December 9, 2021
Luxuria Lifestyle Interviews Christopher Hara, owner and managing director
Interview with Christopher Hara, owner and managing director.
Fine & Country Costa Blanca North specialise exclusively in luxury residential properties in the beautiful region of the Northern Costa Blanca.
Their dedicated multi-lingual staff offer comprehensive knowledge of the local property market and exceptional personal service for both buyers and sellers.
We are delighted to welcome these Luxury Lifestyle Award winners as partners of Luxuria lifestyle and spoke with Christopher Hara, owner and Managing Director about his philosophy, real estate trends and developments and his understanding of luxury.
LL: After studying engineering at college and pursuing a career in Financial services, what made you decide to move to Spain and start a real estate business in the Costa Blanca North?
I moved to Spain for the quality of life, the balance of work and family life and of course the fabulous weather. It was through my own personal experience of buying a property in Spain that I decided to open a Real Estate business in Northern Costa Blanca which has been established for over 17 years now and is one of the most successful in the area.
LL:What are the defining qualities of your award-winning company making it the first choice for customers interested in buying luxury property in the region?
We are part of the award winning Fine & Country global network of over 300 offices around the world. Clients can rest assured we are highly proficient and professional while operating to strict codes of conduct dedicated to providing clients with the highest quality of service. We are a legally registered SL company in Spain with over 17 years real estate agency experience here in our region. We have first-hand experience as ex-pats from the UK who moved here back in 2004 buying a property and raising a family here. We understand the queries and concerns clients may have when deciding to buy property in our Region so most importantly we “listen” and we match properties that suit the clients lifestyle needs and requirements. We personally guide them through the process and share our local knowledge and passion for this area we call home. Our aim is to exceed the clients expectation and add value to their property needs with a personalised detailed search, negotiation, acquisition and management service ensuring they secure their dream property first time around. Offering a professional, personal, friendly no obligation service we have access to properties both on and off market to suit all budgets and our service does not end after the sale process. We offer a unique VIP after sales Concierge Service working with our personally selected preferred partners to assist should clients require additional services for interior design and decor, landscape gardening, private chefs, yacht/boat hire/purchase etc. We also offer a Discreet Service for those clients wishing to remain private whether selling or buying property.
LL: Covid-19 challenged all entrepreneurs in the way they do business, did you have to reinvent your services?
For us we had to quickly adapt as property viewings couldn’t be done in person and new developments and constructions were paused. Prospective clients were unable to travel so we focused on digital meetings to inform and prepare as much as possible offering real-time virtual viewings and online face-to-face appointments. We even hosted an online Webinar for buying property in Spain and within our Northern Costa Blanca Region covering topics such as:
– An overview of the Spanish market
– How estate agency works in Spain
– The buying process in Spain
– Benefits of buying in Spain
– The different lifestyle opportunities in Spain
We knew that clients could not easily come to us because of the travel restrictions so we took Spain and our Region to them to enjoy and discover from the safety of their own homes.
LL: You specialise exclusively in the marketing and sale of luxury residential properties. Which areas are in demand in Northern Costa Blanca?
Our Region covers the coastal areas North of Alicante to include Altea, Calpe, Benissa Costa, Moraira, Javea, Denia and Oliva plus the inland areas of the Jalon and Orba Valleys.
In a recent article naming the 100 municipalities with the most expensive total price (average price) in the whole of Spain 6 in the top 25 are in the Costa Blanca North Region including Denia, Javea, Altea and Calpe. Javea and Denia are the two areas most in demand from our clients being the most well known but all the various coastal areas are within a 15 minute drive of each other and once we have taken clients around the whole of the Region they discover unfamiliar areas that they end up buying property in as they are most suited to their specifications. The Costa Blanca North is classed as a very exclusive area, the British, Dutch, French, Belgian and Germans have a long-running love affair here with a Region that is classed as one of the wealthiest in Spain attracting not only the well-heeled from Madrid and Valencia who have second homes here but more and more affluent expats from all across Europe and beyond, including North America, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe.
LL: Have you seen a change in the type of property that is highly sought-after in your region, any changes in design trends?
