Saturday, 19 November 2016

Spain Introduces “Napflix” TV Channel to Make Siestas more Peaceful

Spain Introduces “Napflix” TV Channel to Make Siestas more Peaceful

More people are now paying for TV
The new online channel Napflix might be a little boring but really that’s the point of this channel; it’s designed to help viewers drift off to sleep.

While Spain is famous for their siestas the Spanish actually have some of the lowest sleeping hours in Europe. The average Spaniard is up at seven in the morning and doesn’t sleep again until midnight. The country has a deeply engrained “work hard, play hard” culture and the siesta is dropping to the side. Now that Spain is beginning to adopt a working calendar more in line with the rest of Western Europe it looks like Spaniards are going to miss out on their sweet nap in the middle of the day.

Things could be changing soon however as two entrepreneurial Spaniards (out of the many Spain has), have created Napflix; a channel that’s designed to get you to sleep faster than any number of sheep ever could.

The channels creators said that everyone understands the feeling of insomnia. It feels like the body is ready for rest but the mind just won’t quieten down. We need to steady our minds and Napflix is the place to do it. It has a selection of only the sleepiest and silent content to calm your brain and send you to sleep.

The first programming schedule of the channel includes a two-hour lecture abou the complexities of Einstein from an esteemed physics professor. There is also a 54-minute long epic that is literally just rotisserie chickens rotating slowly, endlessly…for 54 minutes.

If you’re still awake after that then why not watch some of the 1992 Tour de France? Or some curling? How about the four-hour long World Chess Championship from 2013? If you need something a little more traditional to help you sleep at night then tune into waves lapping against the shore, a slowly burning candle, or the classic cosy fireplace.

One of the creators of Napflix, Victor de Tana, said that YouTube was filled with videos like this and that they were able to put these videos on their channel to help people sleep. He added that he personally finds cricket very boring, but we think it depends on who you ask.

He said that the content on the channel was chosen because it was just so boring, or because it had elevator music.

Friday, 18 November 2016

Latest Survey puts Spain at Top of the Chart for Expat Healthcare and Social Life

Latest Survey puts Spain at Top of the Chart for Expat Healthcare and Social Life

If you’re an expat looking to find safety, healthcare, culture, and build a strong family and social life then it doesn’t get much better than Spain.

Spain and the Costa del Sol continue to draw
expats as its a great place to live
The latest Expat Explorer Survey from HSBC was published this week and it showed that Spain is considered to be one of the best destinations in the world for expats; at least as far as having an active social life and good quality healthcare goes.

The survey was taken by 21,950 people across 39 countries. According to these participants Spain did well in terms of property value and choice as it ranked in third place overall. Spain also did well in quality of life (coming second) and culture (coming third).

Even though Spain only came in 13th overall the country still did well in the metrics that families and expats are more interested in; including safety, integration, making friends, and provide for the family. Spain did particularly well in how easy children find it to settle in to their new lives abroad.

This was the eighth annual HSBC Expat Explorer Survey and this year things seemed to favour the financial metrics. Singapore came in first because of their ability to provide expats with well-paying jobs. They also performed well in terms of safety and their scores in culture and integration improved over recent years.

Spain found itself let down thanks to the quality of schools and finance; ranking 26th and 17th respectively. It’s interesting that school quality was an issue given that many of the countries in the survey, such as Singapore, are known for doing everything they can to accommodate expats; so the quality of education would develop as a matter of this.

While there is a lot of choice on the Costa del Sol, many expats in Spain feel there are still some regions where there are very few British or international schools, which is why there is such a discrepancy. When it comes to finance many people are aware of the economic problems Spain has dealt with in recent years. Many are also aware of the recovery, which has really picked up steam this year.

The good news for expats is that Spain did above-average in the areas that will matter most to them. Spain is known for providing great healthcare, a welcoming culture that makes it easy to socialise and make friends, and overall a country filled with tolerant people that is easy to integrate into and has a low cost of living.

The areas that let Spain down were job security, entrepreneurship, wage growth and career progression. While these metrics may not be easily fixed, they are at least problems Spain can work on to improve.

