Costa del Sol property & lifestyle, news, views, advice & information

Is this the ‘Spanish Spring’ moment for Spain’s property market?

Author: Ian Clover  |  March 25th, 2014

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As leading investors plough money into Spanish property, will others follow?

Fashion trends and revolutions may be poles apart in what they actually mean for the individuals involved (ridicule and/or cult status for one, freedom and/or further oppression for the other), but they both have one common ground: people power.

It is people who topple governments and slowly turn the tide of history. It is people who stand up to persecution and overthrow despots. It is people who power the ‘no make-up selfie’ craze and raise millions for cancer charities. And it is people who decide whether skinny jeans and sandals will be ‘in’ this summer.

So when respected economists and analysts begin talking about a ‘Spanish Spring’ for the country’s property market, they are not looking at some faceless spreadsheet or stock market graph, but the actual real decisions that actual real people are making…

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Winning: when it comes to food, Spain is top of the class

Author: Ian Clover  |  March 24th, 2014

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Good food is integral to who the Spanish are

There are plenty of reasons why people admire the Germans,  respect the French, like the British, love the Irish and get a little peeved sometimes at Americans.

But Spaniards? They’re pretty harmless on the global scale of things, but relatively nondescript in the “Oh, they’re Spanish, NOW it makes sense” kind of way…Maybe people might label them lazy, or passionate, or daintily good footballers, but none of these labels really hold true. Now, though, it seems that the Huffington Post newspaper has hit upon a notion of Spaniards that may just stick: as a nation of food loversContinue Reading

Spain’s attraction grows as more foreign cash floods in

Author: Ian Clover  |  March 21st, 2014

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Spain's economy has been bolstered and boosted by huge volumes of foreign investment

For Mariano Rajoy, 2014 could not have gone much better so far. The Spanish prime minister ended 2013 with scandals blowing all around him, the Royal Family lurching from crisis to crisis, and an economy that – while recovering – gave off the nervous air of a quivering chihuahua.

But what a difference a few months make. After earning the backing of the European Union for Spain’s impressive labour market reforms, and drawing praise from the International Monetary Fund, this week saw Rajoy’s premiership win the plaudits of Madrid’s famously sceptical academics, the backing of a number of international companies, and the approval of global economistsContinue Reading

World’s first international Zip Line!

Author: Holly Purnell  |  March 20th, 2014

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Límite Zero

Ever wanted to travel back in time? Well, now you can on the world's first 'cross-border' Zip Line, Límite Zero!

The new Zip Line ride over the Guadiana River connecting the Spanish village of Sanlúcar de Guadiana with Alcoutim, in Portugal is now officially open!

A privately funded project of Englishman David Jarman, the world’s first – and only – ‘cross-border’ zipline (tirolina in Spanish) crosses 720 metres over the Guadiana River, 50 feet above sea level, connecting the two countries… Continue Reading

Poundland on its way to Spain

Author: Ian Clover  |  March 19th, 2014

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These British bargains will soon be available in Spain

British discount retailer Poundland – famed for its bargain deals of multipack crisps, drinks packs, plastic toys and low-priced cleaning goods all priced (yep, you guessed it) at a quid – has recently announced that it is set to open ten trial stores in Spain.

The arrival of a Poundland store on your local high street in the UK is often met with trepidation. Its presence – much like off-licences, bookmakers and pawn shops – is usually a fair indicator that an area is on a rather downward trajectory, economically speaking.

So does the news that the company behind the stores, Poundland Group Plc., fancies expanding to Spain spell that further gloom is on the horizon? Actually, the exact opposite could well be closer to the truth…

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Space travel a supersonic boon for Spanish property

Author: Ian Clover  |  March 18th, 2014

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Sub-orbital space travel could bring increased demand for Spanish property

When we try to paint the future, do we create a picture that is wildly far-fetched or simply misjudged? Many creative dreamers of the ’50s and ‘60s imagined we’d all be piloting flying cars by now, but could they have ever envisioned that nearly every adult in the western world would carry in their pocket a phone ten times more powerful than the computers that put Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on the moon?

Probably not…

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Marbella at the heart of property Golden Triangle

Author: Ian Clover  |  March 17th, 2014

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Looking for luxury living? Look no further than Marbella!

Famous the world over for its jet-set clientele, stunning climate and unbeatable selection of fine restaurants, bars and clubs, Marbella is also one of the world’s leading property hotspots.

Boasting an array of property types suitable for all tastes and budgets, there are few finer locations on the planet in which to own a dream home in the sun. However, despite a welcome round of price corrections over the past couple of years – which has seen the average property price in Marbella fall by about 40 per cent – Marbella is still the go-to destination for homes at the higher end of the price scale… Continue Reading

Cut-price Spanish villages? Not on the Costa del Sol

Author: Ian Clover  |  March 14th, 2014

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Buying property on the Costa del Sol is about lifestyle, not bargain hunting

You may think it strange that a VIVA news story focuses on why the Costa del Sol isn’t the cheapest place in which to buy Spanish property.

You may think, given that we sell property in the Costa del Sol, it would suit our interests to write stories telling of how there are many bargains to be had up and down the coast.

But if VIVA has learnt anything during its time overseeing the Costa del Sol property market, it is that honesty is always the best policy. Which is why recent reports in the British media that lift the lid on Spain’s ‘ghost villages’ are welcome news… Continue Reading

Tom Jones, Pet Shop Boys and The Beach Boys top Starlite Festival bill

Author: Ian Clover  |  March 13th, 2014

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Tom Jones has been confirmed to perform at this year's Starlite Festival in Marbella

This summer’s Starlite Festival in Marbella will be headlined by internationally renowned superstars Tom Jones, the Pet Shop Boys and The Beach Boys.

Entering only its third year, Marbella’s Starlite Festival has quickly earned for itself a reputation as one of Spain’s most glamorous music gatherings, and will this year take place between July 23 and August 23 at the stunning Marbella Auditorium.

Last year’s event raised the bar when Spanish heartthrob Julio Iglesias headlined, joined by the ever effervescent Buenavista Social Club. But this year’s lineup promises to set the pulses racing even faster, with Welsh troubadour Tom Jones perhaps the pick of the bunchContinue Reading

Meet Andrea Böck: “2014 is going to be a wonderful year for the Costa del Sol!”

Author: John Hollway  |  March 12th, 2014

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Andrea Böck, founder of Ambience Home Design

Andrea Böck: I can ski or snowboard in the Sierra Nevada all morning, and be back in time for a late lunch in Puerto Banús!

Andrea Böck has had a passion for beautiful properties, beautiful architecture and beautiful furniture for as long as she can remember. Originally from Düsseldorf, she spent a holiday with a friend living on the Costa del Sol who offered her a place to stay if ever she wanted to relocate here.

Back home in Germany, and gazing out of her studio window at the seemingly interminable cloudy grey skies, 13 years ago she decided to take her up on her offer, leaving her native Germany to move to the Coast. Founding Ambience Home Design in San Pedro de Alcántara in 2002, Andrea has never looked back…

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