Property Market Doom and Gloom... but not for everyone!

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Article by: (Chris Dunkerley) Published: 09/01/2009

Problems in the property markets are a HUGE opportunity for some!

Property markets around the world are suffering from restricted bank lending, poor consumer confidence, and in many areas oversupply. The media are screaming that this is all bad news for everyone, but is it?

Falling prices, oversupply and a restriction of credit can actually create a huge opportunity for some people. Yes, the opportunity may be greater for wealthy individuals who can now buy up distressed property sales, bank repossessions at a fraction of the cost of 12 months ago but the opportunity is also there for many more ordinary people to benefit from. You just have to see past the headlines!

The simple economics of the current situation of many property markets around the word is there are far more properties for sale than there are people who want to, or who can, buy them. Buyers who still have finance available (the people who really can afford a holiday or investment property rather than the people who have been over extending themselves via relaxed bank lending criteria) can drive very hard bargains with many developers and vendors.

Reduced Price Off-plan or Resale Property for Sale?

What to buy? In the current market it is probably wise to look first at already completed but not yet sold new projects and resale property, especially in popular areas like Spain, Bulgaria, and Florida. This is where huge discounts can be negotiated and perhaps more importantly it is where risk is minimised as the properties are already built and buyers know exactly what they are getting. An additional benefit is that you could be enjoying a new build, key in hand, property in just a few weeks.

New projects should not be completely overlooked as there are many developers offering custom build villa projects at very good prices and in many areas land values are falling so you could find you really can have a dream villa that was well out of reach just 12 months ago! However it is very important for any new off-plan projects to have insurance guarantees (sometime called bank guarantees) and to have a solicitor check all the paperwork.

There are also many resale properties with huge reductions in price available all over the world from City centre locations to beach front holiday property for sale. It is a simple fact of life that one person’s pain is another’s gain and up and down the Spanish Costas there are now real bargains to be had.

So don’t believe everything the papers say and if you want to grab a bargain you should probably try to purchase in the first half of 2009. Maybe prices will drop further in the second half of 2009 but the longer the turmoil and problems continue and the more property prices fall the more likely a sharp and sudden recovery is to happen. Any recovery is likely to produce a “bounce” in property prices in the most popular locations. The best properties will rapidly increase in value as confidence of buyers and seller returns and developers will struggle in the short term to get their projects started again... but the less desirable properties: the poorly built, badly situated, over supplied properties will not recover as quickly or as much. So buy wisely, seek advice, do your research, and don’t rush into anything.

It is all a matter of timing but not even the experts can accurately predict the top or bottom of a market so decide when the time is right for you... but don’t wait too long!

We are unlikely (I hope) to ever see anything like this again... it is an amazing buyer’s market so make the most of it if you can!


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