3 February 2015 – El País
Property has become a safe haven again for savers and retirees.
Rental properties offer returns of between 5% and 7%. After almost seven years of falling prices, credit constraints and low yields on bank deposits, property “has become a safe haven again for savers and retirees” said Jesús Duque, Vice-President of Alfa Inmobiliaria.
Buy-to-lets have become a good investment option once more, as they provide much higher returns than those offered by financial institutions. Furthermore, prices continue to fall, although that trend is now slowing. The price of second-hand homes in Spain decreased by 0.1% during the month of January to reach €1,592 per square metre, according to the latest real estate price index published by Idealista. The year-on-year decrease was 5.1%. Nevertheless, the outlook is set to change as prices in five autonomous regions (Murcia, Valencia, Cataluña, Madrid and the Balearic Islands) increased.
To generate income, one cannot buy just any house. When looking to invest, one should focus on homes that have permanent demand, i.e. those with a central location. The most stable investments are properties located in middle class neighbourhoods, since they have risk-reward relationships that offer more stability over the long-term.
“It is much more worthwhile to invest in a neighbourhood in any city, rather than in a house on the beach, where the possibility of renting is usually limited to the summer months”, explains Duque. The greater the rate of rotation, the lower the profit. Several months may pass between tenants during which time the owner receives no income and also has to upgrade and repair the property. “Whenever possible, if you are looking for a stable investment, you should try to rent out your property for long periods”, said the expert.
Family homes amd those with space for at least two adults are better than one-person studios, for one-income households. And, almost more importantly, you must ensure that the rent will be collected and that it will cover the investment. This can be done through an objective analysis of the tenant’s ability to pay, but can also be supplemented by non-payment protection insurance, which although decreases the profitability of the operation, does provide security.
One should keep in mind that from the expected yield of 5% to 7%, an owner should deduct 1% to cover the payment of IBI, community costs, garbage collection, insurance and the repair and maintenance of the property.
Original story: El País (by Sandra López Letón)
Translation: Carmel Drake