Friday, 29 December 2017

Tour Operator Thomas Cook to Open New Spanish Airline

Tour Operator Thomas Cook to Open New Spanish Airline

Good news for Spain and traveling passengers 
UK-based Thomas Cook – the creator of many package holidays (and memories thereof) for Brits – recently announced that they are to set up a brand new Spanish airline to cope with the expected increase in flights to the country in 2018.

During a time where a number of cheap airlines are going bust – such as Air Berlin and Monarch – or are struggling with staffing problems – such as Ryanair – Thomas Cook is looking to take advantage of the uncertainty of the industry by entering what could be the most competitive, and potentially lucrative, aspect of the aviation industry; serving the country of Spain.

Spanish airports are some of the busiest in Europe, bringing in holidaymakers from around the world across the year, mostly thanks to the perennial popularity of the country as being one of the very best tourist destinations in the world.

This is why Thomas Cook are to base their newest airline in Palma de Majorca, and are to begin flights to and from the Balearic Island from early 2018. The fleet will start out as three Airbus A320 planes, flying with a Spanish operating license, but Thomas Cook has said that they are likely to increase their fleet to meet the demand they expect to see.

Chief Ariline Officer of Thomas Cook Christopher Debus released a statement saying that the new base and airline will provide them with the platform to manage the seasonal demand for their business better, giving them better control over things at a lower cost as they continue expanding their destination choices for customers.

As large a company as Thomas Cook is, even they typically make losses during the winter. This is why operating seasonal staff directly from Spain allows the company to respond better to the demand and maintain profits between November and March, which is generally the quiet times for the company and Spanish tourism as a whole. 
Operating out of Majorca allows the Thomas Cook Balearics Division to better loan planes to other group divisions, meaning that the firm should have a better looking balance sheet. Thomas Cook currently have 94 aircraft and deal with a total of 16.7 million passengers on an annual basis.

Thursday, 28 December 2017

Great Prices and Supply Make Spain a Major Real Estate Investment Destination

Costa del Sol has such appeal and continues to be in demand 
Great Prices and Supply Make Spain a Major Real Estate Investment Destination

It’s all too easy to focus on the incredible lifestyle attractions that entice people looking for a second home or an overseas property to Spain.

The incredible climate of the country, not to mention the stunning cities, superb beaches (and beach resorts), and varied terrain make imagining your new life in Spain about as easy as achieving it. With all the cheap flights and property choices, it’s no wonder that thousands of Europeans have turned their dream Spanish homes into a reality.

The wealth of variety and the value-for-money of Spanish property mean the market has become a hotbed for more serious investors; the kind of people that want to put their money in a safe place and get sensible returns.

The UK was the chosen destination for career investors interested in parking their wealth in property investments for quite some. The uncertainty of the Brexit has begun to unravel the reputation the country has for being a stable safe haven however, and the property markets in Spain and Germany are starting to draw attention.

According to a Knight Frank poll of 148 of the leading real estate investors controlling over £300 billion of real estate assets, 20% of the surveyed investors view Spain as their preferred market for investment in 2018, second to Germany. Only 12% of investors said that the UK would be their property investment destination of choice in 2017, down from the 27% for this year.

The investors were mostly concerned about the lack of available stock and the unrealistic prices in the UK.

By contrast, Spain has a rising demand for home, officespace, retail, and leisure facilities that make the residential and commercial markets particularly strong. The prices are also a fair reflection of the market value of properties. Because of the resurgent Spanish economy there is sure to be an increased demand for industrial and office space as time passes, according to the investors.

Thursday, 21 December 2017

British Visitors Numbers for Spain up 7.8% So Far in 2017

British Visitors Numbers for Spain up 7.8%  in 2017
Costa Del Sol continues to offer great value and
a wonderful holiday destination
Spain has an enduring appeal that continues because it offers all the simple things but it does it so much better than anywhere else in the world.

The beaches are kept clean, accessible and varied, as well as being served by plenty of restaurants, bars, hotels, and playgrounds; the Spanish climate is pleasant for most of the year; accommodations range from affordable to five-star expensive resorts; the flights to the country are cheap and fly regularly; the cities are historic and modern at once, not to mention beautiful; and the people are incredibly welcoming and friendly.

It’s hardly a surprise that Spain regularly ranks among the top three most-visited destinations each year. It seems that Spain may become THE most popular destination of 2017 however, at least according official tourism data from the Spanish National Statistics Institute (INE).

Spain welcomed 57 million tourists up to – and including – August of this year; marking an annual increase of 9.9% compared to last year. Around 10.4 million people – which is about a quarter of the population of Spain – visited the country during August. The figure was a 4% increase compared to August 2016, suggesting that the popularity of Spain continues to grow.

