price of one – to revive flagging sales, unemployment and property devaluation are two of the major concerns now faced by developers and municipal governments alike.