Saturday, 1 April 2017

New Data Shows Spanish Property Prices to Increase 1.8% in February

New Data Shows Spanish Property Prices to Increase 1.8% in February

Prices continue to surprise everyone as the recovery is in full swing
The strengthening property market of Spain has recorded growth in mortgages and prices, and has been one of the backbones of the increase in job growth over the past few years. The latest data from the valuation company Tinsa shows that average Spanish property prices were up 1.8% in February of this year compared to last year.

There have been 11 monthly price increases over the past 12 months, and Tinsa say that this is the best rise year-on-year, and continues the trend that began all the way back in 2014.

Breaking it down into regions; the Balearics was the region with the deepest property price increases. Average home prices rose 4.4% here. The Canary Islands came in second, with 4%.

It won’t come as much of a surprise that these are the two markets leading the way this time of year. The Canaries are popular all-year round. The interest in tourism and property stays strong during the winter, unlike mainland regions thanks to the climates of places such as Lanzarote, Tenerife, and Fuerteventura.

While the Balearic islands do experience a similar climate to the south of Spain during the winter, property prices are pushed up and above the average due to the difference between supply and demand. The islands are always popular, but they are too small for unrestricted housebuilding.

Back in the mainland, regional capitals – such as Malaga in the Costa del Sol – saw average property price increases of 3% during February, while there was an average increase of 0.9% for the Mediterranean coastal regions since the start of the year.

Tinsa published further data that painted a broad picture of the trends of the Spanish property market, including an increase in building licenses of 28.9% during 2016 compared to 2015, along with mortgage approvals increasing 14.8% over the space of a year.

Unemployment fell by 9.7% in 2016 according to the Tinsa data, which is why home transactions increased 13.8% during 2016 compared to 2015.

Friday, 31 March 2017

2017 Welcomes Four-Year-High for Spanish Property Sales in January

2017 Welcomes Four-Year-High for Spanish Property Sales in January

Spanish property continues to be buoyant

Not many people consider January to be the ideal time to do a bit of property hunting. It may be the month of January sales, but there’s a big difference between the high street and the Spanish property market.

With that said, official data from property registrars in Spain has shown 38,457 homes were sold during January in Spain, making it the single best January since 2013 and an overall increase of 18.1% compared to January of 2016.

The January property sales of this year are so strong that, if it wasn’t for the artificially created rush for demand of January 2013 (caused by upcoming changes to tax legislation) then it would be around a decade since the figures were this high.

On the regional level, the markets in Cantabria and the Balearics were the homes of the highest year-on-year growth, with growths of 45.1% and 40.5% respectively. An interesting statistic is that there was actually less demand for property in 2016 for the Canary Islands.

With such a strong start to the year, Spain is set to deliver a powerful performance on the property front during 2017. The figures from January are just one part of a larger trend showing how the 410,000 home sold in Spain over the past 12 months represent a stunning 15.6% increase over the past 12 months, with even more growth forecast for the next 12 months.

Thursday, 30 March 2017

Time is Running Out to Trade Pesetas for Euros

Time is Running Out to Trade Pesetas for Euros

€1.641 billion worth of pesetas are still out there
It might not feel like it’s been this long, but it was back on January 1st 2002 – over 15 years ago – when Spain switched from pesetas (which dated back to 1869) to euros. Even though the peseta was no longer considered legal tender just a few short months afterwards, there are still millions of them to be found across Spanish households.  Perhaps they are being saved for a rainy day, or out of a sense of nostalgia.

From 1st July, 2002, pesetas could only be traded for euros with the Banco de España (Bank of Spain). However, many people weren’t so keen to get rid of the retired currency, affectionately known as “La Rubia” – the blonde. The peseta was held on to by so many people that, some five or six years ago, a rural village in Spain fell on such hard times that the peseta was re-introduced to boost the local economy.

