Saturday, 6 August 2016

Málaga Province Set for €6bn From Summer Tourists

Málaga Province Set for €6bn From Summer Tourists

Another record breaking summer expected for the Costa del Sol
The Costa del Sol is going to be busy all summer long according to predictions from the tourist board in the region. It’s true that summer seems to have arrived in force this year. Already the tennis is on the TV, the thermometers are creeping higher, and it’s all too easy to give up on work.

One of the main signs summer is here for Spain is the rise in tourists heading to the Costa del Sol.

The region has always been one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world and could contain thousands of tourists at any one time. This summer promises to be bigger than ever though with one Costa del Sol tourism authority suggesting that the number of tourists could be up by 11% over last year.

This means that Málaga could see a lot more cash in the coming months with people filling up restaurants, resorts, cafés and bars. The tourist board in question went so far as to estimate that Málaga would see €6bn enter the economy between June and September.

The president of the Costa del Sol tourism authority Elias Bendodo said that he believes an extra 623,000 people will enter the region compared to 2015. If this does happen then it means that the region will welcome over six million visitors in all for the first time ever. This is mostly down to the affordable prices, the recovering European economy, and the unfortunate threat of terrorism keeping away from other popular Mediterranean destinations.

Bendodo held a press conference where he said that he is optimistic about the summer season. The winter saw 12% more visitors compared to last year and he expects that this is a sign that this will be the biggest year ever for the Costa del Sol.

These are confident words but the data and trends are backing them up. It’s expected that Brits will continue to be the biggest group by nationality but the way the geopolitical situation in Europe is playing out means that the region will see more new visitors than ever.

The tourism board say that 57% more people are coming in from Poland, along with 41% more Danes and 11% more Germans. Most of these people are choosing Spain over Egypt and Turkey.

It’s also expected that 25% more French and 15% more Dutch visitors will come to the country for the same reasons. The number of Brits heading to the south of the country is expected to go up by 21%, which should help put to bed any myths that the Brexit vote has left Spain less popular with Brits.

Brits have always been coming to the Costa del Sol, for the beaches and lifestyle even before the EU was created. He is sure that this is a trend that will likely never stop.

Friday, 5 August 2016

Irishwoman Awarded MBE for Campaigning for Expat Rights in Spain

Irishwoman Awarded MBE for Campaigning for Expat Rights in Spain

Maura Hillen, who has been campaigning since 2008 for the legalisation of illegal properties has been awarded in MBE in recognition of her services to the British community living and working in Spain.

Maura Hillen has worked tirelessly since 2008  for
property owners rights
Maura Hillen MBE is the head of the Abusos Urbanisticos Almanzora No! (AUAN) body and she has campaigned at the local, regional, and even national level for the rights of over 500 expats who purchased property in the Amanzora valley in Almeria in good faith.

These expats, most of whom were British, would later find out that the properties were built illegally and could be demolished by the Spanish authorities; something that would leave them without a home and without any money.

The AUAN group fought to have basic amenities, such as electricity and water, approved for the properties. Her appeals worked their way through the Spanish courts as she acted as a go between for information between the council and the homeowners.

The results of her campaigning where shown in 2015 when the government introduced a major piece of legislation urging Spanish judges to remember that the homeowners themselves are innocent and that they were conned into buying the homes without realising they were illegal.

This legislation means that if the authorities to decide to demolish the property the buyers will be compensated at least.

Simon Manley, the British ambassador to Spain, was pleased by the decision to award Hillen with an MBE. He spoke of how tirelessly Hillen has campaigned to resolve the property problems that were affecting thousands of British buyers. The thanked Her Majesty the Queen for approving the honour.

He also added that Hillen has guided AUAN to become a well run and respected organisation that is managing to provide expert legal advice and realistic solutions to the regional and national authorities in Spain.

Manley added that the success of AUAN is a great sign that the broken legal system that was failing to recognise the rights of the homeowners or compensate them could be changed for the better.

Hillen was delighted to receive the award. She accepted the award on behalf of every member of AUAN who campaigned alongside her, especially the committee members and the former presidents of AUAN.

Buying property in Spain can have its pitfalls however with stricter laws now in place and having the correct searches made by your lawyer the days of being duped into buying an illegal property are being minimised.

Thursday, 4 August 2016

Spanish Growth Forecast Increased by 2.7%

Spanish Growth Forecast Increased by 2.7%

While the Spanish economic outlook has been looking good for a while the Economic Minister of Spain Luis de Guindos announced that the growth forecast for the rest of 2016 would be increased by another 2.7%.

The future is looking Bright for Spain
The Minister says that Spain could very well pass the 3.2 increase in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) seen in 2015 as long as the political impasse in Spain – Spain has held two general elections in six months with no clear winner – comes to a close.

De Guindos said that he believes the current growth projections are very prudent and that he will revise the growth for 2016 in the next set of forecasts to be issued before the end of July.

The Minister was keen to stress that Spain is becoming an even better place to do business day by day, citing how the country has internationally recognised business schools, low prices on real estate, great weather, cost of living being so low and a solid infrastructure. All of which he believes make the country so appealing to investors.

The Minister believes that creating a stable government which would then form a strong economic policy could see the country outdo the growth they saw last year. The Popular Party emerged as the party with the most votes in the last election but, once again, they failed to secure a majority. The far-left party Podemos also lost votes in the election which suggests people are voting for stability; something Incumbent Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy was keen to hit home.

While he has presided over a number of tough austerity measures it’s impossible to claim the country hasn’t ultimately had an economic upturn. Unemployment is down consistently and many industries such as hospitality and service have seen a rise in growth over the past few months.

