It must be tough to be a Spanish homeseller right now.
Just as investors pluck up the courage to once again dip a toe in the Mediterranean housing market, along comes a killer flu pandemic that keeps bargain-hunting foreigners thousands of miles from a purchase.
Earlier this week, Palma Property Auctions – one of Spain’s biggest holiday home auctioneers – said rising swine flu fears among clients had forced it to shelve its eagerly-awaited summer sale.
“We had nine concrete cases of people who called us to say they wanted to have a look at a property and possibly take part in the auction, but they were not going to because of swine flu,” Daniel Westerlund, a spokesman for Palma Property Auctions, told Reuters.
“A lot of our prospective buyers are German, and in Germany there’s a huge amount of media attention directed at this. Those are nine concrete cases, how many more there are on top of that, I cannot say,” he said.
Westerlund said fear of possible exposure to the virus during the plane ride to Spain was the chief cause of investor nerves. He was less convinced Spain’s worsening economic climate had fatally dented interest.