Saturday, 10 December 2016

Spain Comes In 4th in Survey on Quality of Life for Expats

Spain Comes In 4th in Survey on Quality of Life for Expats
Life and is great in Spain

The latest Expat Insider Survey from InterNations is out and the results place Spain as the 4th best country for expats to live; much higher than other countries including Germany, France, Italy and Australia.

This study was one of the most extensive of its kind and looked into the lives and experiences of expatriates living around the world. 14,000 people were polled about life away from home including the quality of healthcare, safety and security, their personal happiness, leisure options, transport and travel quality, and employment opportunities.

The top spot went to Taiwan, which was highly ranked for their economy, safety, and cultural attractions. Second place went to the European nation of Austria, making Austria the highest ranking European country. Austria scored well for their standard of living and expat employment opportunities.

Third place, one place ahead of Spain, was Japan. Japan coming in third may be a surprise given the infamous hostility that Japan seems to hold for other countries. Japan is great for temporary expats however as it offers safety, leisure, cultural attractions and high paying jobs.

Spain did quite well in just about every category. It scored particularly well on climate, scenery, and the relaxed pace of Spanish life. The country came in second for leisure. Expats were very high on Spain for the way the country welcomes children and the culture that promotes being out doors as much as possible.

The other European countries ranking in the top ten were Malta, Germany, the Czech Republic, and Switzerland. Costa Rica and Singapore made up the rest of the top ten. While France has always thought of itself for being the best place for an expat to be it actually came 15th, between Australia at 15th and New Zealand at 13th.

Spanish neighbour Portugal came in 14th and both the UK and Italy didn’t place in the top 20 at all.

Friday, 9 December 2016

Spanish Spending Big This Christmas

Spanish Spending will be Big This Christmas

Confidence is high this year and Spaniards are spending more
A study published recently by Deloitte shows that Spaniardswill be spending an average of €682 this Christmas, which is just under a third higher than the EU average. This figure brings them second place in Christmas spending in Europe. The top spot goes to the Danes, who are expected to be spending around €689 per head during the festive season.

Deloitte are predicting that overall Europeans are in for an average spend of €517 this Christmas, down 1% from last year. Deloitte say that Spanish consumer confidence is clearly on the rise, as two-thirds of the Spanish people they surveyed said that they felt they had just as much spending power as they had last year, if not more. This is up from the 52% of people who said the same thing on the run up to Christmas 2015.

Given that Spain is in the lower half of the EU in terms of the ratio of their income to living costs, it looks like optimism in Spain is very high. Other places where people are gearing up to spend more than the European average include Italy with €614, Belgium with €592 and Germany with €529.

On the opposite end of the table are the countries looking to be spending the least including Greece at €439, Portugal at €431, and Poland at €328.

The majority of the money Spaniards will be spending on Christmas (around €265) is going towards the actual gifts. This figure is up 1% from last year. Next comes food at €212 (an increase of 7%), travel at €132 (p 5%) and everything else will come to around €73 (an increase of 6% over 2015).

Expert Predicts Spanish Real Estate Prices Set for 6% Increase

Expert Predicts Spanish Real Estate Prices Set for 6% Increase
Spain's recover looks to continue its uptrend
One of the key players in the Spanish real estate sector has said that the average property value in Spain will increase between 5 and 6% within the next three years.

Humphrey White is the head of the Spanish division of British real estate agency Knight Frank. White says the strengthened economy of Spain is going to spur on strong and sustainable demand with Spanish buyers , while the country will always be a favourite for international investors looking for a popular place in the sun.

White went on to add that the lack of speculative promotion has really helped the Spanish property market. This has brought about renewed confidence in the sector, along with transparency and sensibility.

The result is that there are areas of Spain where there simply aren’t enough good quality houses to go around. So there is room for banks and real estate developers to take to these areas and increase the supply to meet the new demand.

The agent says that Spain currently has a fantastic opportunity to bring in new companies because it offers them high quality properties in prime locations such as city centres near airports, along with a whole host of qualified professionals.

A recent report from Frank Knight showed that Madrid and Barcelona are in the list of the top 20 destinations for the mega-rich; for both residential properties and investment in commercial real estate.

Data published just last week by the National Statistics Institute showed that the amount of foreign buyers investing in Spanish homes increased just under 20% in 2016; with foreign investors accounting for one-fifth of all the homes sold in Spain.

While Brits have always been the biggest demographic of foreign investors in Spain the data also shows that they aren’t growing as quickly in the third quarter. This drop was made up by an increase in interest from other nations including France, Italy and Sweden. The amount of Russian investors however continues to drop.

Thursday, 8 December 2016

Survey Names Madrid Finest European City for Expats

Survey Names Madrid Finest European City for Expats

 The capital of Spain is friendly and affordable and it comes with great weather. Madrid, the capital of Spain, has come first out of the cities of Europe in the latest poll looking at cities loved by expats around the world.
its no wonder that Madrid has been named
the finest European city
Over 14,000 took part in the latest InterNations poll. InterNations is the largest expats networking service and these results saw Melbourne in Australia come out as the global number one but Spain still did well with Barcelona and Madrid showing up in the top 17.

The survey in question was the InterNations Expat Insider 2016 survey and it’s thought to be the largest and most extensive study looking at how expats live; so the results are likely to treated as gospel by those looking to move somewhere new.

The expats who took part were asked how they would rate several different elements of living overseas including their career prospects, their work-life balance, the weather, their quality of life, and how the local population behave.

Second place came as a surprise because it was taken by Houston in the USA. Madrid came in third with Dusseldorf in Germany taking fourth and Singapore coming in fifth.

