Saturday, 7 January 2017

Spanish Property Sales up 6.5% in October

Spanish Property Sales up 6.5% in October

Costa del Sol property sales continue steadily

At what point do trends become the norm? We expect the answer is about “nine straight months of increases in sales” for the Spanishproperty market.

This is exactly what happened in Spain. The latest data from the Spanish National Statistics Institute (INE) shows that property sales during October 2016 were 6.5% higher than October 2015; making October the ninth consecutive month that property sales were higher than the same month the previous year.

The only month to buck the trend was January, where there was no difference between 2015 and 2016. Even so the year-to-date sales show that property sales have increased 13.9% over last year, with an excess of 340,000 properties bought and sold.

October alone saw 29,369 of these sales, adding to the picture of the past 12 months showing a 12% increase over the last 12 month period between October 2014 and 2015. The data from the INE shows 397,000Spanish properties changed hands in the past year, which is higher than it has been in over five years.

From a regional standpoint the growth was driven by the usual suspects including Andalucía, the Balearics, and the Communidad Valencia making up the bulk of these sales. An interesting point is that the remote region of Asturias was where the highest percentage increase was seen with an increase of 21% in home sales between October 2015 and October 2016.

Brits are still a big part of the market, making up 28% of the second-home sales in the Costa del Sol during the third quarter of 2016, according to data obtained by the Association of Spanish Land Registrars, although demand was down a little from the second quarter following the drop in the pound.

Even so the British buyer is still the largest nationality but there is an increase in demand from German, Swedish, Belgian and French buyers according to the data.

Friday, 6 January 2017

Spain set to Increase Minimum Wage 8%

Spain set to Increase Minimum Wage 8%

With the minimum wage rising means that spain is
getting financially stronger
The impact that the Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE) had on Parliament was shown last week when it was announced that the new PP government planned to introduce an 8% rise in minimum wage; which is the largest increase in 30 years for working and living in Spain.

The PSOE relinquished their claim to the government to the PP earlier in the year due to their increased influence on parliament and now they have already won their first major victory as the opposition, putting together a deal for greater financial protection to the poorest Spanish workers.

This increase would lead to an increase in the minimum monthly salary from €655.29 to €707.60, and comes after the pre-election manifesto pledge the PSOE made declaring that they would increase the minimum wage if they were in power.

The party managed to convince the government that there should a deficit target of 0.6% of GDP placed on regional governments, which is likely to free up millions of euros that could be used for social welfare instead.

These policy changes show not just how the PP of Spain will need to collaborative and even acquiesce on certain issues, but also make for an excellent reminder to disheartened PSOE voters that their party is still has the influence to affect matters they care about.

When the PSOE announced they would step aside at the last congressional vote they effectively handed the seat of power to their opposition and it left a rift in the party. Now it looks like the PSOE is eager to show that they still hold some power when it comes to making decisions.

The spokesman for employment issues with the PSOE Rafael Simancas said that the party is ready to get the most out of their strength in parliament, whether through making deals with the current government or grouping together with other opposing parties to create an alternative majority.

There are many people in the party who are against the PP and Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, which tells the PSOE that they need to put their money where their mouth is and be the opposition when they need to be. They are also being closely observed by the Podemos party; a fellow left-leaning party with some seats and voting power in Parliament.

Thursday, 5 January 2017

The Byblos hotel to re-open

The Byblos hotel to re-open

fantastic news for the area with the Byblos re-opening

The Byblos hotel was recently sold for 60 million Euros and it set to open its doors within the next few months. During the early 90s there were the now infamous paparazzi shots of a “topless” Princess Diana that made their way around the world. The story was became a major one and it dropped not long after Princess Di announced that she would be withdrawing from the public eye following her divorce from Prince Charles.

What isn’t so well known about this story is that the Princess was in the middle of one of her regular visits to the Costa del Sol, and that the pictures were taken at a hotel near Mijas.

That hotel was the Byblos was a favourite for A-listers taking a trip to the Costa del Sol. Over two decades it welcomed British royalty, Saudi royalty, and the Rolling Stones; a true example of rock and roll royalty.

The hotel was opened in 1986 and was later closed in 2010 when then owner British tycoon Alan Sugar attempted to find a buyer but failed. The long wait has finally ended following the investment of 60 million Euros from Ayco Inmobiliaria of Madrid, who purchased the 135-room hotel back in September.

The developer later promised to open up the hotel as soon as they possibly can; adding that these blue and white doors will be opened at the start of 2017. As well as opening up to guests the hotel should open up as many as 300 jobs; a great boon for the local economy.

The hotel has been as a symbol for the riches of the Costa del Sol; it’s beautiful, exclusive, glamorous and utterly charming. If anything the troubles and the eventual happy ending of the hotel are a perfect reflection of how the area has dealt with the wider recession of Spain.

These days the Costa del Sol is gaining back the mojo it once held to attract the elites; the playboys; the rock stars; the pop stars; and all the rich and famous following the downturn of the recession.

Mayor of Mijas Juan Carlos Maldonado says that the Byblos re-opening is a significant event for a few reasons. One of these is that it showcases how the Costa del Sol is used all year round by people looking to get away from it all because the hotel offers golf, health, and gastronomic tourism all year round no matter the weather.

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

It took Two Decades but the Museum of Malaga is Back

It took Two Decades but the Museum of Malaga is Back

The Malaga Museum is a wonderful place to visit
It took nearly 7 years and €40 million but the former Customs Building La Aduana has now become a Museum.
The largest Andalucía museum was closed nineteen years ago. Now, after several demonstrations to have it opened back up, the finest museum of Spain has now opened its doors once again. The doors of the Costa del Sol museum opened on the 12th December, ready for Christmas.

The Fine Arts and Archaeological collection that was once housed in the Palacio de Buenavista were moved to free up space for the Picasso Museum inaugurated in 2003. Since then it has been moved around between buildings before finally moving into the La Anduana building permanently.

Now, 7 years and €40 million later the former Customs Building, government office, and police station of Malaga has become a fitting home for the Museum spanning 17,500 works of art. 2,700 of these pieces are part of their permanent collection.

The Museo de Malaga takes up a massive 18,451 square metres is triple the size of the Picasso Museum, the CAC Malaga, and the Carmen Thyssen Museum. The museum has already been described as “Andalucia’s Prado”.

Some of the best pieces in the Fine Arts section in the museum include a collection of 19th century paintings, which are thought to be some of the best in Spain. The Archaeological pieces of the museum date all the way back to the prehistoric period up to the Middle Ages featuring items from Phoenician, Roman, and Moorish times.

The Museo de Málaga is open Tuesdays to Saturdays from 9am to 8.30pm; Sundays and public holidays from 9am to 3.30pm. Admission is free of charge for EU citizens and costs just €1.50 for non EU citizens.