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North Cyprus and Turkey Should Learn Property Lessons from Spain

The Housing Secretary in Spain has issued an all out appeal to Britons to return to the Spanish property sector – please!  As we all know, the Spanish economy has been flailing, and one of the biggest causalities has been the construction industry.  Buyers have been conspicuous by their absence – put off in part by stories about properties being illegally constructed and then demolished, as well as tales of corruption and nose-diving values of homes in Spain.

Now, in a bid to get Britons back in and buying in big numbers, Beatriz Corredor the Housing Secretary has issued a statement to reassure Britons who may feel that the Spanish property sector has got something of a crooked reputation.  She wants Brits to feel confident in “the system” and “the transparency” now in place in Spain’s real estate industry, and to return and start investing again.

Well, if that’s the case then we think Northern Cyprus and Turkey could both learn some very important lessons from Spain if they want to protect their fragile property economies, and not alienate the one market of buyers that has, to date, remained loyal to each country in question.  Spain all but ruined its property market because of greed – and if what we’ve been told by our readers is true, Northern Cyprus and Turkey are following in Spain’s unfortunate footsteps.

The property market in Spain boomed on the back of second home buyers from the likes of the UK.  Britons bought in foreign sourced euros, injected them into the economy, and in theory got a lovely home on or near to the Mediterranean as a result.  However, things then turned ugly for a number of reasons.

Prices in Spain flew up so fast that there was no sustainability in their real estate economy.  Greedy builders and developers ripped off unwitting buyers by building where they had no permission to build and legging it before homes were completely constructed for example.  As a result, Spain slowly but surely developed a very dodgy reputation.

Eventually the property based economy collapsed when it was noted that parts of the country had been massively and hideously over-developed with badly built homes that no one wanted, and when word really began to spread about the corruption and greed that had cost many unwitting buyers their small fortunes ‘invested’ in Spanish property.

The collapse of the Spanish property market was speeded up when the British economy took a tumble, and budgets to buy second homes were eroded by falling house prices in the UK and a lack of willing lenders to furnish Brits with the second mortgages needed to buy property abroad.

All in all Spain fared very badly indeed.  However, according to Corredor the nation has learned its lessons, it has put policies and practices in place to protect foreign buyers, and any Brit who wants to buy a bargain basement home in an undoubtedly stunning country can now do so with confidence in Spain.

House prices have fallen by up to 40% in Spain, and Corredor says: “Come here calmly, and trust in the system that we have and the transparency we provide…”

She wants Brits to return and begin buying again in a bid to prop up the Spanish construction industry…more about that in a minute…but first, here’s how Northern Cyprus and Turkey can learn a thing or two from Spain.

Turkey was not as dependent on British buyers as Spain was for the health of a specific element of its economy, so when the British property pounds began to dry up, the Turkish economy was not as badly hit.  However, it has been impacted…and in the resorts where construction was a booming business underpinning tourism generated wealth as well, the impact has been keenly felt.

In Northern Cyprus there was only the property economy backed by Britons – and that began to wane about 4 years ago.  Since then the Northern third of the island has been looking desperately in other directions to bring back the money it ‘lost’ when Britons stopped buying.  The tourism economy is doing what it can, big businesses are building amazing hotels, casinos and so on…but still, the real estate money is being missed.

Neither nation has taken Spain’s approach to things though…

So, instead of bringing greater transparency to the property buying process, instead of ensuring foreign buyers’ right’s are protected, instead of getting the corruption out of construction and protecting title deeds, boundaries and ultimately the invested wealth of the overseas buyer, Turkey and Northern Cyprus are allegedly attacking the hand that once fed them real estate wealth.

In Northern Cyprus for example, properties that were sold on un-mortgaged land have had the land beneath them mortgaged following the signing of all paperwork…constructors have then defaulted on the loans and the banks are closing in.  In one development we know of, the mainly British ‘owners’ of homes have been told that they are all going to have their houses auctioned off beneath them.

When you look for logic in the decision there is none – but that doesn’t help those who are being affected by this.  It seems the property dreams of many are going sour in Turkey and North Cyprus according to many reports we have had by affected readers.

Buyers who have bought in in good faith, set up home, adopted the local culture and integrated are being ripped off by banks and sold out by the government.  Anyone with a mind to buy a beautiful home in either stunning land will be put off by this news and the duplicity of the estate agents, developers and even the lawyers involved in the property transaction process who say ‘everything is wonderful’ before you buy and then ‘we can’t help you’ as soon as everything goes wrong.

So, Turkey and Northern Cyprus – listen up!

Spain’s construction industry has been brought to its knees, but instead of ripping off buyers to the point they never return, they have attempted to clean up the industry and protect anyone considering coming in and bringing their cash.  You two nations could learn a thing or two…or else you will also fall foul of your continued greed and deceit.

Treat others as you would be treated if you went to buy in their country.  Only in this way will you ever regain trust and interest from those buyers with any money to buy a home in your nation.

Now, going back to the fact that Spain wants Britons to return and begin buying again – there’s only one problem with that plan – Britain is as bankrupt as Spain is!

Britons have no ready cash as it’s all being eroded in taxes (which the government is sure the ‘common man’ won’t notice!).  What’s more, despite their promises, banks are still not lending and also, the pound remains weakened in the face of the euro.  So, I’m not sure the Spanish Housing Secretary’s words will do much good, because even though there are bargains, and even though there is keen appetite to buy Spanish property among many Britons, we just don’t have the cash to come and spend.  Sorry!

Finally – there are decent people involved in the real estate industry in Spain, Turkey and Northern Cyprus…there are also genuine bargains of homes to be bought in stunning locations in each nation in question…however, as a buyer you have to tread exceptionally carefully because your money is in such desperate need by the vendors and constructors selling property that many will stop at nothing to get you to buy.

Do your due diligence and do not trust in the processes in place or the transparency!  Trust in legal documents and the advice of independent experts only.  Buyers with the cash can certainly realise bargains and profits – but only if they know exactly what they are doing and tie their purchase up tight.

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