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

Why you shouldn’t worry that Andalucía tops Europe’s unemployment chart

Author: Ian Clover  |  April 28th, 2014

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Marbella, Costa del Sol

Andalucía abounds with endless opportunities for fun holidays and fulfilling property investment

The world is a big place, with billions of people. Good things happen every day, all the time, across the globe. But it is usually the bad news stories that grab our attention. Pain and suffering make good newspaper copy, joy and achievement less so.

But hopefully we all learned long ago not to let every disaster, struggle or war affect our daily lives. Sure, it takes a heart of stone not to be moved by some people’s plights – particularly when heartstring-aimed messages are shared and ‘Liked’ on Facebook with mawkish regularity – but it is simply good sense not to carry the weight of the world with you.

Which is why the recent revelation that Andalucía is the region with the highest levels of unemployment in Europe should not unduly concern you. With 36.3% of people unable to find work in the region, unless you are one of them the economic troubles facing millions of Spaniards should not sully your decision to holiday in Spain or buy property on the Costa del Sol

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Spain economy growing at fastest rate for six years

Author: Ian Clover  |  April 25th, 2014

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Growth in Spain's economy could match the EU average by the end of 2014

Spain’s central bank has this week released an encouraging set of data that shows the country’s economy is growing at its fastest rate for six years.

Official figures reveal a nationwide recovery of momentum, with national output surging by 0.4 per cent in the first quarter of the year, which is more than double that seen at the same stage in 2013…

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Why large fall in Brit expat registrations in Spain masks real picture

Author: Ian Clover  |  April 24th, 2014

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Fewer registered Brits does not mean that Spain's obvious attractions have waned

Figures released this week by Spain’s Institute of National Statistics (INE) have triggered a flood of gleeful articles in the British press denouncing the ‘end of the dream’ for thousands of Brits that have ‘fled’ Spain.

From the Daily Telegraph to the Mirror via the Daily Mail, each article leads on the fact that there were almost 90,000 fewer Brits registered at town halls across Spain at the end of last year when compared to the end of 2012 – down to just 297,229 from 383,179 a year previously.

This ‘loss’ of 87,000 or so British people from official registers in Spain is certainly noteworthy. It is the second-year in a row that Spain’s overall population has shrunk, assisted by diminishing numbers of French expats (down 12.7 per cent in the past year) and German expats (down by 138,917 since 2012), reducing Spain’s official population from 47.2 million in 2012 to just 46.7 million today. The number of native Spaniards grew slightly, by 141,361, as did the number of Chinese nationals now living and registered in the country.

But tales of a mass British exodus are misguided

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Spanish traffic jams cut by two thirds since economic crisis

Author: Ian Clover  |  April 23rd, 2014

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The latest study shows the road is clear for Spain, but economic improvement may bring further tailbacks

One upshot of Spain’s recent economic woe has been a dramatic cut in the time the average motorist wastes waiting in traffic jams, according to data revealed this week by Catalonia’s Royal Automobile Club (RACC).

Since 2010, the time that drivers in Spain spend waiting in traffic jams has fallen by 63% on average across the country, with Barcelona’s motorists enjoying a fall of 76%, which equates to just 15 hours per year waiting in traffic…

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Average Spaniard 25% richer than last year

Author: Ian Clover  |  April 22nd, 2014

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Spanish household assets have risen above €1 trillion for the first time since 2006

For the first time since Spain’s economic crisis hit in 2008, combined net wealth for Spanish households topped €1 trillion in 2013 – a 25 per cent increase in the space of just one year.

Figures from the Bank of Spain published this week reveal that the overall assets held by the Spanish population grew to €1.04 trillion, once adjustments were made for all outstanding debts. The last time that figure climbed above one trillion was in the halcyon days of 2006, when Spain’s economy was booming…

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The Blairs spend Easter on the Costa del Sol, and get star treatment…

Author: Carolyn Mowlem  |  April 21st, 2014

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The Blairs and Antonio Banderas in Málaga

Bernardino León, Antonio Banderas, Cherie Blair, Tony Blair & Mayor of Málaga Francisco de la Torre

While David Cameron was getting away from it all in the Canary Islands – and famously getting stung by a jellyfish in the process – former British PM Tony Blair and his family chose to spend their Easter break on the Costa del Sol this year, where they are said to have been staying with friends who have a mansion in exclusive La Zagaleta…

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David Cameron stung by jellyfish in Spain

Author: Ian Clover  |  April 18th, 2014

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David Cameron... sensibly staying out of the water this time

If you’ve ever wanted to test out the theory that human urine eases the pain of a jellyfish sting then form an orderly queue – British Prime Minister David Cameron could do with your help.

The beleaguered premier was stung by a jellyfish last week after popping into the sea off the Arrieta beach on Lanzarote. Onlookers have reported that Cameron came running out of the water screaming “Ouch! Ouch! Ouch!” while rubbing his arm… Continue Reading

Five of Spain’s top 10 resorts in Andalucía

Author: Ian Clover  |  April 17th, 2014

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More and more tourists have cottoned-on to the enduring delights of Marbella

Marbella has joined Málaga, Seville, Córdoba and Granada in Spain’s top 10 resorts in the latest TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Awards 2014.

This is the first time that Marbella has made it into the top 10, with the resort’s Mayor, Maria Angeles Munoz, in attendance at the awards ceremony in Madrid to celebrate the landmark achievement.

Marbella’s inclusion in the top 10 means that Andalucia boasts half of Spain’s leading resort destinations – at least according to users of the travel site, who were polled over the past 12 months on their favoured holiday destinations… Continue Reading

Marbella nominated for Europe's Leading Beach Destination 2014

Author: Holly Purnell  |  April 16th, 2014

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Marbella nominated for Europe's Leading Beach Destination 2014

With miles of beautiful golden sandy beaches it's hardly surprising that Marbella has been nominated for 'Europe's Leading Beach Destination 2014'

Fantastic news for the Coast as Marbella has been nominated for the award for ‘Europe’s leading Beach destination’ in the 2014 edition of the World Travel Awards… and even better news – you can help it win with your vote!

Nominated alongside Cannes, France; Costa Smeralda, Italy; Corfu, Greece; Formentera Island, Ibiza, Spain; Oludeniz, Turkey and The Algarve, Portugal, Marbella has some serious competition for the hugely coveted award... Continue Reading

Brits help Spain home sales and flight bookings reach nine-year high

Author: Ian Clover  |  April 15th, 2014

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The Brits are coming this Easter, and many will stick around to snap up a property, too

For many, 2005 may not seem like all that long ago. But if you were to somehow transport yourself back to those pre-recession days there are a few things that are sure to stick out like a sore thumb: phones with buttons (indeed, phones as phones, rather than portable computers), no Facebook, a YouTube with approximately five videos on it, and a Liverpool FC mere weeks away from an unexpected triumph. How things have, erm, changed.

But nine years later things most certainly look different. Spain’s previously impervious property market has since been shaken down for its last penny and left to splutter in the dust, only recently rising gingerly to its feet. And the benevolent good Samaritan lending a helping, steadying hand? Why, the BritsContinue Reading