Costa del Sol property & lifestyle, news, views, advice & information
Author: Ian Clover | March 25th, 2014
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…
Author: Ian Clover | March 24th, 2014
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 lovers… Continue Reading
Author: Ian Clover | March 21st, 2014
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 economists… Continue Reading
Author: Holly Purnell | March 20th, 2014
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
Author: Ian Clover | March 19th, 2014
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…
Author: Ian Clover | March 18th, 2014
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?
Author: Ian Clover | March 17th, 2014
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
Author: Ian Clover | March 14th, 2014
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
Author: Ian Clover | March 13th, 2014
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 bunch… Continue Reading
Author: John Hollway | March 12th, 2014
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…