Saturday, 10 September 2016

Financial Times Reporting Tranquil Times for Spanish Economy

Financial Times Reporting Tranquil Times for Spanish Economy

Credit seems to be in abundance in the Spanish economy this summer and the banking system of the country is having quite a tranquil time according to the Financial Times. This increase in consumer confidence has led to a stronger property market and more jobs being created.
The economy in spain keeps going from strength to strength.

Unlike Italy, which seems unable to free themselves from the recession, the three year economic recovery of Spain is nothing short of remarkable.

There’s no more talks of bailouts, the amount of bad loans is down, mortgage lending is up, and according to the latest banking stress tests there’s barely any worry, concern, or drama in the banking industry. To put it simply; Spain is doing pretty well thanks. The bankers have come through the bad times and are now enjoying their own tranquil summer.

Spain was approaching the EU for a €100 billion bailout in 2012. Now the banking sector, along with the property industry, has gone through quite an impressive turnaround. The underperforming branches were closed down and staff were either let go or trained to become more efficient. The banking sector has essentially undergone a renovation and come out looking better for it.

The Financial Times said that Spain became the most over-banked country on Earth during their housing boom of 2004-2008. There was one bank branch per 1,000 residents. There are a lot less banks in the country following the crash. The country went from 46,221 to just over 30,000.

The math buffs will be able to see that’s a reduction of over 30%; a trend that wouldn’t be welcome in other countries. It was a necessary step for Spain to take though. The banks have become a welcome boost to the economy following the reforms rather than a profit-driven hindrance like they used to be. These days credit is flowing more freely to both households and small businesses.

Ángel Talavera, the Eurozone analyst at Oxford Economics, told the Financial Times that you need credit to flow properly to create a functioning economy. This was something seen during the recent economic crisis and now banks are beginning to support the recovery. More new loans are being approved than ever; something unseen for years.

José María Roldán, head of the Spanish Banking Association, backed up Talavera’s words. Roldán said that banks are now in a position to support the economic recovery without any problems. They have gone from dragging down the economy to becoming something more positive after cleaning up their balance sheets.

The data from the latest Banking Outlook of the BBVA showed that lending to Spanish households has risen 21% for this April compared to last April, with the terms offered on these loans being more favourable.

By recovering from such a bad position Spanish banks have become some of the most efficient in Europe. Spain saw a property bubble that led to problems in the construction and real estate sector, but the problems were quite concentrated. These days those problems are gone and everyone is benefiting.

Friday, 9 September 2016

Sky Challenges Netflix in Spain with NOW TV

Sky Challenges Netflix in Spain with NOW TV

Sky are launching NOW TV in Spain for €10 a month and it looks like they could chip away at Netflix’s control of the market.

NOW TV has been chipping away at the on-demand streaming market and have managed to gain a sizeable share of the market from Netflix.

NOW TV has been competing against Netflix at their own game by offering a broad selection of original content and classic and new motives. They, along with Amazon’s Instant Video Service, have provided some much need competition to the market.

Sky are now gearing up to launch in Spain to challenge the near-monopoly of the market that Netflix has. The Sunday Telegraph are reporting that Sky see Spain as the perfect launching pad for opening up to the European market.

The €10 a month price tag of NOW TV is going to make it an attractive alternative (or possibly a supplement) for Netflix, which has been unchallenged in the Spanish market for a while now. It’s also believed that Amazon will be launching their Instant Video in Spain by the end of the year.

Research from Netflix has suggested that less than a third of Spanish households subscribe to a Pay-TV service, unlike the over two-thirds of British households that do. As such Spain has a large market for on-demand streaming services, even if Spaniards spend more time outside than inside thanks to the weather.

The weather gets colder during the winter though, even in Southern Spain. So millions of Spaniards will find it difficult to resist the allure of staying inside curled up on the sofa watching Netflix or NOW TV.

The cost has always been a factor for why Spaniards don’t purchase Pay-TV but the recovering economy makes the price tag of €10 for hours of entertainment good value.

