Saturday, 6 May 2017

Study Finds Costa del Sol One of the Best Value Beach Destinations in Europe

Study Finds Costa del Sol One of the Best Value Beach Destinations in Europe

There are 100's kilometres of fantastic beaches on the Costa del sol

A study from the UK Post Office of 19 European beach destinations discovered the Costa del Sol is the third-most affordable resort in Europe.

Even though Sunny Beach in Bulgaria was the top of the polls, it was still impressive for the Costa del Sol to come in third behind the Algarve in Portugal, especially given that the region comes with some of the most luxurious and family-friendly resorts in the world.

The Post Office survey analysed the cost of a basket of the everyday items a family would need on holiday. They found that it would cost £61 for all these items in the Costa del Sol. The basket includes 10 holiday staples such as ice cream, sun cream, and evening drinks and meals.

At the Sunny Beach of the Bulgarian Black Sea, the basket cost just £37, and £58 in the Algarve.

An interesting statistic is that the most expensive location in Europe can also be found in Spain. This shopping basket would cost £131 in Ibiza. So, by comparison, the Costa del Sol is incredible value.

While Marbella and Puerto Banús might not have the reputation and the nightlife of Ibiza, they are still able to stand their ground as far as glamorous clubs goes. In terms of theme parks, beaches, weather, restaurants, transport, choice and culture; there’s a wealth of choice in Costa del Sol.

Not far away from Cosat del Sol is the Costa Blanca, where the tourist basket would be £76; over 25% more expensive than in the Costa del Sol. It’s £89 in Majorca, around 47% higher than in the Costa del Sol.

The top five was completed by Marmaris in Turkey and Paphos in Cyprus. The five most expensive resorts of Europe were Ibiza, Sorrento of Italy, Nice of France, Zadar of Croatia, and the Lisbon coast in Portugal.

Friday, 5 May 2017

Malaga has Become The Most Dynamic Property Market of Spain

Malaga has Become The Most Dynamic Property Market of Spain
Southern spain continues to be the best place to buy property
in spain

The latest report from the BBVA Bank, called Situación Inmobiliaria España (‘Spain Real Estate Outlook’) has named Malaga – the home of the Costa del Sol – as the province with the most homes sold in Spain. Demand for homes in the region have increased around 15% between 2014 and 2016.

The study was presented in the Costa del Sol capital by analysts from BBVA Félix Lores and David Cortés. It also shows other positive facts about the real estate sector of Spain and how healthy it is.

The authors of the study pointed out that, between 2014 and 2016, Malaga property prices rose by 3.1% - which is three times the national average. This puts the province into third position in Spain. The only regions that came in front of it were the Balearics and Barcelona, where prices increased 3.5% and 3.3% respectively. This kind of positive change wasn’t seen in every region in Spain, as prices in Seville dropped 1.6% during this period.

The study showed new house project building licenses in Malaga increased by 55%. This puts the province – along with Barcelona, Alicante, and Madrd – ahead of the pack. The study did admit that numbers aren’t close to the peak levels before the financial crisis of 2007, even if they are recovering nicely.

Lores said that sales picked up since 2013 with Barcelona, Madrid, and the rest of the Mediterranean arc and islands enjoying the most recovery in Spain. The findings of Lores are in line with the findings of real estate experts, in that he agrees the growth in Spain is driven by an increase in buyers from overseas, along with better employment rates and higher levels of disposable income in Spain.

Thursday, 4 May 2017

Spain to Attract Massive Investment in Renewable Energy

Spain to Attract Massive Investment in Renewable Energy

Its n wonder with over 300 days of sunshine a year
that massive investment in renewable energy is coming again
The Spanish government hardly has the best record when it comes to supporting renewable energy. While the country has some of the highest levels of solar and wind power installed in Europe, most of these were installed before 2010; before the current Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy assumed power.

The People’s Party that Rajoy leads aren’t against the idea of clean energy. The problem is that the incentives the previous government put into place for solar power were too generous; it was impossible for the government to continue justifying them.

There was a time when Spanish home-and-business-owners who installed solar panels – or even power plant operators with solar farms – were rewarded. They were offered a good feed-in tariff that saw them get some euros in return for the kilowatts of electricity their solar solutions pumped into the national grid.

It was decided in 2011 that the scheme had become perhaps too popular, with over 8 gigawatts of solar power generated by that point. It was taking too much money out of the government, especially given the economic troubles and recession at the time.

Move forward to 2017 – and the introduction of the “Solar Tax” as it was affectionately known – and Spain is ready to become clean once again. There’s plenty of good reason why too. The southern end of Spain is one of the windiest regions in Europe, as you likely know if you’ve tried to sit at the beachside bars in Cádiz. Wind power – whether onshore or offshore – is an affordable and viable source of energy for Spain.

Add in that almost the entire country ranks in the top regions of Europe with the most sunlight and it becomes clear that Spain should become a solar power hotbed again.

This idea stands to become reality on the 17th of May, as the Ministry of Energy, Tourism, and Digital Agenda of Spain will hold a renewable energy auction for three gigawatts of clean power. This basically means that companies interested in creating a solar or wind farm will be able to “bid” for large capacities. The winning bidder will be the one who offers the most competitive price for power per megawatt-hour, and will be chosen by the Spanish Electricity Market Operator (OMIE).

