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

2 major new cultural attractions open this week in Málaga city...

Author: Carolyn Mowlem  |  March 25th, 2015

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The new Málaga branch of the Parisian Centre Pompidou

The 6,000m2 Centre Pompidou Málaga - close to the Muelle Uno shopping and leisure mall on the waterfront - expects to receive 250,000 visitors during its first year.

World-renowned for its Picasso Museum and the Centre of Contemporary Art (CAC), both of which opened their doors in 2003; followed in 2011 by the Carmen Thyssen Museum – focusing on 19th-century Spanish painting, with works from the Thyssen-Bornemisza collection – and the La Térmica in 2013, Málaga will be packing even more of a cultural punch with the eagerly awaited launch of not one, but two major new art attractions this week…

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Ryanair to serve Spain’s ghost airport of Castellón

Author: Ian Clover  |  March 24th, 2015

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Spain's Castellón airport gained notoriety as a symbol of the country's credit-fuelled construction boom and bust.

Budget Irish carrier Ryanair has revealed this week that it is to begin operating a regular service between the UK and Castellón’s ‘Ghost airport’, which – since being completed in 2011 at a cost of €145 million – has yet to handle a single commercial flight.

Kenny Rogers, Ryanair’s Chief Marketing Officer, has said that the strong demand among Spanish emigrants who now work and reside in the UK – as well as the many thousands who hope to do so in the near future – prompted the airline to open up two routes: twice-weekly between Bristol, and three times a week from London Stansted

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‘British Warren Buffett’ says now is the time to invest in Spanish property

Author: Ian Clover  |  March 23rd, 2015

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The strong pound should tempt British buyers, but the 110% mortgages should be avoided.

Multimillionaire investor and entrepreneur Jim Mellon – who made a series of profitable investments in the 1990′s and has recently championed the cause of the growing biotech industry – has urged Britons that now is the time to buy a property in Spain. Mellon told the Daily Telegraph that the current imbalance between the euro and sterling is unlikely to continue for much longer, meaning that now is the time to act for Brits armed with pounds

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VIVA View: Spain’s compensation ruling is a sign of a maturing property market

Author: Ian Clover  |  March 20th, 2015

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Spain's property market is far more mature and transparent these days.

It always felt doubly cruel. Not only were homeowners who had unwittingly purchased illegally built property told that their homes would be demolished, but they also learned that they would, in the process, lose everything.

No compensation. No money. No ‘our hands are tied’ apology. Nothing. Appeals could be lodged, court hearings could be made, but the bottom line remained unwavering: homes built illegally would have to be demolished. No exceptions.

Not only did this scandalous behaviour turn the dreams of thousands into an unending nightmare, but it also served to damage Spain’s property market – and the country’s wider reputation – in the eyes of foreigners…

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Hilton taking another tilt at Costa del Sol hotel market

Author: Ian Clover  |  March 19th, 2015

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Benalmadena's stylish Reserva del Higueron hotel will soon become part of the Hilton brand.

The Costa del Sol is set to welcome back the prestigious Hilton hotel brand after a near 40-year absence.

Hilton Worldwide struck a deal this March at the Spanish Embassy in Berlin to bring the brand to the Reserva de Higueron hotel near the resort of Benalmadena, bringing the iconic Hilton sign back to the coast for the first time since Marbella’s famous Don Carlos hotel was a Hilton-branded establishment in the ‘70s…

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Forensic scientists find tomb of Don Quixote writer, Miguel de Cervantes

Author: Ian Clover  |  March 18th, 2015

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Scientists will use DNA to determine which of the bones belong to Cervantes, and which do not.

The last burial place of Miguel de Cervantes – author of arguably Spain’s most famous novel, Don Quixote – has been discovered in Madrid, nearly 400 years after the writer’s death.

The scientists working on the excavation believe that the tomb buried beneath the city’s Convent of the Barefoot Trinitarians contains the remains of Cervantes, his wife, and other, as-yet-unknown individuals…

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Spain approves compensation law for homeowners faced with property demolition

Author: Ian Clover  |  March 17th, 2015

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While the sorry sight of demolished homes will continue, at least homeowners will now be properly compensated.

Thousands of homeowners who bought a property in Spain that has since been declared illegal breathed a huge sigh of relief this week as the laws relating to compensation were amended in their favour.

A change to Spain’s penal code was passed by the ruling Mariano Rajoy-led government that dictates judges must ensure that property owners who purchased an illegally built house in good faith are compensated before any demolition order is passed.

This long overdue legal change could positively impact thousands of homeowners – which includes many Brits – who had previously faced the prospect of losing their home and their investment under the old law…

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Five ways to a sun-kissed retirement in Spain

Author: Ian Clover  |  March 16th, 2015

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Life's a beach for retirees who plan their move to Spain carefully.

The dream of retiring to Spain is made a reality by thousands of Brits every year. Often, the hardest part of making the move is convincing yourself that you can, that you deserve to, and that you won’t regret your decision.

But even when you have decided that a Spanish retirement ticks all the right boxes for you, there are still a few things that you have to do to ensure that your twilight years are as enjoyable, comfortable and relaxing as possible…

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Global media note Brits' rekindled love affair with Spanish property

Author: Ian Clover  |  March 13th, 2015

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Read all about it: Spain's property market has returned to rude health, and the world's media has noticed.

The media loves a good bad news story. The more lurid the headline, the more it lurches out at you from the newsstand. The more dramatic the detail, the more engrossed the reader. Living vicariously through the whims of the world is what people do, and when things go bad, readership rates rise.

Not 12 months ago this trend certainly held true for the Spanish property market, with the UK media particularly keen to stick the boot in at the merest whiff of trouble. From Brits fleeing the Costas in their droves to pensioner expats being issued with demolition notices, anything that could be deemed damaging to Spain’s property industry was given prominence in much of the national media.

But what a difference a year makes

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The most missed foodstuffs of Brit expats

Author: Ian Clover  |  March 12th, 2015

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Aisle never change: Most Spanish supermarkets cater for British tastes... at a premium.

Even the most committed, dyed-in-the-wool, never-going-back expat will admit to themselves, deep down in their heart of hearts, that there are at least some things that they miss about the old country

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