26 January 2015 – Murcia Today
Tourism in Spain could also benefit from the weakness of the euro.
Following the announcement on Thursday that the European Central Bank is to inject at least 1.1 trillion euros into the economy of the Eurozone, the reaction on the international currency markets has been to invest in sterling and the US dollar, pushing the UK pound to its highest level against the euro for seven years.
By midday on Friday, one pound was worth 1.34 euros, although it dropped back to 1.31 by close of trading on Friday, meaning that pound-holders’ purchasing power in Spain has increased by 5% since 1 January and by 12% since April last year. At the same time, the euro fell to its lowest rate in eleven years against the dollar.
How the ECB’s “quantitative easing” policy will affect the Spanish economy as a whole will become clear over the next two years, but in the short term, the relative strength of the pound could have two very important consequences.
One of these is that over a short period of time, property in Spain has suddenly become significantly cheaper for buyers from the UK, and it is not unreasonable to imagine that demand may suddenly increase from British buyers in a market which, at least on the Mediterranean coast, already relies heavily on buyers from outside Spain. Coupled with low interest rates, the greater value of the pound means that for most UK nationals, property in Spain is now more affordable than it has been for many years.
At the same time, in a week in which some of the final figures for 2014 in Spain’s tourist sector have been made public, the greater purchasing power of UK residents could lead to further increases in tourist spending by visitors to Spain from the UK after record numbers of foreign visitors came here last year. Flight prices may come down slightly in response to falling fuel costs, and for those whose disposable income is in sterling, visiting Spain and other Eurozone countries is now less of a strain on the pocket than it was a year ago.
It is also good news for those looking to buy property for the first time: Euribor dropped to a record low making borrowing cheaper than ever.
Of course, on the face of it, the fall in the euro is not necessarily good news for Spain, but if the ECB’s intention is to stimulate economic growth in the Eurozone, then the property and tourist sectors of the Spanish economy may be among the first to benefit.
Original story: Murcia Today
Edited by: Carmel Drake