Friday, 13 January 2017

Spain Closes 2016 with Nine Three-Star Michelin Restaurants

Spain Closes 2016 with Nine Three-Star Michelin Restaurants

You can eat some fabulous food in Spain with Andalucía
having 6 Michelin Star restaurants
Many would describe the Spanish culinary scene as being revolutionary. While it is often meant as a compliment it can also be a suggestion that the scene is fleeting; removing old misconceptions and creating new buzzes.

There may be some truth to this – especially given the creativity of Catalonian and Basque chefs and their restaurants over recent years.

For the most part however it’s long past due for these plaudits of Spanish cuisine. Spaniards have always had a lot of creativity when it comes to food and even the lesser-known Spanish dishes are still cooked and loved around the world.

This shouldn’t take away from the strikes that Spanishkitchens have been making recently to increase quality across the board. The rewards are starting to pile up now as Spain will close out 2016 with nine restaurants that have achieved the feat of being awarded three Michelin stars.

The latest restaurant to be bestowed this honour is the Lasarte restaurant owned by Martin Berastegui. The restaurant also had the distinction of being voted as the best restaurant in the world by TripAdvisor. This year the restaurant celebrated their 10-year anniversary and their third Michelin star.

This was also the first time that a Spanish restaurant was crowned a three-star restaurant since 2014. The last restaurant before Lasarte was the Madrid restaurant DiverXO.

Spain is also closing out the year with 23 restaurants with 2 stars, up from the 18 of last year. There are also 15 restaurants with just one star in the country.

The nine restaurants that have all earned three Michelin stars are: Akelarre and Arzak in San Sebastian, Zurmendi in Bizkaia, DiverXO in Madrid, El Celler de Can Roca in Girona, Lasarte near San Sebastian, Martin Berasategui in Gipuzkoa, Quique Dacosta in Alicante and Sant Pau in Barcelona.

While having nine such restaurants is certainly an admirable feat Spain still has a long way to go if it wants to catch up to France and their 26 three-star restaurants, and Japan with their 25. The UK by comparison has just four of these three-star restaurants.

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Spanish Property Prices Predicted to Rise Over Next Four Years

Spanish Property Prices Predicted to Rise Over Next Four Years

Great news as the recovery continues, and the Costa Del Sol
is the place to buy

Acuña & Asociados recently did a statistical analysis of the Spanish property market that forecasted steady rises in property prices through 2020, with an average increase of 5% occurring from 2018.

The report, which is the 20th such annual assessment of the Spanish real estate market by the firm, suggests that average property prices will have increased by 2.3% between the start o the year and the end. The trend will then carry over into 2017 as average values increase by up to 5% by 2018, and could potentially rise even higher in 2019 and 2020.

Of course it’s not easy to predict how the Spanish property market will behave across four years, but if you take a look at 2014 you’ll see there is evidence of a trend. Since leaving the recession the property market in Spain has grown alongside the economy and job market.

Property prices in Spain tend to be cyclical, which would suggest that the upward trajectory currently being enjoyed could last few at least the next few years. Given the gradual nature of the recovery it’s less likely that the bubble will burst in 2020. Instead it’s likely that the prices could flatline, or just grow at a slower rate.

It’s impossible to say what will happen for sure, but the Acuña & Asociados experts have made their own educated guess and expect that there will be much more stability in the years between 2016 and 2020 than was seen in the years between 2008 and 2012.

The analysts also expect that this market development will lead to greater investment in new build property, as the stock of new housing in the most popular areas of Spain has become exhausted. Around 82,000 properties were built in 2016, and there is likely going to be more built over the next few years.

More data came from the property figures for October from Spain’s Notaries. The latest data suggests that the average price per square metre of property in October rose 1.5% over last October to €1,275. The average loan was also on the up, rising 0.9% to €125,138, which suggests that mortgage lenders are becoming more generous as the conditions continue to improve.

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Marbella Home of X Factor Judge on Sale for €40 Million

Marbella Home of X Factor Judge on Sale for €40 Million

fresh-faced here in 2010,One Direction auditioned at the
Marbella villa when Simon Cowell was their X Factor mentor.
Cast your mind back to 2010 and you’ll remember when the fresh-faced One Direction auditioned for their X Factor mentor Simon Cowell in his Marbella villa.

This now famous villa, where many dreams have been made and broken over the past decade, is now on sale and can be yours for around €40 million.