Sky are taking on some risks by expanding into the Spanish market. Even though many Spanish bars use the Sky logo to advertise the footy they’ve got on the TV Sky doesn’t actually have satellite operation in the country. They made the decision several years ago to avoid trying to compete with the Spanish satellite operators Canal+ and Vivendi.

Thursday, 8 September 2016

Why Spain is a Great Place for Your Kids to Grow Up

Why Spain is a Great Place for Your Kids to Grow Up

Spain and the Costa de Sol will always be a
wonderful place to bring up children due
to the Mediterranean lifestyle and great weather.
If you’ve ever taken a look around the blog then you know that we think Spain is a great place for kids to grow up and we’ve told you plenty of reasons why. In case you missed it here are the main reasons that Spain is the best place for kids to live and grow up.
·        Longer Childhood

No one is quite sure why but that doesn’t change the fact that kids are just kids for longer when they live in Spain. One of the reasons is that peer pressure and social pressure isn’t as big in Spain. Teenagers are allowed to go gaga over babies and toddlers without anyone thinking anything of it. If anything British kids should be allowed to have their childhoods back.
·        Safety

Spain is a country with a relatively low crime rate. There’s no need for parents to be constantly worried about their kids. In Spain you wouldn’t need to think twice if a stranger were to approach your child, talk to them, or even hold your baby. Something that would just never happen in Britain.
·        Healthcare

Spain has a fantastic healthcare system, especially when it comes to kids. Their state hospitals are a great place to give birth. It’s not like in Britain where you could be waiting a long time. They take healthcare seriously and there are practically no waiting times.
·        Language

When an expat child grows up in Spain they will learn at least two languages. They will know their mother tongue and Spanish. They might even learn a third or fourth language depending on where in Spain you are. Learning a new language can only ever be a good thing, especially for a child.
·        The Great Outdoors

Because of the warm weather many people spend more time outdoors than indoors, particularly in the south. There are also plenty of sports facilities everywhere. Playing on the beach and enjoying the countryside is something a child can do every day rather than when they’re on holiday.
·        Family First

Spain has very tight family units. Children in Spain grow up respecting their family members and appreciating what it’s like to be part of a family. They will grow up proud of their family and with respect for their elders. While they might not meet some members of their family as they are in different countries they will enjoy the time they spend together with those relatives more.
·        Food

Staying in a new place means encouraging your children to eat new foods. There are many great dishes kids love in Spain and there isn’t really a “kids menu” in the restaurants. Instead it’s customary for families to just share their plates of food. At home meal time becomes family time. There isn’t even a lot of fast food in Spain. Have you ever seen someone walking eat and eating in Spain?

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Costa del Sol Confirmed Sunniest Region in Spain

 Costa del Sol Confirmed Sunniest Region in Spain

While many, particularly marketers, liked to claim that theCosta del Sol saw sun for 320 days of the year no one was ever quite able to verify it is true.

Costa Del Sol is one of the healthiest and most sought out
destination in the world.
If it is true then that means there are only 45 days a year where there isn’t enough sun to go around. It sounds about right if you’ve ever been to region and now it’s been confirmed by the Meteorological Agency of Spain that the Costa del Sol really is the sunniest spot in Spain.

The agency have said that the Costa del Sol welcomes 2,905 hours of sunshine each year, which is over 100 hours more than the Canary Islands, the second sunniest space in Spain.

The Costa del Sol is a big place though. Many who have been to Gibraltar have seen enough overcast days to doubt the findings. The size of the Costas means that there is some difference in particular areas. Malaga is officially the sunniest place in the whole of Spain as it welcomes over 3,000 hours of sunshine a year and a fantastic place to live.

Coming in close behind Malaga is Granada, with 2,917 hours of sunshine, and Almería which sees over 2,990 hours of sunshine year-round. Malaga also won an award for finest climate in Spain. They were praised by the agency for their mild winter, mild minimum temperatures, and their moderate summers influenced by the sea.

The average annual temperature of Malaga is a lovely 18.5 degree Celsius. It goes up to the still-manageable 25.4 Celsius in August. Rainfall is very low in the region with only 469.2mm falling on average each year. It’s official that Malaga may very well be the best place in Spain to live with 3,000 hours of sunshine and light wind to stay cool.

