Costa del Sol property & lifestyle, news, views, advice & information
Author: Martina Heynemann | January 3rd, 2014
How time flies! In January 2013 it was with great pleasure that I announced the opening of a new VIVA Partner office in Alhaurín el Grande, and since then, more branches followed last year with the inaugurations of VIVA Nueva Andalucía, VIVA La Heredia – Benahavís and VIVA Golden Mile. All of which were preceded in 2012, of course, by new VIVA Partner offices in Elviria, La Cala, Benalmádena, Fuengirola and Calahonda, strategically complementing our VIVA Centro HQ.
So now, just 12 months on, I’m thrilled to be able to tell you about the recent opening of our latest VIVA Partner office – this time in San Pedro de Alcántara which, in addition to covering the entire municipality, will also be responsible for the area to the west of the town, towards Estepona…
Author: Ian Clover | December 31st, 2013
Leaving the UK is not normally the preserve of 30-, 40- or 50-somethings, in steady jobs, with kids in school, mortgages and comfortable incomes. Well, so goes the received wisdom. But a recent survey conducted by relocation experts Global Visas – and commissioned by an MP – has found that the bulk of Brits who emigrate from the UK are in fact “middle income grafters,” according to Dominic Raab, the Conservative MP for Esher and Walton who commissioned the study…
Author: Ian Clover | December 30th, 2013
It’s that time of year again when thoughts turn to what the next 12 months will hold. But it’s also a time to glance forlornly at the dog-eared Christmas tree and extra inches around your waist, to fret about whether the January sales really are worth the effort when it’s raining outside and that film you’ve been meaning to catch is on the box at 11am, and to start asking friends what they’re doing for New Year in the vague hope that they’re hosting a gathering, “nothing too big” and “would you like to come?”
And yes, it’s also the time of year to recap on the past 12 months; to look back at the highs and the lows – an especially rewarding ritual should 2013 have been a good year for you… Continue Reading
Author: Ian Clover | December 27th, 2013
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has hailed Spain’s labour market reforms, claiming that the tough measures introduced this year have helped make companies more competitive and helped create as many as 25,000 permanent new jobs a month.
Despite persistently high unemployment, the OECD’s proclamations are sure to be met warmly in Madrid, which has had to repeatedly stave off attacks of its harsh reforms…
Author: Ian Clover | December 26th, 2013
“Insanity,” Albert Einstein once said, “is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” It’s a smart observation. Sometimes you think you’re doing something ever-so-slightly differently, but if the results are not what you expected, then you’re probably not.
And it’s an appropriate way of looking at the Spanish property market. After a decade-long growth between 1997-2007, an inevitable (in hindsight at least) bust followed the boom, resulting in numerous burnt fingers, piles of negative equity, and thousands of shattered dreams.
Author: Ian Clover | December 23rd, 2013
It had to be, really. In a year in which things got slightly better for the average Spaniard, 2013 was still a tough 12 months of redundancy, unemployment, job insecurity and money worries for many.
And nowhere more so than in the country’s unheralded towns and pueblos. Sure, the cities had it bad and the coastal resorts had to duck and weave in order to stay competitive, but it has been in Spain’s forgotten corners where the recession has been most keenly felt. Which is why the Basque town of Mondragón only recently hit the headlines following the news that Spain’s largest consumer appliance company – Fagor – had to recently shed 2,000 jobs in the town…
Author: Ian Clover | December 22nd, 2013
The estimated five million British expats set to spend Christmas away from Blighty this festive period have a hankering for good old-fashioned mince pies – if a recent survey from expat food website Expat Essentials is anything to go by.
According to the site, mince pies, British chocolates and traditional Christmas puddings are flying off the shelves (well, warehouse storeroom, but you get the point) like the proverbial hotcakes they are.
Also high up on the list of festive favourites British expats are craving this Christmas are turkey stuffing and Christmas crackers, complete with paper hats, awful jokes and those bafflingly ubiquitous mini toolkits…
Author: Ian Clover | December 20th, 2013
It’s the backbone of the economy, its most famous export, and the entry point for millions of new love affairs with Spain every year, so it’s only right that it gets a rather generous gift this Christmas.
The Spanish Secretary of Tourism, Isabel Borrego, has announced this week that the Spanish government will provide its tourism sector with €221 million in the form of grants and loans in 2014 in a concerted effort to make the country even more irresistible than it already is… Continue Reading
Author: Ian Clover | December 19th, 2013
At Christmas time in Spain, a rather chubby legend descends upon the country bearing gifts guaranteed to put a smile on thousands of faces. But forget about Santa – most Spaniards appear to get more excited by Spain’s Christmas lottery, better known as ‘elGordo’ (The Fat One).
Spaniards and the lottery are cosy bedfellows, and for good reason. Yes, the country has been beset by economic woes for the past few years, but even during the boom years millions of Spaniards would queue patiently at their local lottery stand to purchase a ticket for elGordo…
Author: Ian Clover | December 18th, 2013
Official data released on Monday by Spain’s National Statistics Institute showed that Spanish property prices were up for the third quarter of 2013 – the months between July and September – for the first time in three years.
Since the country’s recession and subsequent housing slump post-2008, property prices in Spain have generally been going in one direction – downwards. These latest figures show that not only has the country’s economy and real estate industry stabilised, but the signs are good that the first shoots of recovery and growth are starting to emerge…