The story is the same for British visitors in particular. There have been some fears since the Brexit that British visitors would prefer to stay in the UK instead of travelling overseas where they wouldn’t get as much for their money. It seems that the 13.2 million Brits heading to Spain up to August would prove those fears wrong.

The amount of Brits visiting Spain has increased 7.8% in 2017 compared to 2016, and there have been noticeable increases in tourists coming in from other countries. Some 8.2 million Germans visited Spain, up 7.2% from last year, with 8.4 million French tourists flocking the country; an increase of 1.8%.

The region of Andalucía, which is where Costa del Sol islocated, saw the highest increase in foreign tourists, increasing 5% year last year. Andalucía saw 1.4 million overseas visitors in August alone.

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Has This Been the Best Summer Ever for the Costa del Sol?

Has This Been the Best Summer Ever for the Costa del Sol?

The whole year has been fantastic and full of tourists 

What is it that makes a summer special? The weather? Howoften you get to go to the beach? A good football tournament? Getting to travel? Those sweet summer romances?

Summer has a lot of different meanings for a lot of different people, but for an area such as the Costa del Sol, summer generally means blue skies, packed beaches, busy restaurants, and healthy coffers in bars, hotels, cafes, and clubs.

While being busier may not always be better, for an area of the world that depends so heavily on tourism, the more people entering the Costa del Sol the better for its reputation, experience, and services.

With this said, it’s fair to say the Costa del Sol of Spain may have just had their best summer ever. Data taken from the region’s hotel association AHECOS and Turismo Costa del Sol reveal that visitor numbers between June and September were up 5.2% compared to the same time period last year.

This means over seven million people chose to visit theCosta del Sol during the summer, which is the highest amount of tourists ever. But if you are put off by the idea of beaches packed to the brim, then consider the businesses in the region – the boost in tourism improved employment by 8%, and generated over €7.15 billion for the Costa del Sol across summer.

Further statistical information from the tourist board shows that overnight stays during summer increased by 2.36% during summer, with new arrivals increasing by 1.6% over last year.

The positive data has led to speculation that 2017 may very well be the best summer ever for the Costa del Sol, with a large amount of the surge caused by holidaymakers from Britain, Germany, and Scandinavian countries. They can’t resist coming back to the country each year, bringing their full pockets with them. The number of British holidaymakers was up 7% over last year, according to AEHCOS.
Looking into the tradition slower winters, data from airportbookings in Malaga has suggested that arrivals will increase 12% between November and January compared to the same period from last year.

Friday, 15 December 2017

A Star is Born in Santa Barbara Heights!

A Star is Born in Santa Barbara Heights!

A wonderful new development that oozes with class
The 9th of October proved to be a special day indeed for the Costa del Sol. It was the day that the CLC World’s new luxury development Santa Barbara Heights was presented to guests – including over 100 real estate agents – at the launch party held at the California Beach Resort of Mijas Costa. Santa Barbara Height is an exclusive development where over 40% of the homes were sold in a matter of months. 

The event was organised at Santa Barbara Heights. It was hosted by CLC World and included a welcome video where the chairman of CLC World discussed the philosophy and track record of the company, as well as the future plans for the California Beach Resort. This was followed up with an introduction to Santa Barbara Heights from the Sales Operations Director of CLC World Group Paul Rosen.

The Virtual Reality Tour of Santa Barbara Heights – Where Seeing Becomes Believing

Other highlights of the event include guests being presented with the chance to experience an immersive virtual reality tour of the Santa Barbara Heights, along with visiting the plot the earthmoving process will begin at the start of 2018.

A Veritable Feast of Canapés

Guests got to make the most of the hospitality of their hosts thanks to some delectable canapés offered by the talent team of chefs at California Beach Resort, along with a specially crafted Santa Barbara Heights cocktail. The beautiful food and drink was accompanied by some smooth sounds from a live saxophonist. 

Every single 2-bed apartment and 3-bed penthouse at Santa Barbara Heights is just 15 minutes (by foot) or 2 minutes (by car) away from the beach. They all have their own glass-fronted plunge pool on their private terraces, as well as uninterrupted sea views. This is just the start though.

Santa Barbara Heights Even Has Its Own Cocktail!

Some unique to Southern Spain, the homeowners of Santa Barbara Heights will be able to relax in the privacy and comfort of their luxury residence and state-of-the-art communal facilities with optional access to the services of a luxury hotel. 

Each of the luxury homes comes with a private terrace offering a spectacular sea view and a private glass-fronted plunge pool. It offers the privileged Mediterranean lifestyle you promised to give yourself, only it’s much better in reality than it ever was in your dreams!