A survey conducted earlier this year also saw Malaga rated as the most satisfactory place in Spain to live. No wonder Andalucía and southern Spain is the first choice on northern Europeans lips that want a better quality of life and live in the sun.

Property prices have turned a corner and more and more investors are coming to southern spain to view property and enjoy the sun.

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Spanish Unemployment Drops at Highest Rate in 20 Years

Spanish Unemployment Drops at Highest Rate in 20 Years

Even though two-thirds of the jobs that were created in June were temporary positions, more and more open-ended jobs are being created.

Spanish unemployment is slowly turning a corner
Spain always sees a boom in jobs during the summer and this boom was bigger than ever with data showing the country welcomed 84,000 new employees to social security in June; representing the biggest single fall in unemployment the country has seen since 1997.

The Employment Ministry confirmed that 83,993 people registered with the state employment offices at the beginning of July. The current official unemployment figures now stand at 3.68 million in Spain.

Going on a month-by-month basis July saw 84,721 more people added to the payroll than in June. When you compare it to figures from last year there are 3% more people working this July than last July. Spain currently has 17.8 million people contributing to social security.

Many of these new jobs (around 51,000) were created in the hotel and catering sectors. This is confirmation of the trend that the reason Spain’s economy does so well during summer is because of the long summer tourism season. While many of these jobs are often temporary current trends suggest that many of these “summer jobs” could last longer and some may even become permanent positions.

Spanish daily El País are reporting that 7.6% of the new contracts signed in July, which is about 1.81 million, were open-ended. This means that the positions the contracts are for could last longer than the summer season. This might sound like a small figure but it is representative of a growing confidence in the hospitality sector; a confidence reinforced by the record number of tourists, higher spending per head, and the recovering economies of both Spain and Europe as a whole.

Marcel Jensen, an economy professor with the Autónoma University of Madrid said that the figures show how strongly the Spanish economy is doing right now and the cost of living in Spain is being kept low. More people are being employed each quarter. Marcel did warn that reforms would be needed to maintain this success in the long term though.

Such reforms, which have been introduced in the past few years to liberalise the employment sector of Spain, appear to have done a good job of boosting employment. Even so analysts and financial experts believe that the growth Spain has seen for the past two years will slow down within the next two years.

Monday, 5 September 2016

Spanish Homes Sold at Highest Volume in Five Years

Spanish Homes Sold at Highest Volume in Five Years

The Economic Ministry published new figures last week that show the amount of Spanish homes sold in June was higher than for the past five years.

Spain is defiantly back and investor are buying
The data shows that some 36,856 property transactions were registered in Spain during June. This was a 19.4% increase on June of last year and is the most homes sold in a single month since August of 2010. The figure also shows that there are 100 sales per 100,000 inhabitants of purchasing age; a threshold that has always been seen as the mark of a strong property sector.

Sales were on the up in 15 of the 17 autonomous communities of Spain during the month. The only communities that failed to report an increase were Navarra and La Rioja. June also can’t be considered a blip on the radar. For the year-to-date the average number of monthly transactions has increased by 16.4% compared to last year. Even taking the trend to the full past 12 months shows an encouraging increase of 14.7%.

The Spanish property market hasn’t seen such an increase in activity since August of 2011. It’s especially encouraging given that Spain is recovering from one of the worst recessions ever seen. Now though the Spanish economy is recovering and GDP is set to grow by over 2.7% this year and next year. Spain is also seeing a bumper summer season that is bound to brighten up those dark post-recession days and make them a thing of the past.

More encouraging data about the Spanish recovery and popularity came from the Airports Council International Europe (ACIS) this week. They found that the Malaga and Alicante airports are two of the fastest growing airports in Europe, seeing an increase in passenger numbers for the first half of 2016 of 14.6% and 16.1% respectively.

Elias Bendodo, the president of Turismo Costa del Sol said that the figures confirm what a great year the Costa is experiencing. Spain is seeing record numbers of tourists and are growing in the European market as a whole. If the first half of 2016 is anything to go by it looks the 2016 will be a record year for tourism in Spain.