Even the banking industry in Spain, which was reliant on an EU bailout following the last recession, has managed to head in the right direction. De Guindos believes that the banks can continue to act responsibly and help the country continue to grow. He said that the banks were cleaned up in 2012 after the bailout so the country doesn’t need to worry about the banks anymore.
All in all the out look for spain and residents is looking good.

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

British Buyers Encouraged by Falling Asking Prices Despite Brexit

British Buyers Encouraged by Falling Asking Prices Despite Brexit

Regardless of Brexit Spain is a great place to buy property
Real estate agents are reporting that there is still strong interest in Spanish property from British buyers despite Britain choosing to leave the European Union. Most of the interest is people considering moving to Spain or buying a holiday home in the Costa del Sol or other areas.

The data from the latest index suggests that Spanish sellers need to be realistic in their estimations about how much property outside the popular areas is likely to cost. The latest data from Idealista about the asking price index shows that asking prices fell 3.1% nationally in June each year.

On a month by month basis asking prices have fallen 1.4% to their lowest level since the economy went south even though they rose briefly at the start of the year.

There are still some significant regional differences though. While the average index continues to fall nationally the asking price is recovering in some areas. Idealista were keen to point out that pries in some of the big cities and areas on the coast have actually risen after bottoming out. The biggest gains are the 19.5% of Barcelona, the 6.4% of Madrid and the 6.1% of Valencia.

It seems the Spanish market effectively have a two speed recovery according to the head of research at Idealista Fernando Encinar. He explained that even though prices were falling inland they were rising in the popular coastal regions like Madrid and Barcelona.

The biggest rises were seen in the second quarter of the year with 1.5% increases in Malaga, an increase of 0.8% in Costa Blanca, Tenerife, and the Canary Islands.

Real Estate agents are under the belief that this could mean more foreign buyers could enter the market and it looks like British interest has gone up following the Brexit vote. Some Brits feel disillusioned with the results of the referendum and are considering moving to Spain, especially the key cities of the country Madrid, Barcelona, and Valencia, and Malaga where there is a recovering economy and decent job market.

A report released last week claimed that the number of British citizens considering a move abroad had risen by 30% with Spain being the third most-popular choice after Australia and Canada. The London School of Economics released a study that suggested around 10% of the 18-25 year olds who voted to stay in the EU are considering moving abroad.

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

US Beauty Longoria Found In Marbella

US Beauty Longoria Found In Marbella

Longoria and her new husband were spotted in Marbella and they looked to be quite comfortable in the Old Town of the resort.

Longoria spent last summer under the sun on her luxurious yacht a few metres offshore. This time the former Desperate Housewives start Eva Longoria decided to get off the boat and get more up close and personal with Marbella.

Longoria and her new husband in Marbella,  Old Town.
In what looks like it’s becoming an annual event for the star Eva, 41, stepped out on the town with her new husband José ‘Pepe’ Bastón in the Old Town of Marbella on Tuesday. The pair were snapping pictures, having fun, and just enjoying the atmosphere of the gem of the Costa del Sol that is Marbella.

Eva looked at ease as she made her way through the cobbled streets of Marbella in her summer attire, hand in hand with her husband. The pair were married in Mexico in May. It’s thought that the trip to Marbella is part of their extended honeymoon and they definitely made quite the couple as they held hands and linked arms as they made their way through the town.

Another important part of Longoria’s trip to town was to once more fill the shoes of the host of the Global Gift Gala, a Marbella based non-profit organisation that aims to make a positive impact on the lives of women, children, and families the world over.

The summer is always the best time to do a bit of celeb-spotting in and around Marbella and Puerto Banús. Many Hollywood A-listers make their way to the region, along with Premier League stars and famous musicians. They, much like every tourist, are drawn to the scenery, climate, clubs, bars, boutiques, and world class restaurants in Spain.

Monday, 1 August 2016

Spain Sees First Heatwave with Temperatures Reaching 42ºC

Spain Sees First Heatwave with Temperatures Reaching 42ºC

The summer has been sizzling for some time in the Costa del sol 

There used to be a saying that you would know when someone had an iPhone because they would tell you. While the phrase doesn’t quite work anymore, as many people have iPhones and have stopped bragging about it, there are some alterations that still hold true. Such as knowing it’s hot in Britain because every single brit will delight in telling you about it. Every. Single. One of them.
If you’ve been living under a rock then no doubt you know that the UK has seen a bit of a heatwave in the past week or so with temperatures reaching, and sometimes going above, 30 ºC and prompting everyone to show off how red they’re getting or updating everyone on how they’re enjoying an ice cream in the park. Don’t forget all the people complaining about the weather and how they just aren’t cut out for it.

The Brits are kind of cute when it comes to this. They never get sunshine and warmth to this degree and even though millions of them head out to Spain for weather just like this they get really confused when it happens at home rather than abroad.

Speaking of Spain you should spare a thought or two for the Spanish who are having to endure heatwaves of their own. The Spanish weather agency Aemet is reporting that temperatures in Spain could reach as high as 42 ºC this week. It’s not incredibly rare but it’s definitely not common for mid-July.

This may be the time of year when records are broken but any amount of time where temperatures go above 40 ºC could be classed as a heatwave, even for a naturally sunny country like Spain.

There are 38 Spanish provinces that found themselves in high alert for the temperatures, with 13 of them also being classed as “high risk”. High risk means that the heat could be so bad it can damage health, particularly for the old and infirm. All the dry air also increases the chances of forest fires starting and it would hardly be the first time a forest fire was started by a heatwave.