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

VIVA San Pedro… our expansion continues with another great new office!

Author: Martina Heynemann  |  January 3rd, 2014

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The new VIVA Partner office in San Pedro de Alcántara

VIVA San Pedro manager Daniel Martínez outside our brand new, centrally located regional office

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

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Middle-income Brits follow pensioners on the expat exodus away from the UK

Author: Ian Clover  |  December 31st, 2013

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Departures: an increasingly familiar sight for Brits intent on leaving the UK... for good

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…

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Spain 2013: a year in review

Author: Ian Clover  |  December 30th, 2013

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Will 2014 bring as much positivity to Spain as 2013 has?

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

Spain’s labour reforms creating 25,000 permanent jobs a month, say OECD

Author: Ian Clover  |  December 27th, 2013

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The queues may still be lengthy, but Spain's labour market is benefiting from recent reforms

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…

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Five (sensible) ways to buy post-boom Spanish property

Author: Ian Clover  |  December 26th, 2013

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Tempted? Dive into Spain's property market the right way with these five tips

“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.

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Two working-class towns share elGordo’s Xmas spoils

Author: Ian Clover  |  December 23rd, 2013

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Jubilant winners of elGordo receive the finest Christmas present imaginable

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…

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Mince pies top expat Xmas food fancy

Author: Ian Clover  |  December 22nd, 2013

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A baffling culinary concoction for non-Brits, the humble mince pie is the foodstuff Brits crave most at Christmas

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…

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Spanish government to give tourism a €221 million boost

Author: Ian Clover  |  December 20th, 2013

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Ronda's natural appeal will be given a welcome boost by Spain's tourism industry next year

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

elGordo lottery fattening up for Christmas

Author: Ian Clover  |  December 19th, 2013

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Have you got your ticket?

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

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Spanish property prices on the up for first time in three years

Author: Ian Clover  |  December 18th, 2013

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Popular regions of Spain, like the Costa del Sol, are seeing an uptick in property prices

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…

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