The survey took the countries and broke each one into three different categories; Experience, economics and family. Spain may have come in 36th out of 39 for Economics but it came in second for Experience and fourth for Family – presenting the largest divide between the categories seen with any nation.

The results send a clear message to the politicians of Spain; do something about the job market and the economy and you’ll build up the best country in the world to be an expat in.

To contrast the 13th place of Spain, the UK came in 23rd and France came in 29th. In a disappointing and somewhat surprising move Italy came in 38th; beating out only Brazil.

Thursday, 17 November 2016

Leading Spanish Bank Predicts Property Market Will Have Strong 2017

Leading Spanish Bank Predicts Property Market Will Have Strong 2017

The analytical arm of the Spanish bank BBVA; BBVA Research, is predicting that property transactions in Spain will go up by 6.5% in 2017. This increase in sales will be coupled with a 3.5% average price increase.

2017 continues to look strong for buying and
selling property in the Costa del Sol and Spain
Spain is currently going through a lot of uncertainty right now so many would appreciate this positive outlook. One big uncertainty facing Spain right now is just who will be running the country as it enters 2017, along with the whole Brexit situation.

However the analysts at BBVA believe that, in the medium-term, the Spanish property sector will perform how the economy is; which would mean that there will be sensible and stable growth. The economic growth in Spain is currently among the best in the entire Eurozone so it will be interesting to see if the property sector follows suit.

According to estimates from the bank it’s expected that around 475,000 home transactions are going to take place next year as both domestic and foreign demand for property is on the up. Foreign interest is becoming more diverse as more Scandinavians, Americans, and Chinese look to scoop up a home.

As the confidence is building the actual homes them selves continue to be built. It’s also expected that around 70,000 new building licenses are going to be issued in 2017, which is a 40% increase on last year.

A property price increase of 3.5% would mean that the price of the average Spanish home is back where it was in 2004. This would mean that prices would be back to their pre-boom levels, but luckily very few people are predicting that Spain will experience the same explosion of growth witnessed in 2005 that led to the bubble bursting as the market was flooded by consumers with more credit than sense.

The growth is expected to be more sober this time around as interest rates are kept low and the economy is expanding within manageable levels. It’s expected by the BBVA that some 800,000 new jobs will be creatednext year in Spain, which is just the shot in the arm the country needs to stay the course of recovery.

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

A Quarter of All British Property Enquiries in Spain are for Costa del Sol

A Quarter of All British Property Enquiries in Spain are for Costa del Sol

Properties along the Costa del Sol continue to be extremely popular with the British buyers. Data gathered during the past few years from Conti mortgage specialists has shown that 23% of all the enquiries Brits make about property in Spain has been for property in Costa del Sol.
Costa del Sol continues to be in demand

45% of all the enquiries that Conti have received in 2016 so far have been for Spanish properties. During the past three years the most popular regions have been Marbella, Fuengirola, Puerto Banús, Benalmádena and Sotogrande; also known as the Costa del Sol.

The Costa del Sol did better than the Balearics, which made up 18% of enquiries, while the Canary Islands accounted for 15% of British interest.

Surprisingly it was the Costa Blanca that took the top spot as they pulled in 27% of all enquiries. This is likely because of the fact that the data comes from the past three years; a period of time in which it was hard to find a buyer for the higher end properties in the Costa del Sol. At least for a short time.

The multitude of attractions in the Costa del Sol received praise from Conti for ensuring that buyers were interested in property there all year long. During the summer the beaches would be a smash hit of course. There was still interest during even the winter thanks to the other amenities including golf courses, bars, restaurants, leisure activities, schools, and English-language services.

Director of Conti Clare Nessling said that the Spanish property market is recovering after a tough few years, and that British investors were beginning to fall back in love with the country. While property prices haven’t managed to reach their old peak from before 2008 there are still many signs that the property market is recovering. This is creating confidence among buyers and drawing more interest to the region.

