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Engel & Völkers' commitment to Castilla-Leon

Real estate investment is deeply heterogeneous because wherever there is a good buying opportunity there will be investors interested in taking advantage of that possibility. Therefore, at Engel & Völkers we are expanding our scope of work towards areas that ooze investment potential in this market. We are mainly focusing on the north of Spain, namely Castilla-León as our preferred choice. This is because the area is emerging in terms of exceptional economic conditions, location, and living standards. It is a region of marked transcendence in Spanish history and home to heritage treasures and real estate opportunities that are worth exploring in detail.

A vast and extensive land

We will first talk about the most extensive autonomous community in the entire country. Castilla-León is an area with ​​more than 94,000 km2 that correspond to 18.6 per cent of the whole national territory. The succession of lands is characterised by a vast variety of landscapes, climates, rich soils and other geographical constraints. Thus, in Castilla-León we can find the flatest areas compared to Duero valley or Salamanca to the more mountainous areas of León or Burgos. This diversity of spaces opens the door to a multitude of tourist experiences related to the natural environment, such as the Sierra de Urbión or the Arribes del Duero Natural Park.

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A strong economy

Contrary to what one might think about the abundance of rural landscapes and the low population density of provinces such as Soria or Palencia, Castilla-León is an autonomy with a very solvent economy. The diversification of productive activity in the region has allowed it to feel the impact of the last crisis to a lesser extent. Moreover, it is one of the communities with the best data in the whole of Spain, with an unemployment rate four points lower than the national average (14.8 per cent). It is also notable for its positive trade balance and relatively low public debt.

Another parameter that should be taken into account is the income per capita being almost 22,000 euros (in the lead from other towns such as the Valencian Community, Galicia or Andalusia). In terms of absolute GDP, it is the seventh richest autonomy (54,077 million euros). The incentive for investors is that Castile-Leon does not stand out for its high taxes, but rather the opposite. Its different IRPF tranches are among the lowest in the country and in 2016, its inheritance tax was reduced, thus lowering the tax bill that investors and buyers are generally faced with. Finally, it should be noted that the social services in this community place it as the third with the highest quality of life.

A promising real estate market

Castilla-León is a region of contrasts, with important differences between rural and urban areas. In this area, housing prices started to rise after the great recession but the real estate market still remains very competitive compared to other Spanish cities. For example, the average house price in the autonomous capital and most populated city, Valladolid, barely reaches 1,086 euros per square metre. The most expensive provincial capital, within a general context of low prices, is Burgos (1,235 € / sqm), followed by Palencia (1,182 € / sqm) and Salamanca (1,108 € / sqm).

A "Historical and Cultural Community"

The largest Spanish autonomous community is not understandable without its fascinating history and the immense heritage that it has left in its cities. Leon and Burgos, for example, are home to two of the most important Gothic cathedrals in Spain, while the Old Cathedral of Salamanca is one of the jewels par excellence from the northern Romanesque Castilian. Valladolid, meanwhile, adds a long series of historic buildings to our property catalogue, such as the Royal Palace (Palacio Real) and the old university. Apart from these historic treasures, it is worth mentioning the other truly monumental cities such as Tordesillas, Ciudad Rodrigo and Astorga. A must-see when it comes to historical patrimony in not just Castilla-Leon but in all of Spain, is the Sima de los Huesos site, in Atapuerca mountain range (Burgos).

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Property on offer in Spain

In recent years, the Spanish property market has become a sector particularly valued by international investors, and it's no surprise. Between 2009 and 2014, property prices in Spain underwent notable changes, and as a result properties are currently being sold at very competitive prices. This situation applies to houses both for sale and to let, as well as to more luxurious properties, making Spain a practically unique case in Europe. The best investment possibilities can be found in Spain's high-end properties.

The high-end sector is the most interesting to the international investor. Many people the world over consider property in Spain, especially in the larger cities, to be some of the best patrimonial assets in Europe (a good example would be a luxury attic in Madrid or Barcelona). And as for the exclusively residential market, those who wish to have a second home in Spain, or buy a main house can also benefit from this situation. Logically, all of these benefits also reach the proprietors who wish to sell their houses.

Living and working in Spain

The quality of life enjoyed in Spain is the result of a unique combination of climatic, geographic, and of course, human factors. Living in Spain is an option that is contemplated by more foreigners every day, and buying a house is the first step towards that. Acclimatisation tends to be fast, and those who move in with the objective of developing business ventures can also count on easier administration when buying a house. Spain's high quality property market paves the way forward.

The type of property which one moves into in Spain will obviously depend on the newcomer's aspirations. Those who head to Spain, whether to live or to work, can enjoy the wonderful surroundings, either in an apartment with a view (of the beach, mountains or the city) or in a house right on the coast. For more information, it can be very useful to seek the advice of an estate agent in Spain, who will analyse the most interesting offers based on the prospective buyer's criteria.

Selling your house in Spain

Selling your house is another option for foreigners who live in Spain. Whether you are coming to the end of your stay in Spain or you just want to get rid of one asset in particular, the services of a reliable and trustworthy Spanish estate agent are essential. These professionals will examine the qualities of the villas in Spain that they want to commercialise, reaching the most advantageous sales agreements possible and getting the luxury properties in question on the market. Little wonder: if anything indicates the current context of the market it's that the role of the agent is basically to close a good sales agreement.

How to arrive in and travel through Spain

Alongside the properties that Spain has available, the country also offers areas of great patrimonial and natural interest. It's worth highlighting the excellent connections by land, sea and air to all the European capitals such as London, Paris, Berlin, Rome, Brussels, and Geneva, and many other European cities are less than a three-hour journey from the main Spanish airports. Those who travel to Spain have airports at their disposal not only in the main cities but also in the majority of the provinces. Another alternative to get around the country is via the complete train network that, on a smaller scale, consists of commuter trains to the inland regions, creating easy access to almost any town and property in Spain.