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Brits Spent €3.25m an Hour in Spain During August

Brits Spent €3.25m an Hour in Spain During August
Brits love affair with Spain continues as they send
a record amount in August
The value of British tourism to Spain has been clearly defined with the latest official data showing that holidaymakers from the UK spent an average of €3.25 million an hour during August.

Tourism, which accounts for 11% of Spanish GDP, is set to break records once again in 2017, with the visitor numbers from August showing 10.43 million people visited the country during the month – the highest monthly figure ever.

The National Statistics Institute (INE) data showed that holidaymakers spent €11,324 million in Spain during August; which works out at €15.25 million each and every hour.

British tourists alone threw €2,418 million in the Spanish economy during August, which is an increase of 6.3% over last year and accounts for over a fifth of all economic activity from foreign tourists.

French and German holidaymakers increased their spending as well; by 3.1% and 4.1% respectively. The highest increase was found with Scandinavian tourists, who spent a total of €558 million in Spain during august, a whopping 31% increase over last year.

Outside of the strongest markets, the rest of the world spent an average of 16.7 more in Spain; accounting for 45.5% of the total amount spent in the country.

When looked at as a year-to-date figure, the first eight months of the year saw €60,461 million spent in Spain by tourists, a 14.2% increase over last year and a great indication that 2017 will set new records. Brits are set to account for around 20.4% of overall foreign spending in Spain for 2017 (€12,316 million), an annual increase of 10.9%.

Monday, 11 December 2017

This €20 Note is Worth €9,000

This €20 Note is Worth €9,000

Check your 20 Euros notes to see if it worth 9000

At the start of September El Hormiguero (The Anthill) host Pablo Motos introduced a special €20 note into circulation, offering a reward of €9,000 to anyone that found it.

The winning note 0 with the serial number EA2081272879 – was used in a publicity stunt to pay for a meal at a bar in Villavieja in Castellón. Of course there’s no telling where the note is by now. It’s likely still in Spain, but it could have left the country and be anywhere in the world. 

What’s interesting is that no one has claimed the reward yet – at least we haven’t heard of anyone claiming it – and so the bounty on the note has increased to €9,000. 

Even though I’ve desperately checked the serial number of each €20 I come into contact with, I still haven’t found it. If I don’t have it though that means there’s a chance you might. 

So go ahead and check every €20 note you have on you before you spend it on Shopping. Turn out your wallet and purse, go through your pockets, and check behind the sofa. Think about what you could do with all that money. You could have a new kitchen installed, take the family out for an incredible vacation, or reserve your very own place in the sun.

I’ll go back to being serious now, and tell you just what to do if you’re the lucky owner of the €20 note. To claim the prize for yourself you need to send a photo and video of the note using Whatsapp to El Hormiguero using the number +34 674 012 847. Don’t forget you heard it here first!

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Beyoncé’s Spanish Single Set to Dominate the World

Beyoncé’s Spanish Single Set to Dominate the World
Beyoncé dominates the world stage with her singles
It feels like global superstar Beyoncé certainly has the Midas touch. The American singing sensation has spent the better part of a decade releasing smash hits, but one market in particular proved to be resistant to her musical charm; the Spanish language market.

It looks like this could all change soon though as Beyoncé recently released her new single Mi Gente (My People); a remix to raise funds for the victims of the recent hurricane in Puerto Rico and people from the other affected areas in the Caribbean. The single will also support the victims of the Mexican earthquake.

This fact alone would be enough to send Beyoncé into the Spanish mainstream – not that she was ever considered an unknown – and it comes on the heels of the Spanish song Despacito becoming the most streamed song in history.

Music experts believe that Beyoncé singing in Spanish will inspire more Latino singers to go back to their native language rather than writing and releasing songs in English.

Forbes predicts that Mi Gente is set to become a smash hit around the world, helping to spread the vibrant Spanish language to a wide global audience.

Beyoncé is set to add a touch of her own magic to the party – ensuring that the Spanish language will cement itself squarely into the minds of many musical fans across the world and boosting the popularity of learning Spanish as a second language in the process.

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Survey Shows Choosing the Right Supermarket in Spain saves Up to €3,000

The cost of living in Spain is still 
considerably cheaper than Northern Europe
Survey Shows Choosing the Right Supermarket in Spain saves Up to €3,000

The price differences between the cheapest and most expensive supermarkets in Spain could be as much as €3,013 per year for some regions according to a new consumer group study.

If you’re shopping at Alcampo – the cheapest Spanish supermarket chain – in Madrid, then you could be spending an average of €2,850 a year to feed your family; much less than the €7,329 per year you would be spending with Sanchez Romero; the most expensive supermarket chain.

The survey was performed by the Organization for Consumers and Users (OCU) and it found that the average disparity between the cheapest and most expensive stores in Spain is €909 per year.

