The recovery of the Spanish property market doesn't just depend on rekindling buyer interest, according to industry experts. Members of the Luxury Real Estate network discussed the future of the sector at the 7th Annual International Symposium at the Westin Hotel Valencia. Hosted by Inmobiliaria Rimontgó, the conference created a broad, multidisciplinary platform for professionals to learn from one another and exchange ideas.

A need for a multi-pronged approach to recovery was the verdict to come out of the event and there is a strong belief that this will lead Spain back to growth. Jose Ribes, chief executive officer of Rimontgo, explained: "Spain is at a crossroads, not only in having gone from boom to recession but also in that we have reached the end of a quantitative growth phase focused primarily on domestic drivers such as construction and large-scale infrastructural development. The new phase will require qualitative, export-orientated drivers such as technology, luxury products and high-value services."

This will also require a streamlining of institutions and legislation, in addition to investment in vocational education, linguistics, export skills and entrepreneurialism. "It is great to see that this process has already begun to gather momentum," Mr Ribes noted.

Improvement of these areas will theoretically lead to a decrease in unemployment, which has been noted as the overarching barrier to progress in Spain. Prime minister Mariano Rajoy is just one person who has targeted employment as the key way to boost the economy. In an interview with the Financial Times in January, he explained that job losses have led to many of the nation's problems, but labour reforms that make it easier for businesses to depart from region-wide collective wage agreements should help address the issue.

Under the changes, it is effectively easier for companies to make flexible deals at factory level, creating opportunities to expand workforces, while businesses can sack workers on fixed contracts without fear of significant backlash. This encourages a culture of hiring and will be key to getting Spaniards back in the workforce.



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