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Study Finds British Expats Getting Younger

Study Finds British Expats Getting Younger

More and more younger people are moving to Spain
The number of British expats aged between 25 and 35 has dramatically increased since 2011. For the past few decades it’s been pretty easy to imagine what the profile of the average British expat was; British people living in Spain and aboard were typically at least 50-years old and loved living a good old fashioned British live; the difference being that they had a nice tan, lived on a small bit of beach with a bar and a greasy spoon café, and about the only words of Spanish they knew were the British staples of “please” and “thank you”.

But now a survey from the British bank NatWest has shown that the demographics have changed. These days British expats are getting increasingly younger, have more upward mobility, and accept that they may only be living overseas temporarily.

The survey from NatWest also showed that, as recently as 2008, roughly two-thirds of the British expats living abroad felt that they were “lifers”; that they would stay overseas permanently and would never go back home due to many factors such as low cost of living, healthier lifestyle, warmer climate, remote working and many many more reasons.

Now the number of Brits who feel that they would never go back home is down to just one third. Back in 2008 only one in ten of the Brits who moved overseas did so for their work or another temporary assignment. Now that number is up to 50% - and these expats are getting younger.

As companies worldwide are looking to hire a more mobile staff the idea of moving to another country and working there for a few years is becoming more common. The survey from NatWest found that one in four British expats are aged between 25 to 35, compared to one in six from 2011.

The gender breakdown of these expats is becoming almost as equal as Spain itself. In 2011 only one-third of Brits who sought out a new life overseas were women. Now around half of British expats are women.

Dave Isley, head of NatWest International Personal Banking said that the typical expat doesn’t look how they used to. There was a time when moving abroad was such a huge commitment that everything would change for anyone who made the change.

He added that people are more willing to move to new shores to find adventure and start a business or advance their career thanks to the advances in remote working and the many ways that people can stay in touch with their friends and family.

Monday, 14 November 2016

Spain Still Has One of the Best Life Expectancies in the World

Spain Still Has One of the Best Life Expectancies in the World

Spain and the Costa del Sol with its healthy
diet and warm feel good factor is  a fantastic
place to live.
Spaniards live a pretty long life thanks to their endless supply of sunshine, sea and fresh air. Many studies have been done that prove the benefits of living the traditional Mediterranean lifestyle, with practically every wealthy Western nation bordering the Med enjoying their own long life expectancy compared to Europe and even most of the world.

Data published from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has shown that Spain is starting to pull away from the rest of Europe in terms of life expectancy, along with France and Italy.

The Spanish average life expectancy has risen again and is now 82 years, which represents a five year increase over the past 20 years. It’s also one of the highest life expectancies in the western world. Back in 1990 the average Spanish life expectancy was 77 years, compared to the British 76 years. Britain has also seen an increase and now the average life expectancy for Brits is 81.5 years.

On a global level Spain ranks in 13th when it comes to life expectancy. The top spot belongs to Andorra; the small country bordering Spain and France. People in Andorra can expect to live to an average age of 83.9 years.

While Japan did come in second place with their average lifespan of 83.3 years, they were followed by Iceland, Switzerland, Israel, Cyprus, Malta and Italy; showcasing that European countries, especially those around the Mediterranean, are where you need to live if you want to live as long as possible.

The Spanish also have some of the healthiest lifestyles in the world, according to more research that was conducted by Public Health England. The research showed that in England there are large discrepancies in health.

People living in the southeast and southwest of England have some of the best life expectancies in Europe but the more northern areas of the UK, in particular Scotland, performed badly in terms of health and longevity.

Another study; this one from the Global Burden of Disease, showed that living Spain reduces the chances of dying from many of the diseases and afflictions that plague the British including poor diets, diabetes, and high blood pressure; all of which play a big role in the health and death statistics of the country.

Spaniards are protected from many of the common diet-related health issues thanks to the Mediterranean Diet comprised of fruit, vegetables, fish and pulses. Spaniards are also guaranteed to get plenty of rest and their daily doses of vitamins C and D thanks to the generally slower paced lifestyle of Spain and the climate there.