The latest events related to environmental problems have caused a drop in the purchase of rural properties. The drought for much of the year has been the main factor in the decrease in these operations. In the first half of 2023, purchases of these assets have fallen by almost 6% compared to the same period in 2022, according to data from the National Statistics Institute (INE) on Property Rights Transfer Statistics. These data represent a great setback in an area that last year was at pre-covid levels and for which it does not portend a clear future, according to professionals in the sector.
In this sense, the CEO and founder of Cocampo, Regino Coca, points out that “the drought has especially affected the olive and almond trees”, since water is very necessary in plantations of this type, which he has contemplated “ “large crop losses” and has reduced agricultural sales operations. For his part, Javier Murillo, CEO of Crops Capital, emphasizes that neither the rise in rates nor inflation is a major drawback for the purchase of these properties, although they are occasionally noticeable now. Faced with this, for the director of Gilmar’s rural property department, Juan Fraile, economic “uncertainty” is the great factor in the decline.
Rural properties have different types of buyers who, in turn, present different profiles. On the one hand there are those who seek an economic or financial return on the investment, and those who are only entrusted as second homes or leisure homes. In addition, Coca highlights that there are three main types of clients: individuals, farmers and ranchers, and companies, investment funds and family offices. Experts highlight that the interest in “agriculture” is primarily among Spaniards, with a profile “over 40 years old and with their primary needs satisfied,” Fraile explains to La Información. In reference to the rest of the types of properties, professionals see an interest on the part of foreign investors in the properties, especially those intended for residential use.
Currently, and due to the high price of cereals, demand is abundant for livestock and irrigated farms, explains the CEO of Crops Capital, because they provide good profitability in addition to serving as a safe haven and appreciating over time. time. Something similar happens in the plantations dedicated to “pistachio, almond and olive trees”, since they are jobs that can be mechanized and are not penalized by the intensive use of labor, explains Javier Murillo. Although the Spanish buyer has the same profile, habits have undergone a great change.
Owners want flexibility and proximity to their residence or an airport, indicates the CEO of Cocampo.
Castilla y León at the head and Melilla the last
By area, Castilla y León is the main community with the highest number of purchases of rural properties in the first six months of the year, with 12,183 purchases, which represents a drop of 10.85%, since in the first half In 2022, 13,666 sales and purchases were registered in that autonomy, which was also placed first in the ranking, according to INE data. Behind is Andalusia, also with a very similar drop of more than 8 percentage points, followed by the Valencian Community, with up to 10,686 sales and purchases, although in the Levantine case the data from the previous year was improved.
In relation to short-term forecasts, experts see a concern in the figures for the month of July, in which a decrease of 12 percentage points has been noted compared to the last month of the previous year. The director of Gilmar’s rural property department emphasizes situations that slow down activity caused by concurrent issues such as the upcoming economic slowdown. The CEO of Cocampo points out that many operations will be carried out, “but that they will not reach the figures of the last two years”, since the highest figures “of the decade” were recorded. Meanwhile, Murillo highlights the good forecasts related to the agricultural and livestock sectors, and hopes that other sectors such as hunting or residential can overcome these figures.