Madrid and Barcelona are where the most expensive Spanish supermarkets can be found, with the city of Granada in Andalucía is home to the cheapest; the Dani Supermarket of Melchor Almagro Street, which is beloved by students for the cheap prices. Alcampo in Vigo is the second-cheapest Spanish supermarket, followed by an additional three Dani chains in Granada.

The city of Granada has the distinction of being the cheapest city in Spain for grocery shopping. The average shopping bill is around €4,051 per year for the city. The figure could be lower if more people stuck with Dani, but the OCU analysis wished to paint a broad and realistic picture of Spanish grocery prices.

The data analysed over 164,000 prices across 1,137 stores across Spain, covering 233 different products in total including fresh food, hygiene commodities, and drugs. There’s less choice in the smaller cities, making Crudad Real and Segovia two of the most expensive Spanish cities.

The cheapest chains after Alcampo were Mercadona, Simply Market, Carrefour, Maxi Dia, Eroski, and Lidl. Mercadona was the cheapest option for around half of all the Spanish cities in the study.

El Corte Ingles, Carrefour Express, and Supercor were some of the more expensive chains.

The data from the OCU shows that the German supermarket chain Lidl increased their prices by 4.3% compared to last year – the highest such increase in Spain – while Lupa, BM Urban, and Mas y Mas dropped their prices by between 2 and 3% compared to last year.

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Spanish Property Puts a Price on the Feel-Good Factor

Spain has been recovering from its worst crisis since Franco day 
and continues to do well in all sectors.
Spanish Property Puts a Price on the Feel-Good Factor
The raw data and the statistics gleaned from it might be effective for showing the strength of particular trends, but less tangible emotions come into play with things as life-altering as purchasing Spanish property. 

When analysing the most recent positive data for Spanish property from last month, the leading property consultant of Knight Frank mentioned that what they called the “feel-good factor” had quite the positive impact on both the prices and amount of sales of property in Spain. 

But just what is the “feel-good factor”? Is it possible to measure it? Or could it be considered the general sense of excitement about the current state of the Spanish economy?

Think about the last time you took a great holiday. You might not remember how much you spent, when your flight was, or even which hotel you stayed at. What you will remember though is how warm the sun was and how that made you feel; how you were relaxed when you felt the sand between your toes, and the wonder of al fresco dining with a warm evening breeze. 

The Spanish property sector is being washed with similar positive waves. There’s no doubt that rising house prices, increased sales volume, and interest in property from home and abroad underpins the overall positive vibe, but there’s a real sense that it’s Spain’s time to shine under all the hard data.

There are some problems in the country of course, but Spain is certainly beaming after spending about a decade as the poor man of Europe. The effects are starting to spread to the Spaniards themselves, who now have more job security and better pay than they’ve seen in over a decade. Even the average holidaymaker and homebuyer is benefiting, as they have a wealth of choice, affordability, and quality waiting for them in Spain. 

The summer may have ended for much of Europe now, but the sun is still shining – both figuratively and literally – across Spain and it looks like it’s not about to set any time soon.

Monday, 4 December 2017

Mortgage Approvals Increase 33% in Spain in Summer

The banks in Spain are slowly relaxing there rules and giving
mortgages again 
Mortgage Approvals Increase 33% in Spain in Summer

The latest data from the Spanish National Statistics Institute (INE) shows that mortgage approvals during July increased 32.9% compared to the same month in 2016. 

The data shows that some 24,863 home mortgages in total were granted across Spain in one single month. The average value of the mortgages also increased 3.8% year-over-year to €119, 613. 

Overall Spanish banks loaned out a total of €2.97 billion in July, an 38% increase on the July of last year. 

Things get interesting when comparing it to the month of June, as mortgage approvals dropped 15.8% in July compared to June. The likely cause for this is that July is the peak of the holiday season, when many potential buyers are focusing on spending time on the beach rather than spending their money on investments. 

Andalucía in the Costa del Sol saw the most home mortgages granted, as 4,577 mortgages were approved in July. This was ahead of Madrid and Catalonia, which saw a respective 4,379 and 4,348 mortgages approved. 

The popularity of Andalucía is kept high thanks to places such as Marbella, which has become one of the most popular choices for second homes in Spain. British, Irish, German, and Scandinavian buyers alike can’t get enough of the area. 

It looks like the uncertainty of an independence “referendum” has done nothing to deter investors in Catalonia. The real estate consultancy firm Sotheby’s International Realty said that they have seen record sales in Catalonia as it appears investors are not nervous at all about the potential secession of the region. 

Idealista collated data for house prices in Barcelona that showed the average property in the city has increased in value by 9.2% across 2017, which is another sign that politics is having little to no effect on investment.

