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19-Sep-2017 09:55

For over 20 years, Spain has been popular with overseas buyers looking for holiday homes.

Large numbers of inexperienced foreign buyers provide an opportunity for unscrupulous developers and estate agents to sell properties which are not legitimate.

Be wary of anyone who asks for payments upfront or suggests cutting corners.

Always remember that you can choose your own notary, mortgage provider and so forth – you do not need to use a service suggested by the estate agent.

Individual properties are selling for as little as half their 2007 price.

Property prices remain low and are falling, which means that although the price drop can be a boon to new arrivals, making property more affordable, there is a strong risk that your home will lose value before the market picks up again.

For those considering a shorter stay however, renting could be a more suitable option if you factor in Spain's capital gains tax of more than 20 percent, which could offset any benefits of buying in the short-term.The Spanish property market Spain has been badly affected by the global financial crisis and a property market crash.Since 2008, Spanish property prices have fallen by 30 percent overall, with some regions even worse off.The British Foreign Office has issued notices warning expat buyers to be cautious and not take unnecessary risks.

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They recommend, at minimum checking: Most of this information can be provided by the land registry and accessed by making a request by email, phone, fax or in person.Over 80 percent of Spanish residents own their own home, with around 50 percent of the population owning their home outright, without a mortgage.