Madrid scored well as expats felt that locals in the city would make every effort to make expats feel at home. Throw in the weather and the cost of living and it’s not hard to see why Madrid came in third.

Barcelona came in 11th overall and received praise for the leisure, social activities, low cost of living and solid prospects on offer.

The rest of the list was taken up by the usual suspects; Vienna, Berlin, Munich, Toronto, Geneva and Sydney. Perhaps the most interesting result is that there were no British cities in the top 20. Britain was let down by the high cost of living and the poor weather that pushed British cities such as Birmingham, Manchester and London off of the list.

London came in 27th place overall out of 35 cities. London ranked low because of the quality of life in the city and the perceived lack of safety.

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

It’s the Start of the Sierra Nevada Ski Season

It’s the Start of the Sierra Nevada Ski Season

The season has started and looks like Rosie can
not wait to hit the slopes
The wait is over as the 2016 Sierra Nevada winter ski season has finally begun.

The season was brought forward a little because the first snowfall came a little earlier than usual too and it marks the beginning of winter. The ski season in Sierra Nevada can typically last all the way to late April.

Sierra Nevada is renowned for being the most southern and sunny European ski resort and things are going to be even bigger and better this year thanks to the introduction of twice weekly flights between London Gatwick and Granada.

The resort has 100km of track featuring different difficulty levels, incredible views, and it’s close to the heart of Granada which makes it a perennial favourite for locals and hardcore snow boarders and skiers.

Even though Sierra Nevada has begun taking a backseat to the more central ski resorts lately it’s still gaining a reputation for offering skiers something different. There is also a après ski scene in the resort featuring the best stereotypes of Spain including fine food, wine, and fun for all involved.

The upcoming ski season brings with it some incredible ski lifts and an area dedicated to family initiation that are designed to make it more enjoyable and accessible to bring your whole family out to the slopes.

There have been a number of benefits made to the Sierra Nevada ski resort in recent years, including hosting large sporting events like the Freestyle Ski and Snowboard World Cup Super Finals. A lot of attention is being paid to the Sulayr Terrain Park of the resort, featuring the largest permanent half-pipe in all of Spain which will test the hearts of 550 of the greatest skiers and snowboarders in the world.

Don’t worry if you’re looking for something that’s not so dramatic. There is a wide range of slopes for all ages and abilities in the resort. You’ll always be welcome in the pre- and après ski scene.

What more do you need to convince you to slap on the snow tyres and head north to the premier ski resort in Spain? It’s guaranteed to spice up even the coldest winter weekend.

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

HBO to Launch in Spain

HBO to Launch in Spain

With HBO coming to Spain that's great news for TV addicts

Combining the Spanish with TV and Cinemas has always been a bit of an odd combination. Think about it; Spain is a country that is packed with stunning landscapes, mountains, cities, beaches and people. The weather is always lovely and the culture is a very outdoors one. Then add in a television; something designed to keep you inside and in the dark.

Television certainly makes a lot of sense in the wet and dismal weather of the UK, which is why there is some excellent British TV.

The Spanish have never really needed much television though. They have a whole country to serve as their entertainment. Even if a Spaniard would turn on the TV it wouldn’t take them long to regret it because Spanish TV has just never been good.

Things have changed recently however with the rising popularity of online on-demand TV services including Netflix, Sky Go and Amazon Now. The Spanish of today can enjoy great shows from around the world and they’ve been taking to these online services at a rapid rate.

This is likely the reason that the US Home Box Office TV network HBO recently announced they would be launching HBO España. No one is quite sure on the details right now, but HBO are the creative force behind hit TV shows including Girls, True Detective and Game of Thrones. They simply announced that the service would be “coming very soon”; a message that was repeated by Game of Thrones actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau. Nikolaj made the announcement while filming season seven of Game of Thrones which is, coincidentally enough, being filmed in Spain.

HBO are offering the service through a streaming platform powered by Vodafone. It’s expected that it will cost €7.99 a month and that customers who aren’t with Vodafone will still be able to sign up to the service. HBO España is set to launch with over 3,000 titles including a movies straight from Hollywood, documentaries, and also children’s TV.

Monday, 5 December 2016

70% of Homes sold in Malaga Between January and July Sold to Foreign Buyers

 70% of Homes sold in Malaga Between January and July Sold to Foreign Buyers

Costa del Sol will always be in demand due to
location, lifestyle and the weather
People have known for a long time that the Costa del Sol has always been the main interest for foreign homebuyers and tourists looking at Spain. It’s the home of golden beaches, various resorts that fit all budgets and tastes, and the best and most affordable homes across Spain. Overall the Costa del Sol stands above, and beats out, the competition.

The providence of Malaga encompasses some of the biggest regions in Spain including the Costa del Sol, Nerja, Marbella, Estepona, and Malaga itself – which stands as a beautiful atmospheric city filled with culture and ancient wonder. There are also inland areas to Malaga so it’s no wonder that foreigners are always looking towards it.

Data released this week shows just how popular the property markets in Malaga truly are. The Notarie’s Assocation of Spain say that 70% of all the homes bought in Malaga between January and July were sold to foreign buyers.

To put it into actual numbers this accounts for 4,978 property transactions by non-Spaniards; an increase of 16.9% over the same time period in 2015. Across the whole of Andalucía, which includes Seville, Cádiz, Seville, and other provinces, there was an increase of 18.9% in foreign buyers in 12 months.

When taking domestic buyers into account there was a 10.1% increase in overall property sales in Andalucía between January and July compared to 2015. House prices were on the rise as well; an increase of 2.6% which is double the 1.3% national average.

Brits were responsible for a quarter all of the homes sold to foreign buyers in the Costa del Sol, further showcasing the love affair that Brits have with the Costa del Sol and Spain as a whole.