One thing is clear, buying property in Spain continues to be very popular.

Friday, 1 December 2017

Data Shows Spanish Building Industry to Grow 4% Annually

Data Shows Spanish Building Industry to Grow 4% Annually

Crain's have returned to the Costa de Sol which is all positive 
Bloomberg describes the Madrid skyline as being a forest of cranes. While the capital of Spain is still nothing compared to the forest of cranes Dubai once was, there is definitely a noteworthy amount of building work happening around the city.

The Spanish construction industry is back and better than ever. The number of new builds in 2013 fell off a cliff, dropping 96% compared to the peak of 2006. Not many would have predicted that it would take just four years for the industry to be full of cash and confidence once more.

Data from the Ministry of Public Works shows that the building industry – which includes constructing new homes and offices – is set to grow 4% annually through 2020, with a 5% increase expected in just Madrid.

The benefits of the stable real estate industry are being felt outside of Madrid as well. Building sites are propping up all over Spain, with data from Bloomberg showing a small but steady increase in construction.

Building activity is beginning to reflect the Spanish economy, which itself is expected to rise by over 3% for the third year running. The data shows a positive trend where projects are quickly replacing one another and leading to constant activity. The building industry appears to be making up for lost time.

Additional data from the College of Property Registrars in Spain shows that property sales for new homes in Madrid and Catalonia has increased 10% for the first quarter of 2017, almost identical to the growth in resale properties. The fortunes of the two sectors are connected, even though new build activity typically follows the trends in resales – a trend that is particularly true for the Costa del Sol, where new build activity has picked up significantly in the past 18 months.

Felix Lores, an economist with BBVA Research, believes Spain has learned their lesson from the last property boom. This time the recovery is being anchored on sustainable models of consumption and exports rather than on the bubble of short-term credit.

This represents a significant difference from what happened in the past. It’s expected that the annual increase for new home constructions in 2017 and 2017 will be over 6%. Typically a surge in construction activity would lead to an increase in GDP, which relied on the property sector. This time things are the other way around.

Thursday, 30 November 2017

Passenger Numbers for Malaga Airport Take Off

Passenger Numbers for Malaga Airport Take Off 

Malaga Airport continues to break all passenger records
If you were to take facets of Spanish life and turn it into a graph, almost all of those lines would be sharply pointed upwards. Whether it’s the economy, house prices, jobs, or life expectancy – things are going well for Spain and her people. Now tourism can be thrown into this cocktail as this year is set to be the very best year for visitor numbers in Spain; spending, overnight stays, and the number of flights to and from the country are all up

The most popular tourist destinations are the ones leading the charge; the Balearics, the Canaries, the Costa Brava, and the Costa del Sol. While the passenger data from Malaga Airport in 2017 isn’t complete just yet, the stats for 2016 – recently published by the EU statistics agency Eurostat have proven to be encouraging. 

The data shows that there has been a 15.7$ increase in passenger numbers to Malaga airport in 2016 over 2015, making the Costa del Sol hub the second-fastest growing airport across all of Europe; falling just behind London-Luton. 

Around 16.6 million passengers in all passed through the Malaga airport across last year, a figure that is almost definitely going to be surpassed by the end of 2017. 

The figures from the El Prat airport in Barcelona have been even more impressive, bring in in 43.7 million passengers last year for an annual increase of 11%. Some locals might not be too happy about this though given that there have been campaigns in the city to limit tourism. 

All in all, Spanish airports proved to be the third-busiest in Europe in 2016, dealing with 194 million passengers. Germany proved to be second-busiest, with 201 million passengers (hardly surprising when you consider Germany has the biggest population in Europe), while the UK had the busiest airports welcoming 249 million passengers in 2016. This is a combination of Britain being such a strong tourist destination, as well as the collective desire of Brits to get away from the country and enjoy warmer climates elsewhere.

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Spanish Property Sales up 16% in August

Spanish Property Sales up 16% in August

Property sales continue to rise
The 41,282 homes sold in August means that the Spanish property sector has once again enjoyed the benefits of the improved economic outlook across Europe in the summer. The sales figures for August come from official INE data and represent an increase of 16% compared to August of 2016. It’s the seventh year in a row that monthly home sales have increased for 2017.

The only anomaly in 2017 came when figures dipped slightly in April 2016 – a blip that is believed to be caused by April being the month of Easter this year.

August saw a nationwide increase in home sales across all 17 of the autonomous regions of Spain, with a 37.9% increase in Castilla-La Mancha and a 32.5% increase in Comunidad Valenciana, which saw 163 sales per 100,000 inhabitants.

When taken as a yearly figure through the end of August, Spanish home sales reached 315,795 so far in 2017; an increase of 14% compared to the same time period in 2016.