Coastal properties still dominate with easy access to the beaches and a wide range of yacht marinas for clients also looking to buy a boat to enjoy sailing around the coastline and to the nearby Islands of Ibiza and Formentera. Also properties with a south facing orientation so they can be enjoyed all year round not just for the summer months. Whilst Ibiza style white properties are still popular we have noticed more in the past 6 months that the key design elements for clients are properties with more exterior space such as gardens and terracing as well as more indoor space including an office for working from home. Designs that offer the seemless indoor/outdoor flow from the interior to the exterior terraces and pool. There is still a demand for the classic and elegant Levantine properties with natural Tosca stone features so long as the interior is modern and reformed to a high standard.
LL: What are the challenges the luxury real estate sector will be facing in the next year(s)?
Supply and demand! A recent study suggests that 2021 has been the busiest period for home sales in Spain in more than a decade. In September 53,410 sales took place 40.6% more than the same month of 2020 (when the market was still assimilating the impact of Covid-19), but also 7.1% more compared to the figure of August and overall, the highest number of transactions in Spain since April 2008 when 54,801 homes were sold.
LL: Which technological developments are going to play a role/add value selling real estate in the near future?
Luckily for us being part of the Fine & Country network we are constantly kept up to date in cutting-edge technologies to change the way real estate business is conducted with new software employed in real estate tools and applications. Clients want to see high quality photos, detailed information, floor plans and now more important than ever are virtual tours and online realtime visual viewings of both the property and the agent they are dealing with. Of course, most buyers for overseas properties will want to view the property in person before making a final decision but preparing virtually in advance will speed up the process to help the buyer.
LL: What would your definition of luxury be?
Luxury as in a luxury property? A luxury property is firstly all about a desirable location and amazing views. A luxury property that is aesthetic, built to the highest standard with exclusive features not normally associated with a traditional house such as grander impressive spacious living areas, exceptional kitchens, hotel suite standard master bedrooms, entertainment areas, heated infinity pools, indoor spas with heated pools, gymnasiums and fitness areas for all year round wellness, home cinemas, games rooms, vinotheque wine cellars, separate guesthouses for visitors ample garaging to house several vehicles, the list could on.
However, since covid and how our lifestyles have changed dramatically luxury properties can be classed at those properties that give clients a fully accessible lifestyle, real places that allow them to live fuller lives.
LL: As an award-winning real estate company, what is going to be your next milestone?
As an established “Ambassador” office for Fine & Country here in Spain to continue to offer a unique bespoke and personal service to our clients whether buying or selling property here in Northern Costa Blanca. We have maintained this level of commitment and service throughout the pandemic as market leaders in our Region, winning awards, representing and establishing the Fine & Country Brand putting our clients first and going the extra mile which in these difficult times has been a milestone victory in itself. We can only see ourselves going from strength to strength with our valued and dedicated team and being part of the Fine & Country global network who have won Best Estate Agency Marketing and Best International Estate Agency Marketing seven times in the past 10 years at the International Property Awards.
LL: What would your key piece of advice be for buyers interested in purchasing/investing in luxury real estate in Northern Costa Blanca?
The upshot is that house prices in Spain are forecast to rise by more than 4% in 2022. Our advice is if you are still looking to buy a newly built or resale property here in the Costa Blanca North, then make a reasonable offer and move forward on it quickly to secure and have it taken off the market. If you are looking for a new build villa project or an apartment in a new development under construction, then again buy-off plan to secure before the price goes up.
El Mundo* (16/11/2021). Si te gusta una casa, o cierras la compra enseguida o la pierdes”
Translated as: If you like a house, either you purchase it right away, or you lose it!”
At Fine & Country Costa Blanca North we don’t just sell luxury properties, we sell the amazing luxury lifestyle you can enjoy here.
We help buyers find the dream property to suit their lifestyle and sellers to find the right buyer wherever they are in the world.
“We don’t just sell properties, we sell the lifestyle”
A: Fine & Country Costa Blanca North, Marina de Dénia, Edificio E Bajo 2, Darsena de Babor, Puerto de Dénia, 03700 Dénia
W: Fine & Country Denia
T: +34 966 675 768
T: +34 683 384 750 / +34 639 326 139