The global property market has, of course, been drastically affected by the coronavirus epidemic and the lockdowns. But international property professionals – everybody involved in helping people to buy and sell homes – have found new and creative ways of doing business. That includes a rapid increase in virtual viewings, greater use of power of attorney, and our good friend the face mask!
At Smart Currency Exchange, in the early days pre-lockdown we updated all out systems and have had no interruption to our service at all. We have helped people to pay reservation deposits after online viewings and to send the funds to complete on properties even in the most locked down countries.
Now, much of Europe’s property market is out of cold storage and looking forward to a busy summer. Flights are starting to some countries – although not all – and you can do viewings so long as social distancing protocols are followed.
Our traders have been in touch with agents and other professionals and here we give a round up of the latest, along with some idea on when flights may restart.
In just days from now the planes should start flying to Spain again. The budget airlines are raring to go, but there are still procedures to iron out and discussions over potential quarantines.
Once you get there Spain’s property market is open for business. Estate agents, lawyers and notaries are conducting property viewings and all the legal processes are happening, albeit with social distancing.
You can also buy in Spain from the UK, both putting down deposits that will hold until you can see the property in person, or completing. Our legal partners are able to help with power of attorney.
If you are buying in Spain, speak to Jack Wiggs.
France is in phase 2 of its lockdown end. All bars, restaurants and cafes can open their doors, except in Paris where premises must have at least some outside space.
France is removing quarantine measures for travellers from certain countries from 15 June, but not those like the UK which are quarantining French people coming to Britain. France’s quarantine is voluntary, however.
Ryanair and EasyJet aim to restart flights from July. Ferries are currently operating freight and commercial traffic services only, although non-commercial bookings are available in August. For now, you’ll need an “attestation de déplacement” stating that the travel is essential.
You can still buy in France, with notaires and other professionals still working. If you are buying in France, speak to Barney Cotton.
Italy’s property market has been open for business since 4 May, which is when offices opened. At first viewings were only possible for uninhabited properties and it is still worth checking that an agent will be conducting normal viewings of all properties.
You can already fly to Italy too, even from the UK, with flights to Rome via Alitalia. Budget airlines aim to restart flights from 1 July.
Italian estate agents are predicting price drops of up to 10% over the next year, but with properties with outside space suddenly more popular!
If you are buying in Italy, speak to Martin George.
Portugal has had only around 5% of the numbers of cases (and fatalities) from Covid-19 as its neighbour Spain.
Tourism in Portugal officially opened to EU countries from 6 June, with temperature checks as people arrive, but no quarantine for those with no symptoms.
Portugal’s foreign minister said he was hopeful an ‘air bridge’ between the UK and Portugal could be agreed by the end of June, and a number of UK airlines aim to restart flights as soon as they are allowed.
The start of the epidemic coincided with a real boost to the property market, although we await robust data on whether that has continued. Rental prices are certainly lower, however, and normally sold-out tourist resorts offer the chance for property viewings on the normally too-busy summer season.
If you are buying in Portugal, speak to James Wagstaff.
Cyprus has seen off the pandemic spectacularly, with just 18 people succumbing and a handful of cases still appearing.
So confident is the government that it will cover the holiday costs of anyone who tests positive there this summer.
International travel started on Tuesday (9 June) from countries like Greece, Malta, Norway, Austria, Finland, Denmark and Germany. More countries are due to be added for flights over the summer, including the UK is rates come down.
Estate agents are open, with all the legal procedures being conducted in a socially distanced but otherwise normal way. With 40% of property sales being to overseas clients, there has been almost zero demand and it is certainly a buyer’s market.
While in the short-term property sales may be slow to pick up, the country’s success and competence in defeating Covid has been noticed globally and we expect international demand to pick up dramatically in 2021. Contact our trading team now!
If you are buying in Cyprus, speak to one of our trading team.
Greece was always known for the quality of its healthcare so it was no real surprise that it was highly pro-active in dealing with the pandemic – the result being one of the lowest rates in Europe, just 3,000 cases and fewer than 200 deaths.
They were helped, of course, by the geography of Greece, and on the islands there were few instances of the virus.
Shops, cafes, restaurants and non-seasonal hotels are open, with stringent health restrictions. International flights begin to Athens and Thessaloniki on 15 June, with domestic flight connections. Until 1 July there will still be some quarantine restrictions, but after this it’s projected that international flights will re-commence to all regional airports.
There is as yet no word on when flights to the UK will restart.
Contact our trading team now!