That was then though, and this is now. The clock is now ticking on the peseta. If you still haven’t traded your pesetas for euros then you should get a move on, as the Banco de España will stop exchanging them as of the 31st of December, 2020.

The Banco de España say that some €1.641 billion worth of pesetas is still flowing through the country – breaking down to €842 million in notes and €799 million in coins – which is over 273 billion pesetas. The bank estimates that 45% is either still in the hands of Spanish residents, or it belongs to those who visited the country before 2002.

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Costa del Sol Golf Course Ranked Best in World

Costa del Sol Golf Course Ranked Best in World

The prestigious Finca Cortesín – the home of the Volvo World Match Play Championships of 2009, ’11, and ’12 – has been given the honour of being declared the best golf resort in all of Europe.

Given that Malaga has over 70 golf courses it’s really not much of a surprise that the Costa del Sol – or Costa del Golf if you will – has become the European destination of choice for golfers. The area has seen a wide range of accolades over the years.

Considered as one of the best courses in the World
This time the accolades came in the form of golfing website Leading Courses. The website conducted a poll and the results showed that the Finca Cortesín golf course in Cesares – home of the 2009, 2011, and 2012 Volvo World Match Play Championships – was the best golf course in Europe. The runner up was the Mote Rei Golf and Country Club in Portugal, while the Rockliffe Hall Hotel Golf and Spa resort in County Durham snagged third place for the UK.

There were plenty of other Costa del Sol golf resorts to be found in the Leading Courses Top 100 for 2017, including Villa Padierna (found in the triangle of Estepona, Marbella, and Benahavis) which came in 24th, and the La Cala Resort, which came in 58th.

Spain had the highest number of golf resorts in the top 100 with 17. England came in second with 15 resorts, and Portugal came in third with 13.

Monday, 27 March 2017

Data from Fourth Quarter Reveals Strengthening Spanish Economy

Data from Fourth Quarter Reveals Strengthening Spanish Economy

Everything is looking Rosie for Spain
If you were to keep a close eye on the Spanish economy, the recovery might appear to be a little slow. With the benefit of hindsight however, we see that the impressive economic turnaround the country has seen since 2014 is nothing short of special.

Spain is still suffering from low wage growth and a high unemployment rate, but you would have had your hand bitten off if you’d offered the 2016 economic data of the country to anyone – from bank manager and financial analyst to average Joe on the street – from 2010.

Spain saw a welcome increase of 3.2% GDP for two years in a row, and has now reached the point where it is doing far more than just recovering from the double dip recession. Spain is currently on course towards becoming a shining economic beacon of light in the EU.

The latest data published by the National Statistics Institute (INE) this week shows that the Spanish economy grew 0.7% over last year during the fourth quarter of 2016. This economic success was fuelled by the success seen in tourism, exports, and industry.

This performance at the end of the year continued the trend that has seen 24 months of sustained economic growth. It’s thanks to this growth that Spain has entered the top three for Eurozone economies. The country has come a long way since the days between 2008-2013 when unemployment rates went out of control, the youth fled the country in the thousands, and everyone responded with scepticism at the prospect of economic recovery.

Things have certainly changed. There is still a high unemployment rate (over 16%) but Prime Minister Rajoy and his labour reforms are helping stem the tide and improve the job market. Spain is also seeing the benefits of the economic recover across the rest of Europe, in particular the boost to Spanish tourism and real estate thanks to all the foreign money flowing in.

Economists in Malta are expecting this year to see a growth of between 2.5-2.7%, which might not be as much as in previous years, but is still a sign of the solidity that would have been just a pipedream four years ago.

Around 74,000 new jobs were created each month in 2016, and it’s expected Spain could see similar results this year. Spanish economy minister Luis de Guindos said that quarterly growth could be similar to what was seen last year. Given that the country was dealing with political strife last year and still experienced incredible growth, the estimates from economists could prove themselves to be conservative. No matter what though, it’s hard to deny that Spain has started 2017 as healthy as it's been for over10 years.