The property, situated along the coastline of the Costa del Sol between Marbella and Fuengirola, has impressed millions each year thanks to the stunning views, bountiful gardens, incredible interiors, and swimming pools.

What made it most famous was when it became the location of the first successful audition of boyband One Direction. It has gone on to become the birthing place of many X Factor success stories.

Now though the home is going up for auction and whoever gets it will have quite a treat on their hands; the property is on a 7,000 square metre plot, comes with complete views of the Mediterranean, along with tennis courts, indoor and outdoor pools, gardens, and a dozen en-suite bathrooms. Even the bathrooms have a stunning ocean view.

The home could certainly be considered one of the jewels in the crown of Marbella, but it’s hardly a unique site in the region. There are many such luxurious villas in the Costa del Sol; the place where privilege meets privacy.

What makes the property unusual is that it is not on the Golden Mile between Marbella and Puerto Banús. Instead it can be found further along the coastline in a quiet area close to Eliviria. That’s why it offers more in the way of privacy than your average mega-villa in Marbella, and why it has a larger price tag.

Given how much success One Direction has accomplished since that fateful day in the villa we wouldn’t be surprised if one of them tried to purchase it.

However, the property is a little out of reach for anyone who isn’t super rich given the €40 million price tag. The good news for Simon Cowell is that the super-rich can always be found in Marbella.

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

American Demand for Spanish Property up 25%

With more flights connecting to America were seeing
record numbers of American coming to the Costa del Sol
American Demand for Spanish Property up 25%

The latest data from the USA shows that American interest in Spanish property has increased 25% following the November 8 Presidential election. is reporting that during the first four weeks following the election there was a large increase in American interest compared to the four months before the election. While not everyone likes the sound of President Donald Trump, experts believe that the rise in interest is fuelled by more than just the fear of the new president.

While some in the States have been left disillusioned by the success of Donald Trump, there is also the impact of the increase in low-fare airline routes between the USA and Spain to consider. This is undoubtedly having an effect on the demand for property in Andalucía.

While the change is good news it’s not been long enough to confirm it’s a trend just yet. The rise in American interest following the election is similar to the rise in British demand following the Brexit. Obviously though many Americans will be taking advantage of the new routes Norwegian Airlines plans to open in 2017.

Americans will be able to benefit from the Golden Visa system that Spain introduced in 2013. With the Golden Visa non-EU nationals will have the right to reside in Spain if they invest at least €500,000 in Spanish property. Many buyers from the US, Russia, and China have found themselves attracted by this particular carrot, and it will likely be a major factor in keeping Americans interested in Spanish property in years to come.

44-year-old American lawyer Robert Edwards, who has himself benefited from the Golden Visa, says that there is a richness of culture to Spain; it is filled with great architecture, food and wine, and is complemented by the lifestyle, street life, and endless festivals. Some things in Spain just don’t exist in America, and the price is right if you stay out of Madrid and Barcelona.

LucasFox are also reporting that there has been a 30% increase in sales to American buyers year-on-year between January and November of 2016. The most popular markets are Barcelona, Madrid and Málaga.

Monday, 9 January 2017

Every Tourism Record Ever Broken in Costa del Sol

Costa del Sol is booming and continues to break all records

Every Tourism Record Ever Broken in Costa del Sol

2016 was certainly a bumper year for tourism in Spain and nowhere was this more evident than in the Costa del Sol. There was so much tourism, in fact, that the president of the Turismo Costa del Sol tourism authority Elías Bendodo announced in a press confidence

that the province saw their highest visitor numbers ever. To put it into actual figures there were 10.2% more visitors to the region in 2016 compared to 2015, which was itself a year record. It boils down to 12,000,000 visitors, 26,000,000 overnight stays, and a grand total of €11.1 billion spent.

The amount of domestic tourists to the Costa del Sol was up3% year-on-year, while foreign tourism increased by the much more impressive figure of 15.7%. As has become tradition, British tourists made up the bulk of Spanish tourism; accounting for 2.6 million arrivals; which is up 16.6% over 2015. Overall visitors came from 19 different countries including Poland, Russia, Sweden, Romania and Hungary.

Bendodo believes that, just as 2016 broke all the records of 2015, 2017 could break all the records of 2016. In order or this to happen things have to be handled just right. The true challenge will be to retain these record breaking numbers for the years to come.