Whilst the coronavirus pandemic is still at the forefront of our minds, the worse of the crisis is over. The same is true of Brexit; whilst this has been catastrophic for UK-EU relations, the aftermath hasn’t been as bad as many ex-pats expected. And in another bout of good news, perhaps as a result of the two crises outlined above, mortgage prices in Spain are now cheaper than they have ever been before. This is not only good news for Spaniards, but for anyone else hoping to buy property in the country! Here’s everything we know about the lower mortgage rates, and why that makes now the perfect time to buy property in Spain:
Why Are Mortgages Currently Cheaper in Spain?
There are several reasons contributing to the drop in mortgage rates in Spain; firstly, interest rates in the country are lower. This means that banks are passing this one by introducing more favourable mortgage terms to their customers, in a bid to attract more clients. As property prices are also attractive in Spain right now, this is only good news for house hunters who need to secure a mortgage in Spain!
- Spanish Interest Rates are Lower
It would be fair to say nothing good as come from the pandemic, but from a financial point of view, it has led to a drop in interest rates across the country. In fact, interest rates in Spain are at their lowest point in history. This has a knock on effect on anyone hoping to buy property in the country too, making it a buyers market, because mortgage and interest rates are uncharacteristically low. In real terms, there has never been a better time to follow your dream of living in the sun.
- Borrowing Money Has Never Been Cheaper
Interest rates have a huge impact on the cost of borrowing. And so, because interest rates are so low, borrowing money has never been cheaper either! That means that if you need a mortgage in order to secure your dream Spanish home then now is the right time for you. There is another factor at play here too, besides the drop in interest rates. Spain has introduced the new mortgage laws . These were introduced in 2019, nationwide, and have dramatically improved the terms and conditions surrounding mortgage applications in the country. In brief, the main highlights of these policy changes were: longer default periods before properties could be repossessed, and allowing borrowers to convert foreign currency for mortgages into euros. This has made buying in Spain a much more attractive and straightforward proposition for foreign investors.
Why Have Interest Rates Dropped?
We know that the drop in mortgage rates has been driven by the drop in interest rates. But what we haven’t discussed is why interest rates in Spain have dropped so dramatically. The clear and obvious answer to this is the impact of the coronavirus pandemic which plunged the nation into Lockdown andhit Spain, and wider Europe, particularly hard. During this time, mortgage applications dropped by almost half, according to figures released by Europa Press’ EPData. With considerably fewer people borrowing from the banks during this period, the Euribor (which is the reference rate that determines what interest rates in Spain will be) began to fall, ultimately reaching a rate of –0.48 by the end of 2020. This is the lowest figure it has ever reached, and meant that banks were forced to offer lower mortgage rates to their customers in 2021.
Fixed or Variable Mortgage?
The two main types of mortgages available in Spain are fixed rate mortgages and variable rate mortgages. At present, fixed mortgage rates are considerably more popular in Spain than variable ones: 70 percent of mortgages being granted in Spain are fixed rate mortgages. The decline in interest rates means that now is a great time to fix, as these rates are offered in line with inflation.
Ready to go ahead and make your application? Don’t forget to carefully consider the bank you choose, and conduct your own research. To help you with this, the three banks offering the best mortgage rates on the market right now are MyInvestor, BBVA and Liberbank. As the banks compete with each other, and mortgage rates become more competitive, you’ll find that mortgages will continue to become more affordable across the country.
All Sounding Too Good To Be True?
Well if you don’t have a good credit rating, it just might be! Whilst mortgage rates are lower than ever, the criteria to secure a mortgage is also stricter than it has ever been. So before you decide to take the plunge, here is a list of the criteria you must fulfill to be eligible for a mortgage in Spain:
- You must have a stable income
- You must have a job contract
- You mus have a significant deposit. Whilst the deposit amount will vary, many banks in Spain are currently asking that you have somewhere around a 40,000 -50,000-euro deposit, depending on the price of the property.
Fulfilling this criteria will be difficult for many as a result of the pandemic and the job losses or job uncertainty that it lead to. But if you can fulfill this criteria then there’s no time like the present to take advantage and apply for a Spanish mortgage.
Finally, it’s important to note that the type of financing you can secure from Spanish banks will depend on whether you are a resident or a non-resident of Spain. This is because residents will usually be lent around 70 to 80 percent of the total property amount as a mortgage and will also get better interest rates, whilst non-residents will need a higher deposit value and can only expect a Spanish bank to cover around 60 percent of the cost.
Are you thinking of moving to Spain after Brexit? Whether you’re looking for bargain apartments in Mijas Costa or beachfront properties in Calahonda, our team of local property experts can help. We have a team of estate agents in the Costa del Sol who are perfectly placed to help you find the home of your dreams, so why not get in touch today.