Friday, 8 September 2017

Spanish Property Prices Increase 3.7% Across July

Spanish Property Prices Increase 3.7% Across July

Valuation firm Tinsa recently published their latest nationwide price index for Spanish property, which showed the average property price is 3.7% higher in July of this year compared to July of last year.

While an increase in monthly pricing data has become somewhat a norm for Spanish property in the past few years, the data from July showed that the increase in property prices is beginning to be felt outside of the traditionally high-priced areas of Barcelona, Madrid, the Mediterranean, and the islands. It’s starting to spread into the rural areas that would usually be immune to noticeable fluctuations in prices.

Tinsa discovered that, for July, the regions that are typically referred to as the “other municipalities” showed an increase in average prices of 0.8%, which is the first noticeable increase in prices for around a decade.

While the increase might not be as impressive as the 4%+ increases seen along the Mediterranean, it’s still encouraging as it shows how the far the economic recovery is reaching; how it is benefiting even more people and regions.

Tinsa extrapolated from the entire first seven months of 2017, with their data showing that home values in the Costa Del Sol were an average of 5% higher in July of 2017 than they were during July of 2016.

On the nationwide level, the average selling price of Spanish property is the same as back in December 2003, and it is likely to match the price increases from the years that followed back then. This time, however, the experts are confident that there won’t be the same bubble – and indeed burst and deflation – that was seen a decade ago.

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Music Experts Believe Despacito Could Boost Spanish Language Uptake

Music Experts Believe Despacito Could Boost Spanish Language Uptake

It’s hard to put into words just how addictive Despacito by Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee has become. This global music sensation became the first song ever to reach over three billion views on YouTube, and is hard to get out of your head once you hear it.

You might be surprised if you think that you’ve never heard the song yourself, as there are millions of people who feel that they haven’t heard it yet, only to be hit with a wave of recognition when they actually do hear the song.

There appears to be some new worldwide smash each summer, but Despacito has a unique appeal and language that gives it untold popularity and reach. The song is primarily in Spanish, which makes it the first Spanish-language song to reach the top of the US Hot 100 for over 20 years. If you guessed that the last song to do this was the Macarena in 1996, then give yourself a pat on the back.

While the lyrics of the song are so fast-paced that most people who don’t know the language will be mouthing along, music experts feel that the global reach of the song could positively benefit the Spanish language, which is already the second most popular language in the world after English.

Despacito was the most-streamed song on the music streaming platform Spotify each day for fourteen weeks straight, before finally being surpassed just last week by the song “Mi Gente” (My People), which just so happens to be another Spanish song. Mi Gente is by J. Balvin and it looks like it could go on to be another global success.

This isn’t all either; there are currently eight Spanish or Latin songs in the Spotify Top 50 right now, which the company says is the highest proportion ever. The head of Latin Culture at Spotify, Rocio Guerra, believes that there has been a domino effect. Spotify – and similar platforms – give everyone around the world access to the same songs at the same time, so it’s increasing the global reach of Latin artists.

Guerra believes that the more songs there are on the global chart, the more people become accustomed to listening to songs in different languages.

Latin as a genre is third on the Spotify streaming chart, coming behind pop and hip-hop. Latin-style music – and an increase in smatterings of the Spanish language itself – are becoming more popular in songs as well; utilised by artists such as Rihanna and Ed Sheeran.

After the Macarena exploded in 1996, there was a sharp increase in the demand for Spanish courses among language schools. There’s no data yet to show if Despacito has had the same effect, but there are plenty of signs the song has opened the ears of millions of people to the unmistakable beauty and rhythm of the Spanish language.

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Spanish Population Rises for First Time in Five Years

Spanish Population Rises for First Time in Five Years

The incredible recovery of the Spanish economy has begun to have an effect on the immigration statistics for the country, as 2016 marked the first time since 2009 that the population in Spain increased. 

The Spanish population increased steadily at the turn of the millennium until 2009, whether through positive birth rates or inward immigration.

However, Europe – and in particular Spain – was hit by an economic crash in 2008 that stemmed the tide. The population stagnated in 2010 and steadily fell each year thereafter as young people held off starting a family due to the uncertain economy, and immigrants decided to try their luck in other countries. 

The tide turned in 2016 however. Data released by the National Institute of Statistics (INE) revealed the number of immigrants registering in Spain was on the increase, showing that last year saw 89,126 more people enter the country than leaving it. 

The highest number of arrivals in terms of nationality were the Venezuelans, particularly those escaping the economic hardship and the potential persecution they faced at home. Numbers of immigrants from Romania and Morocco also increased following the improvement of the Spanish economy. There was also a slight increase in the number of Brits arriving in the country, but a decrease in the number of Swiss and German immigrants. 

Even though domestic fortunes are improving, the amount of Spaniards emigrating out of the country also increased in 2016. The primary destination for these Spanish immigrants remains the UK, where they have a high chance of finding work and improving their English skills, which makes the country a strong draw.