Looking even further, the 12 months between August of 2016 and 2017 shows 443,483 properties were sold. This represents an increase of 13.1% over the figure for the previous 12 months and showcases a massive increase of activity in the property market since 2014, when property sales were less than 300,000 annually.

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Are Spaniards Really Living Longer Because of Siestas?

Are Spaniards Really Living Longer Because of Siestas?

Could the Siesta be the reason the Spanish enjoy a longer life?
The siesta is one of the most admired aspects of Spanish daily life that leaves other Europeans somewhat bemused and envious. 

Outside of the fact that there’s nothing stopping Brits, Germans, and Scandinavians from adopting the siesta culture themselves, most cultures have trouble wrapping their heads around the idea of napping for a few hours in the middle of the day. Could it be that the Spanish have been on to something for all these years though?

The truth is that Spaniards work for much longer than most other Europeans, and they’re also living longer than other Europeans; which begs the question of how much of that is because of siestas.

The latest World Happiness Report 2017 ranked nations on a range of metrics to determine happiness. One major one was longevity, which Spain came in second place for after Japan thanks to an 82.8 year life expectancy. 

This is hardly new of course, but researchers have been – albeit correctly – putting this down to the Mediterranean diet. While the diet is partly the reason why, the report believes that the humble siesta could have something to do with it as well.

People have the idea that Spaniards are just sleeping when the shops close between 2 and 5PM, but the reality is that this is how they organise their working shifts. If you work continuously with just half an hour for your lunch then you’re bound to eat a quick takeaway or some fast food. If you’re allowed to stop working for a few hours then you are more likely to go home or to a restaurant where you can relax and enjoy several courses and have the time needed to let it digest. That’s much healthier than any takeaway.

It’s not necessarily getting to sleep, but getting to relax and socialise during the day that may be giving Spaniards better longevity. The report also argued that the higher density of Spanish towns and cities mean Spaniards spend longer on their feet and walk much more during their day than other nationalities.

Monday, 27 November 2017

Spain Welcomes Record Numbers of Tourists and Foreign Property Activity in First Half of 2017

Spain Welcomes Record Numbers of Tourists and Foreign Property Activity in First Half of 2017

Spain has had another record breaking summer 
The Spanish property market and tourism industry is performing as well as ever, according to the latest data from Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) and the National Statistics Institute (INE). The data shows that several records were broken during the first half of 2017. 

Foreign investment in Spanish properties was pushed up to €888 million during the first half of the year, much higher than the amount spent during the first half of 2016; a paltry (by comparison) €330 million. 

JLL believe that overseas investors will snap up over €1 billion in Spanish property during 2017, which would make 2017 the eight year in a row where foreign investment in Spanish real estate has increased. 

Spain has been moving at full speed as far as tourism goes for several years now, but the latest data from the INE shows some 36.3 million tourists visited Spain during the first half of the year – which is the time BEFORE the busy summer months of July and August. 

This puts Spain in the position to smash through records set last year, and could mean over 80 million tourists visit the country in 2017, which would push Spain into the top spot for global tourism. 

There was another trend evident in the data; the connection between foreign property ownership and tourism. Around 8.5% of the tourists staying in Spain in 2017 did so in their own holiday accommodations; properties that had been purchased to be holidayed in. This marks the highest this figure has ever been, and it’s only going to increase.

It’s been a decade since the real estate crisis happened but now the Spanish property market appears to be thriving. People see the benefits of owning a Spanish property such as being able to better enjoy holidays and to relocate entirely. There’s no doubt Spain is set to see another record breaking year for international investment.

Friday, 24 November 2017

Property Sales up 11% in Malaga

Property Sales up 11% in Malaga

Costa Del Sol is a fantastic place to by property
The latest data from the National Statistics Institute (INE) of Spain shows that at least 15,185 properties changed hands in the province of Malaga during the first six months of the year. This is a 10% increase over the same period in 2016, and pushes Malaga into fourth place nationally, behind Madrid, Barcelona, and Alicante. 

On the regional level a third of properties sold in Andalucía – which encompasses Malaga, Almeria, Granada, Cordoba, Jaen, Sevilla, Huelva, and Cadiz, were in Malaga; the home of the perennial favourite Costa del Sol.

The Costa del Sol continues to lead the way with its wonderful climate, low cost of living and fantastic lifestyle,  welcoming southern Spanish people so its no wonder more and more expats and northern Europeans flock to live and buy property in southern Spain.

Buying property can be a so confusing, so that's why its important to choose a reliable real-estate company who can guild you and give you all the right points for and against buying each property shown. Costa Del Sol Property Group has a wealth of experience so call or contact us today . 

