Is climate change boosting Spain’s property market?

Is climate change boosting Spain’s property market?

Southern Spain has long been a good winter sun destination, and some data suggests that the number of those seeking winter warmth is increasing. As theories go, at first glance this one seems a little far-fetched: how could the (very real) impact of climate change be supporting a market that assesses its strength on the number of people buying and selling properties?

But one respected voice in the Spanish property industry has suggested that the longer summers that Spain now seems to enjoy on a regular basis are extending the high season to such an extent that this is bound to have – and already has had – a positive impact on the tourism and property sectors…

 Chris White has worked in the Spanish property industry for decades and he believes that the impact of climate change on Spain’s excellent climate has been largely positive for these two industries.

Southern Spain has long been a good winter sun destination, and some data suggests that the number of those seeking winter warmth is increasing.With warm summer weather now regularly extending into December and overlapping with perhaps the most miserable time of the year in the UK when the clocks go back, the nights draw in and Christmas is still a little way away, Spain’s property market is already feeling the benefits.

“One of the key reasons that British buyers love Spain is the weather,” White said. “Being able to pack your flip-flops and escape the UK climate after such a short flight makes Spain perfect as a holiday home destination for Brits.

“It’s a particularly appealing destination at this time of year,” he added, “as the weather gets colder in Blighty and the nights draw in.” White pointed out that the visible effect of longer summers are already being seen in Spain, with the record tourist numbers in 2015 set to be easily broken this year, while property transactions have increased month-over-month for 24 out of the past 25 months.

However, whether these increases can count climate change as an influencing factor is hard to determine. Spain’s tourism figures have grown significantly in the past 18 months largely as a result of the growing threat of terrorism elsewhere, with Turkey, Egypt and Tunisia (and to a lesser extent, France) all experiencing devastating terrorist attacks that have scared away would-be tourists into the safer embrace of Spain.

The upturn in the property market can also be attributed to an improved economic outlook in both Spain and the rest of Europe, allied to looser lending criteria and a more sensible and transparent market atmosphere.

That being said, there does appear to be a grain of truth in what Mr. White says. Data from Aena, which manages a number of Spain’s airports, suggests that the number of bookings into November and December from UK-based passengers has soared in the past couple of years, while winter tourism growth has actually been stronger than summer tourism growth.

“There is a direct and traceable correlation between visitor numbers and the number of properties bought by overseas buyers in many areas of Spain,” said White. “So longer, warmer summers – and autumns – mean more visitors and more interest in property from those visitors. They also mean more enjoyment of Spain’s fabulous beaches and warm coastal waters.”