We thought it was about time to update on Covid in Spain; what’s happening on the streets, in the property market and tourism.
It seems like the world over, governments are stagnating in their decision as to what to do next purely because they know that doing nothing is not an option but returning to the lock downs we saw of March, April and May this year would cripple their economies and cause irreparable damage to people’s health and wellbeing. The economic fallout in coastal areas has been devastating. Costa Del Sol, Costa Brava, Costa Blanca and the Balearic Islands have all been hit hard.
According to latest figures, since end of August, with many finishing on furlough schemes, unemployment figures have skyrocketed to 1.5 million with a vast majority of these coming from the hospitality, transport and retail sectors. It doesn’t take a genius to work out this is purely a result of plummeting tourist numbers and travel bans to Spain.
Word on the street is there is political motivation for the travel bans that ultimately keep people spending in their own countries instead of abroad. The Brits in particular have had their holidays cancelled this year with flight bans. That's one view, but as cases and death rates increase worldwide, we await the inevitable that Spain may go into some form of lockdown again. Madrid is already there while the region appeals the national decision to do this.
In terms of the restaurant and bar scene, many establishments close for the Winter season anyway but this typically doesn’t happen until after December to include the Christmas and New Year’s business. Unfortunately even those who have traditionally stayed open until January are closing their doors, or at least thinking seriously about it. The distinct lack of foot traffic makes it difficult to justify staying open. Many smaller restaurants have opted to close their doors and seek out new avenues of income until the pandemic subsides with the burning question unanswered as to when this will be.
What’s happening in property Q4? There are some waiting patiently for the property market to take a dive. In a previous blog we interviewed Aqua Estates who works the Costa Del Sol area and we asked that very question – Would the property market sustain its current price levels post Covid? Sebastian Jimenez told us that the third and fourth quarters of 2020 would set the scene but no one truly knows. In July when we spoke, his business saw plenty of interest with people booking travel for viewings as airlines started up again. As long as people could view the properties and access them for use, the property market in Spain would always be ready for buyers. There was also not a lack of people wanting to buy here.
In terms of the rental market, landlords today are pivoting away from holiday lets due to the lack of vacationers and starting to look at long term lets to keep their investments intact. Moving into Winter as mentioned by Sebastian, as long as the flights are running, people from colder countries are now looking towards Spain for a Winter bolt hole to avoid the cold weather at home. Whether this means buying, or renting, Spain is a strong and viable option for them to satisfy their needs.