Thursday, 23 November 2017

Data Shows Increase of 47% and 55% in Home Sales and Prices Respectively in Spain

Spain continues to recover and sales are on the up
Data Shows Increase of 47% and 55% in Home Sales and Prices Respectively in Spain

A report collating data about Spanish home sales and value has discovered that – during the first six months of the year – property sales increased 47% over the previous year, while the value of homes in recorded sales increased 55%. 

The data in the report comes from the global real estate firm Lucas Fox, which primarily operates in high-end markets. This is why the average property price in their portfolio during the past six months reached as high as €750,000, which is much higher than the Spanish average. Even so, it does say a lot about the health of the Spanish real estate sector. 

Home values in all price brackets increased steadily across Spain 2017. Even so, this 55% increase for the top level of properties is much higher than the rises seen in other parts of the country. The amount of homes Lucas Fox sold also offers a positive look at the wider national trends of Spain, with the country registering an increase in transactions for over 15 months in a row. 

The data also analysed where the property buyers came from. The number of British buyers dropped 10% over last year – likely do to the impact of Brexit on the pound against the Euro. On the other hand, buyers from the US and Canada made up 10% of the property purchases in Spain. 32% of the Spanish properties sold were purchased to be either a second home or an investment. 23% of the properties sold were sold as a primary residence. 

Lucas Fox co-founder Alexander Vaughn says that the Spanish economy is one of the fastest growing ones in the Eurozone. This is bringing a lot of confidence to the property market. There’s been more interest from property investors who now feel that Spanish real estate has a lot of potential for capital gains and profitability from rentals. Lucas Fox expects the price recovery being observed now in cities will soon spread to the rest of the country.

Agents from Lucas Fox said that they saw a 150% increase in Marbella property sales, with 80% of the increase coming from Scandinavian buyers.

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Spain Takes Third Place in Expat Quality of Life Survey

Spain Takes Third Place in Expat Quality of Life Survey

The weather, food and welcoming people of Spain,
help keep Spain as a top destination

The latest InterNations survey places Spain as the third best place in the world to live as an expat. The poll, which is conducted each year, surveyed 12,500 expats to rate 43 aspects of life in their new home on a scale of one to seven.

InterNations – the largest expat network in the world – take the data and calculate average scores for each country with it. They published their top 17 ranking last week, with Portugal taking top place. The country climbed up 13 places, scoring well in terms of climate and leisure. Second place went to Taiwan.

Spain reaching third place was an improvement on the fourth place it reached last year, with expats praising the Spanish climate, cultural attractions, leisure options, and ability to support high levels of personal happiness. The other countries in the top five were Singapore in fourth place and the Czech Republic in fifth. The other noticeable rankings were Germany in 10th place, Canada coming in 13th, and New Zealand coming in 15th.

Spain always performs well in surveys like this, as it always scores well when it comes to health, happiness, and leisure. The country would score poorly on economic and employment factors for a while though. As the economy of Spain continues to improve, the concerns about the job market and pay are much weaker than they used to be.

It goes without saying that the climate, cuisine, beaches, landscape, safety, security, and overall accessibility of Spain – the blend that makes it such a hot spot for tourism – forms the foundation for a number of successful and happy expats.

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Sky Launches Low-Cost Streaming Services in Spain

Sky Launches Low-Cost Streaming Services in Spain

Sky tv finally comes to Spain legally 
The new Sky streaming service sounds great - €10 per month for streaming on three connected devices – but will it be able to meet Netflix in terms of content? The pay TV service market of Spain has recently welcomed a new challenger following the announcement of Sky launching a new streaming service. 

The broadcasting monolith owned by Rupert Murdoch launched their new service this month, with users able to stream content from 12 local pay-TV challens such as Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, TNT, SyFy, Fox, and National Geographic for €10 a month. 

Some of the flagship titles of the launch are Grey’s Anatomy, The Big Bang Theory, Marvel’s Avengers Assemble, and the Walking Dead. The Spanish TV streaming market currently encompasses Netflix, HBO, Amazon, and Movistar+, giving Spaniards more choice than ever before after being left in the dark for so long. 

The unique selling point for Sky is that viewers have the option to watch their content on up to three connected devices, including a Sky streaming box powered by Roku. It’s obvious that their goal is ensuring everyone in the family can watch what they want without having to argue about it and fight for who gets to control the remote. 

The company has also said the plan on becoming the leading streaming service in Europe, offering much more in terms of live and on-demand streams for Spain than Netflix or Amazon. 

Sky has over 22.5 million subscribers across the UK, Ireland, Germany, Italy, a

nd Austria. Many of these customers are those signed up to the traditional Sky packages that cost upwards of €29 a month. Launching a stripped-down streaming service for Spain priced at just €10 per month shows that Sky is leveraging their strong brand name and a contract-free streaming service with an audience that has proven themselves to be major television lvoers. 