It’s expected that the auction will generate plenty of interest from companies; both Spanish and international. Firms from across Germany, China, South America, and the USA are expected to join all the Spanish companies trying to land contracts.

By this time next year, there will be far more wind and solar power available in Spain, built for less than the cost of coal power. This will translate into reduced bills for average consumers, and it also means that Spain will have cleaner energy and a more secure energy future.

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Spanish Tax Take Returns to 2007 Levels – and That’s Good

Spanish Tax Take Returns to 2007 Levels – and That’s Good
With more Taxes coming Spain continues to grow

Almost no one enjoys the idea of having to pay higher taxes. The reality is that higher taxes present a more favourable outcome than lower taxes though.

Look at the USA and Greece. Many Americans are staunch believers in the libertarian way, and almost any presidential candidate that suggests raising taxes is given the boot quickly. The result is that parental leave is almost non-existent, as is personal healthcare. Then there are all the problems with public transport and the roads in bigger cities.

Then look at Greece. The country struggled for years because of the culture of tax avoidance and the damage it caused to the economy. Some people might have become rich by dodging their taxes, but society as a whole suffered badly, and still continues to suffer.

Spain has taken a more socialist and liberal approach to taxes. Income tax is often higher in Spain than it is in the UK. Companies are also expected to pay high taxes on their profits. Even so, it’s usually clear where all of the tax money is going. All the roads, resorts, beaches, and cities are kept clean, modern, attractive, and safe. Spaniards are more than happy to pay higher taxes if this is what they get as a result.

With this in mind, many Spaniards will no doubt welcome the news that Spain is expected to collect around €200.9 billion in taxes this year. There are two main reasons this is good news. The first is that it shows the individuals and businesses of Spain are paying their fair share. The other is that it shows the Spanish economy is managing to perform quite strongly following the recovery from the credit crunch and double-dip recession.

The minister for the Treasury in Spain, Cristóbal Montoro, said that the €200.9 billion figure will be an increase of 7.9% on the tax take of 2016, as well as a record annual figure for the country.

The majority of this money will come from company profit taxes and personal income tax. Commercial taxes will be responsible for around €2.4 billion of the money; a 12% increase over last year.

Montoro also said that Spain has come clear of the economic troubles of the past five years; which saw the loss of 3.5 million jobs and a devastated GDP. Nowadays, both GDP and employment figures are up, and the government feels comfortable increasing taxes on companies. Increasing taxes is never very popular with small businesses, but economists consider it a necessary move to keep GDP growing.

The next aim for the minister is encouraging businesses to increase their wages to keep up with the wider improvement of the country. Montoro said that the time when staff are paid as if they work in a country on the brink of recession has passed, and that the economy is recovering.

It’s expected that the amount of income tax collected this fiscal year will be 7.7% higher than that of 2016. This shows an increase in jobs and wages, but it also shows there is still some room left for improvement.

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Spain Once Again Proves to be Most Popular Destination for Irish Tourists

Spain Once Again Proves to be Most Popular Destination for Irish Tourists

Its no wonder Spain continues to be the best
destination in the world.
There’s an old – and bad – joke that says a holiday isn’t a holiday when the Irish go on holiday to the UK. It is somewhat accurate however. The data from the Central Statistics Office in Ireland showed that the UK was the most popular destination for the Irish last year, with around 2.4 million trips between the two countries.

Most of these trips could be considered to be related to work or family though, and aren’t necessarily holidays. This is the line that the CSO is giving at least, and we’re going to agree with them given that the data also shows 1.5 million of the 7.6 million trips the Irish took abroad last year were to Spain.

If one were to compare the total expenditure of Irish tourists in 2016, it becomes obvious that Spain is the most popular holiday destination and not the UK. Around €993 million was spent in the UK by the Irish across their 2.4 million trips.

On the other hand, around €1.4 billion was spent in Spain from 1.5 million trips. This shows that the Irish are definitely choosing to spend longer (and spend more) in Spain compared to the UK.

All of this data was further backed up by a recent AA poll, which surveyed 7,000 Irish people on their tourism and holiday preferences. The poll showed Spain was the most popular overseas destination for one-in-five tourists, with the USA, Portugal, France, and Italy following behind.

It’s worth noting that Spain has been the top of this particular poll for the past five years.

The excellent weather and the superb beaches and landscape of Spain has been one of the main attractions for the Irish. The most appealing factor, however, could be the affordability of the Costas.

The poll from the AA discovered many Irish under-25s are more cost-conscious as far as travel goes. The affordability and value for money Spain has makes it popular with those in the Emerald Isle.

Even though more people are going abroad for their holiday than before, it’s still obvious that holidays are treated as luxuries. Young people in particular regard them as luxuries because they are less secure financially.

Even though Spain was the ideal choice for 25% of the people polled, “staycationing” in Ireland pulled in 15% of the vote – and second place. We suspect that Ireland will stay in second place until Cork can generate as much bright sunshine as Marbella. Which isn’t likely to happen any time soon.