The new Paramount theme park currently under construction in Murcia will bring in millions more tourists every year, to what is already one of the top tourist destinations in Spain, which in turn is the second biggest tourism destination in the world. This, combined with the fact that Murcia property prices are between 30% and 70% lower than the peak should almost seal its deal as one of the top investment opportunities on the global market – especially given the fact that the new theme park will be accompanied by a new international airport, due to be ready before the park opens.
Murcia is attracting the attention of investors, but not in the way you might expect it to be given the developments above. But of course, we all know why this is. Uncertainty over the European crisis. But this has a tendency to get turned into a mountain when really it is only a molehill for investors in Murcia property.
According to the latest chart by the UN World Tourism Organisation Spain remained the 4th biggest tourism destination in the world in 2011 by visitor arrivals with 56.7 million, and Spain also remained the second biggest tourism earner (2nd by tourism receipts) with 59.9 billion USD. But more importantly growth was strong last year, in fact Spanish visitor numbers saw the second biggest growth in the world at 7.6% year on year and receipts were up 14%, which was also the second strongest growth in the world.
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And this is before the new theme park is even a framework. No matter what happens to the Eurozone; whether or not Spain drops the Euro and a new currency comes into play, Spain will still be one of the world’s biggest tourism destinations and upwards of 50-60 million people will continue to pour into the country every year. In fact, if the new currency is cheaper it may well lead to a surge in tourism as holidays in the country become better value for money, which would be on top of the surge triggered by the new theme park.
However, recent news brought some relief to the Eurozone situation. At the last EU summit Germany went further than the markets expected saying that it would give short-term and rapid-fire aid to bring down Italian and Spanish borrowing costs, as it was agreed that the new European Stability Mechanism could inject capital directly into the Spanish banking system thereby not adding to the country’s sovereign debt burden. Spanish and Italian borrowing costs fell sharply on the news, although they have risen again in advance of the next summits to be held July 9th and 10th, after which one can be hopeful that the EU will pull more rabbits out of hats and bring costs back down for good.
Either way, Murcia is an investment opportunity now. Property prices are low and rental potential incredibly high. It is entirely likely that the new Paramount theme park will offer accommodation, but I can speak from experience in saying that many, if not most people will look for cheaper self-catering accommodation nearby. Since I had my 2 kids I have visited Thomas Land and the new Nickelodeon Land in the UK and both times found the related accommodation to be far too dear for me, and chose to stay in affordable self-catering accommodation nearby.
Rental demand in Murcia is already strong and owners are already making good yields on carefully chosen holiday rental properties. This will only intensify when the new theme park is opened. But the time to buy is now, when there is a great level of choice in bank owned properties, and open market prices are heavily discounted as well.
Talking about Spanish property prices is like talking about the length of a piece of string, but in Murcia with all it has to offer, prices have likely fallen about as far as they are going to. This is because, while sales are still much lower than during the boom and have continued to fall in recent times – after a spell of growth last year — recent growth indicates strengthening sales to foreigners and especially of existing properties, which includes bank owned real estate.