It looks Spain could soon become one of the leaders of European home entertainment following years of unremarkable domestic programming.

Monday, 20 November 2017

Spanish Property Prices Increase 5.6% in Second Quarter

Spanish Property Prices Increase 5.6% in Second Quarter

Property prices continue to rise and recover
from the 2009 crisis
It’s difficult to put together an accurate figure that tells all about the current state of Spanish property prices. Not only is there regional variation to contend with, but there are also a range of different metrics used, including average mortgage loans and recorded transaction prices.

Perhaps the most accurate metric would be the price per square metre of residential property. This data is monitored by the central statistics unit of the Spanish government, which last week revealed that the average cost of a square metre of Spanish property rose 5.6% in the second quarter of this year compared to the second quarter of last year. 

There were higher price increases in some regions compared to others. An encouraging bit of news is that 16 of the 17 autonomous regions of Spain registered increases in property prices. Madrid and Catalonia topped the tables with respective increases of 10.9% and 9.3%. 

At the bottom of the table came Castilla-La Mancha, Murcia, and Extremadura; recording respective gains of 0.8%, 0.3%, and 0.4%. 

The national increase is right in the middle of the prediction of 4 – 7% annual increases made by Spanish banks just last week. It’s also a reflection of the general health of the Spanish property market, which is seeing a steady increase in the amount of sales.

Friday, 17 November 2017

Priciest Spanish Property Neighbourhood Found in Costa del Sol

Priciest Spanish Property Neighbourhood Found in Costa del Sol

La Zagaleta in Benahavis is some one of the most
expensive areas in Spain
Variety is the name of the game when it comes to the Costa del Sol. Ibiza might have all the clubs, Majorca might have all the cycling, the Canaries might have stunning weather, and Costa Blanca might have the beaches, but the Costa del Sol puts it all together and even does some things better.

Costa del Sol property is no exception. Madrid has some of the most prestigious Spanish streets, and the inland pueblos of Andaluccan help you get the most for your money, the Costa del Sol offers a lot at both ends of the spectrum.

The latest data from nationwide estate agency Idealista analysed data about Spanish home prices and found that the most expensive neighbourhood of Spanish property is found in none other than the Costa del Sol.

The name of the area is La Zagaleta, an urbanisation nestled in the verdant hills off Benahavis. Property there costs an average of €5.6 million and it’s hardly surprising. The gated communities around here are where you can find the richest, most famous people in the world.

There are several reason that La Zagaleta draws in these elites, and the exclusivity of the area is reflected in the property prices. There is a superb climate here, along with some fantastic views of the Mediterranean, incredible accessibility to all the best clubs and restaurants of Puerto Banus, and – of course – seclusion. There are no prying eyes or flashing cameras, and some of the villas come equipped with a helipad allowing the people living there to be as secretive as possible when it comes to arriving and leaving.

Outside of the Costa del Sol, the La Moraleja neighbourhood of Madrid is the second-most expensive postcode in Spain with average property prices of €5.05 million. After this comes the Castillo de Aysa of Madrid with €5 million, and the Avenida del Tibidalo in Barcelona coming fourth with average property prices of €4.83 million.

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Data Shows 48% of Brits who Moved to Spain Last Year were Retired

Data Shows 48% of Brits who Moved to Spain Last Year were Retired

Regardless of Brexit, Spain continues
to be the choice of retirees
The latest data from the Spanish Office of National Statistics (INE) showed around half of the 300,000 British citizens that moved to Spain in 2016 were retired. 48% of them were retired.

According to the data, three times as many Brits moved to Spain across 2016 than Spaniards moving to the UK. The demographics were also vastly different. Most of the Spaniards moving to the UK are aged 40 or under.

The amount of retirement-age Brits living in Spain has more than doubled across the past decade. Spain has become the destination of choice for British retirees because of the warm climate, affordable property, cheap flights, and EU membership, ensuring that pensions are index-linked to inflation and grow each year.

British pensioners also stand to receive free healthcare in Spain due to reciprocal agreements between Spain and the UK. The UK has become an attractive choice for young Spaniards seeking to advanced their careers and improve their English skills.

The data from the INE showed 22% of Brits registered in Spain were also employed in the country, with most of them working in hospitality or catering.

It seems that Brits like to live on the coast, with the Malaga Province – where the Costa del Sol can be found – is a perennial favourite; bringing in over 100,000 new UK immigrants across 2016.

The data also revealed Brits took an astonishing 13 million visits to Spain in 2016 (with a “visit” classed as any stay under 28 days), much higher than the 849,000 visits Spaniards made to the UK.