Saga finds caution towards Spanish property

01 February 2007
A third of people over 50 may be tempted by the sunny shores of Spain, a new report from Saga suggests.

Moreover, over half of those – 52 per cent – would consider moving permanently, relocating for their twilight years rather than stay in the UK, where house prices continue to soar in spite of three successive base rate rises.

Yet one third of those interested in buying in Spain are deterred by the possibility of legal complications, Saga's research shows – and a current high-profile case underlines the real financial risks potentially involved in buying overseas.

Expatriates in Albox, southern Spain, are stranded without a base in the country after 11 homes were earmarked for demolition and the construction of 1,500 more suspended.

These homes, whose fate is the subject of a BBC One documentary, were constructed illegally, ignoring local regulations which distinguish between rural and urban land and only permit building on the latter, or sold using illegal licences or without valid evaluations.

A recent study from found that Spanish property prices cooled by 1.7 per cent in 2006 compared to 2005 as more UK investors bought overseas properties in the emerging EU accession states.

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